Category Archives: Uncategorized

Khokhloma: Red and Black, and Gold All Over.

Anton, 11

I guess I know why people in Russia love bright and colorful decorations. You have to spend one year there to see that winter lasts long, long time and you wear a heavy coat and many layers under it; summer is when you wear a light padded jacket and the beginning of September might mark a start of putting on a hat and a winter coat again. Ok, I was exaggerating about summer but everything else is true. Tired of seeing gray landscape out of the window people turned to art to brighten their days and Khokhloma became a well recognized and popular ornament for tableware and furniture. Continue reading Khokhloma: Red and Black, and Gold All Over.

Why Still Life? Why Not? Making Measurements For Life Drawing-2.

 

Mark, 8

Painting still life is so much easier then painting people.  I’ve never heard of an apple complaining: “Oh no! You’ve made me look fat in that picture!” or banana saying: “I don’t look THAT yellow, do I?”  Milk jars and vases can stay motionless for hours, even days if you ask them nicely.  And people? You position and position and then after only five hours they start whining: “I am tired! I need to go to the restroom!” No wonder many artists prefer painting still life. Continue reading Why Still Life? Why Not? Making Measurements For Life Drawing-2.

Calaveras Jersey Style.

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Nicholas, 9

When you think of Mexico you think of bright clothes, spicy food and unusual art. They are able to make extraordinary out of simple things and celebrate the uncelebrated. The Day of the Dead, for example, is one of the most exuberant and lavish holidays in Mexico with lots of festivities, treats and decorations. Being about 2000 miles away from this wonderful country did not stop us from joining the tradition if only by making the sugar skulls which are traditionally made there for the fiesta. Continue reading Calaveras Jersey Style.

Art That Screams. Edvard Munch.

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The Big Fat Hairy Scream. Courtesy of a Garfield’s Art Gallery and Collectibles.

The Scream painting by Edvard Munch can, perhaps, be compared to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as far as  the popularity is taken into account. It has been featured in cartoons; numerous reproductions have been made with famous characters and who does not remember the Home Alone boy screaming his heart out in the moments of extreme anguish. When I told the kids that we are painting a monster they were so exited they started clapping. Continue reading Art That Screams. Edvard Munch.

If A Kid Doesn’t Want To Draw.

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This is  my four year old daughter’s creation. She spent approximately seven minutes on it, devoting most of her time to producing the right color of blue for the water slide. This is a water park, by the way.

I know a girl who painted President Obama in a striped tie when she was three and it was a pretty darn good portrait.

And you  were so good at it!  You doodled on the back of your paper, you drew a reindeer behind a couch as a surprise to your parents, you sketched every single day, wished for a set of super expensive watercolor…  OK, I am talking about myself here. However, you might also have a story about how you painted a birthday card and everybody was amazed, or how you won a first prize at the high school art show… but your kid doesn’t want to draw!

What? Why? You liked it. Your friend’s daughter likes it. Why is your child not into it?

First of all, don’t panic. As frustrating as it might be, there are big problems out there and this is not one of them.  You can still find ways for your child to express himself artistically.

  1. Use unusual materials to cover the surface and draw on flour, beans, sand etc. Kids can use fingers or palms  to develop sensory skills.
  2. If your kid likes colors it is OK to give him water cups, brushes and paints. Let him or her create color mixes and use the opportunity to teach about the primary (yellow, red and blue) and secondary (orange, purple, green)  colors.
  3. Unconventional ways to paint could be the answer. Utilize wrinkled plastic wrap, sponges of different shapes and sticks.
  4. Paint the leaves and print them on paper. You can make prints with coins, too.
  5. Make Rorschach blots.
  6. My son once used leftover coffee to paint; one of those times when he actually wanted to keep on going.
  7. Shaving cream art. I bought a few bottles at a dollar store and my kids regularly ask me to “make mess” with it. Spread some color on it, mix it, make swirls.  You can see how we do it in one of my posts.
  8. Strings. Cut some thick yarn into not very long strings and let them doodle. See here how we do it.

Yes, to me it is still surprizing that my own kids are not fond of drawing but I try not to look at it as a flaw.  They have other talents, I am sure; because I’ve never seen an unremarkable child. Ever!

 

Watercolor Painting of a Nebula.

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Valeria, 4

I fell in love with watercolor a couple of months ago. After watching a few tutorials on YouTube, I realized that we could have meaningful and productive relationship. The absolute musts for that though are good quality paper, good quality paints and brushes, and a right approach.

For this class I settled on a fun and seemingly easy project of painting a Nebula using wet-in-wet technique. Continue reading Watercolor Painting of a Nebula.