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Decorative Corn

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My students have done a fantastic job in creating their autumn harvest paintings. This is thanks to the frugalcrafter Lindsay Weirich’s tutorial on How to Paint Decorative Corn in Watercolour/Pen & Ink-Craft for Thanksgiving

This is a watercolour project that works well with children in grades 4-8. It is simple to put together and can be interpreted in many different ways.  Similar to the tutorial, I first showed the students a demonstration on how to draw the shape of the corn and husks, outline with a fine sharpie and finally use various colours in their painting palette. It was a lot of fun!

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Materials:
– Fine Sharpie
– Watercolour Paper
– Watercolour Paint Set

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The Golden Gate Bridge

Another famous landmark that I chose for one of my painting lessons is 
the Golden Gate Bridge!

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This design is more simple than the Eiffel Tower project that I posted earlier : ) The first step is to draw and paint in the main structure. In the materials section, there is a handout that you can download which includes a simple sketch of the design. Then, you can add the background colours with multiple layers, mixing the paint so that they blend nicely together. Don’t forget to add reflections in the water and also the moon. Finally, the last step is to add the tree in the corner and also bridge cables using thin and light strokes. 

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Materials:
– Canvas (optional)
– Acrylic Paint
– Simple Sketch- Handout

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By The Seashore

“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour, but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” -Sandy Gingras

IMAG2807.jpgToday, I taught my students this fantastic craft activity! They loved painting the background, rearranging seashells and making origami sea creatures 🙂 It is a project that encompasses many different skills and presents a challenge for those who like folding paper and creating 3D sculptures.

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Materials:
– Large Cardboard Paper
– Acrylic Paint
– Square Pieces of Origami Paper
– Seashells Handout: Seashells
– Pencil Crayons or Watercolour Paint (for the seashells)
– White Glue and Glue Gun

Optional:
– Cork (for human character)
– Mini Seashells
– Glitter

I started the class by asking my students to paint the background with various shades/tones of blue and brown. We mostly used dark and light blue, turquoise, white, brown and yellow. After everyone was settled, I spent half an hour teaching how to make very simple origami creatures: Whale, Crab, Fish and Canoe

I also gave everyone a handout with different seashell designs. The students could either draw their own or colour and paint the ones on the sheet. After cutting them out, they glued on all their shells and origami pieces. Some painted on a cork to create a human figure. 

Here are some cool examples:

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All Kinds Of Everything

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Project Details

In this post, I have designed a summer-themed project that explores different watercolour techniques. Young artists can learn to create different textures while drawing insects, peacocks, plants and all kinds of everything!

Duration: 2-3 hours

Materials:
– Watercolour Paint & Paper
– Needle/Scissors (something pointy)
– Saran Wrap
– Oil Pastels
– Salt
– Ruler

Instructions:
1) Download: All Kinds of Everything Watercolour Project (A handout with drawing examples and instructions)
2) Divide your artwork into 3 sections
3) Think about what animal critters you would like to draw and use the handout as a starting point
4) Sketch your ideas onto the paper and incorporate 2-3 watercolour techniques in each section


Watercolour Techniques

There are many ways to paint with watercolour. The brush size, amount of water and quality of paint are factors that will affect the finished product of your work. To create special textures and effects, many artists use tools like salt, saran wrap and needles. 

Here are some examples of common watercolour techniques:

Flat Wash– Creating one value of colour by equally spreading a wet brush with paint.

Graded Wash– Adding different values (dark to light) by using more water to dilute the paint.

Salt: Adding salt on top of a wet surface to create a snowflake-like quality.

Wet into Wet: Wetting the paper first before painting. This creates a misty blend of colours great for objects like clouds and water.

Resist: Using oil pastel for small designs before painting on top. Beause oil resists water, your design will show-up.

Etching: Carving out patterns and outlines with a needle/scissors before painting. This will make thin lines and designs stand out.

Dry Brush: Using a very dry brush to create a scratchy-look.  This technique works great for objects like branches.

Opaque: Using lots of paint and less water to make a dark tone, taking away the transparency of watercolour.

Saran Wrap: Scrunching up a piece of saran wrap on top of a wet surface and leaving it for at least 5 min.


Inspiration

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Snowdrops and daffodils
Butterflies and bees
Sailboats and fishermen
Things of the sea.
Wishing-wells
Wedding bells
Early morning dew
All kinds of everything remind me of you…

– Derry Lindsay & Jackie Smith, “All Kinds of Everything”

This is an excerpt from a 1970s song that I absolutlely love and this project is named after it. As the summer weather is kicking in, I can’t resist staying outdoors to bathe in the sunshine and admire the flowers. So, I decided to capture these natural beauties in an artwork 🙂

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Gleeful Giraffe

“My favourite animal is the koala, but his life would be boring. I would rather be a giraffe, so that I could contemplate the beauty of Africa.” -Caterina Murino

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Giraffes are cool and really simple to draw! This project combines drawing with oil pastel and watercolour. It’s a wonderful way for young artists to explore a variety of colours, shapes and patterns.

Duration: 30-45 min

Materials:
– Half a sheet of watercolour paper
– Black pen/marker
– Pastels
– Watercolour Paint

Here are some examples:

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My Friendly Lion

“Intelligence entails a strong mind, but genius entails a heart of a lion in tune with a strong mind.” – Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)

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How about a craft featuring the king of the jungle? 🙂 Making your friendly lion will involve fun painting techniqes and also working with fabric. 

Duration: 45 min- 1 hour

Materials: 
– 1 large paper plate
– Watercolour or acrylic paint
– Black Marker
– Cardboard Paper 
– Fabric (felt, cloth, something furry!)
– Construction paper (orange and yellow)
– Q-tips
– White glue

In this project, I gave each student a pre-cut lion body which was made out of cardboard paper. This way, the lion head will have more support when put together and students can easily decorate the body with construction paper or fabric of their choice. My favourite part about this craft is that children can use Q-tips and paint their own decorations (dots or patterns) on the lion’s head. 

Here are some vibrant examples!

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Sea Sailing Adventure

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky, let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…” -Van Morrison

This is a great project that involves painting, cutting and colour theory. It also goes along with a lesson on the ELEMENTS & PRINCIPLES OF ART:
– Sea: composed of lines which demonstrate a sense of rhythm
– Sky: contrasting colours with the water and consists of different values
– Sunset: composed of shapes placed in a pattern, creating a sense of balance
– Sailboats: different sizes create space (perspective), proportion and emphasis (focal point) 
– Additional ornamentations: Tin foil is placed in various parts to add texture and make the work more unified and captivating

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Duration: 1.5-2 hours

Materials: 
– Watercolour Paper & Paint
– Black contour pen
– Construction paper
– Scissors
– Glue stick & White glue
– Tin foil 

Optional:
– Cotton balls
– Pipe cleaners

Students can start by sketching the layout of thier design in pencil, then adding watercolour paint to the background and water. While waiting for the paint to dry, they can cut out shapes using construction paper to emphasize specific objects such as a tree, boat, or sun. After gluing their objects on, they will add designs (lines and patterns) to the water with a black pen. Finally, finishing touches can be made by incorporating other materials like tin foil, cotton balls or pipe cleaners.

Here are some creative examples: