Monday, September 30, 2013

Painting Pumpkins on Canvas

Yes, I teach art. But, as a parent, art is a great way to spend time with your child, and make some cute art for your home. Here's a lesson I've done before with a class, but YOU could easily create these with your kids. Just have fun with it, and you will end up with some great art for the fall season. Add your own personal touches, like words, patterns and color schemes.

 First, I teach students how I draw a pumpkin-use the steps above. I always teach that before you paint to practice your drawing and plan your painting. And I love talking about painting fruits, and stress that there's not such thing as a "perfect" pumpkin. They can be fat, tall, bumpy, lop-sided, etc. Students painted on a 12 x 12 stretched canvas with acrylic paints.

When drawing your design onto the canvas, DON'T use a pencil. You will have a very hard time covering the pencil and correcting mistakes. Use a light color paint or chalk. I have students use baby wipes to correct mistakes. They remove wet paint from a canvas almost like it's a dry erase board.

For younger children, just coach them on what to do one step at a time. For instance, "First we are going to paint our pumpkin shape. What shape do you see? Now try that on your canvas." Remind them to paint big. If they mess up, show them how easy it is to erase it and try again.

Outlining with a darker color helps the colors "pop" and gives the art a more "finished" look.

We added a little green puff paint for the vines and tricked out our edges with stripes. Students were kindergarten through 2nd grade (one fourth grader), and completed their paintings in a 2-hour workshop.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Leaves Project

I wanted to show you a new product that I tried and loved the results. I ordered ArtEmboss Aluminum Sheets from DickBlick. They are 9-1/4' x 12" and come in a pack of 12. I didn't know what to do with them at first, but got inspired last week when all the leaves started turning, and decided to use it in a lesson to teach about warm and cool colors, and also using lines in drawing. All you need is a good selection of warm and cool colored Sharpie markers, a soft pencil (we used Ebony pencils), a piece of soft cardboard, assortment of fall leaves, and the aluminum sheets.

I collected a bunch of leaves in different shapes and colors and had the students trace the leaves on the "back" of their sheet. It will emboss better if you place a piece of cardboard under your work space.Then turn it over and begin to color, giving instructions to use warm colors for the leaves and cool colors for the background. Also make sure students are careful not to color over the "raised" portions so that they will have the silver lines define their shapes. I did this project with 2nd and 3rd graders and it took about an hour. Stunning results! Reminded me of stained glass windows.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Do It Yourself Rustic Frames

Since I post most of my creative things on this blog now, I thought I'd move over some of the most popular posts from my old blog that featured a collection of creative things from cooking to DIYs. Here is one the top read posts. These are so simple and turn out super cute.

I wish I could also take credit for the photography here, but my neighbor took this beautiful photo, and she's not even a professional. I had to have a frame for it, but didn't want to spend big bucks for the look I was going after, so here is the result of my "el cheapo" idea.

I purchased a ready made 16 x 20 unfinished wood frame at Michaels for 40% off (about $7)
Purchased a large sheet of unfinished birch bead board from Home Depot (around $38-but keep in mind I can make about 6 to 8 frames out of this depending on the sizes). Then I went to Savers and picked up some old wood frames in smaller sizes (.99 cents each).

Cut your bead board to the size of the largest frame (in this case I cut it to fit a 16 x 20). Stain all the woods, paint and add glaze/distressing. Then glue all the pieces together. The only downside is that in order to change the picture you have to pop off the smaller frame from the bead board backing. I just attached it with drops of hot glue in each corner so it would be easier to remove.

Since this post, I've made a whole collection of these!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Feed My Sheep

One of my favorite painting styles is mixed media. Just something about the layers, the texture, tearing of paper, and intermingling of colors that is soothing to me. Many times when I have my quiet time in the morning, I will journal in pictures as I read scripture. I love to take those images that pop into my head and put them on canvas-it's almost like a form of worship to me. This past week I've created a whole set of mini mixed media canvases inspired by my recent quiet times. I thought I'd share with you some of the things God has been putting on my heart.

As my kids are all growing and moving into a season where they are more self sufficient, it's had been easy for me to take a breath, and drift into lazy parenting. God has really impressed upon my heart again this year that I need to press on with being intentional in my parenting-spending the majority of my time caring for my flock. After all, it's a job I only get to do once.

Proverbs 24:3-4 says, "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established, through knowledge it's rooms are are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Only by seeking God and His wisdom can I stay on the path he has for me. My family is the most precious gift, outside of my salvation, that God has given me here on earth. I'm so thankful God has given me enough wisdom thus far to keep pursuing him, and stay focused on what he has charged me with as a wife and mom.

I have so many plans and dreams...for me, and my kids, but God keeps gently reminding me His plans are so much better.

And one of my favorites-I love to pray this verse-Lord, be my strength and my song!

All these and more will all be packaged up nice and neat, for sale at Reinvented Vintage this weekend.

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