Monday, February 27, 2012

Watercolor Lesson 1


We had our first watercolor class this weekend. I am already in love with my class. Everyone was so focused and we learned a lot in our first hour together. 

The objectives for lesson 1 were as follows:

1. learn how to activate and use watercolor paints
2. learn how to create gradient color
3. two ways to mix watercolors, exploration of color mixing
4. learn the difference between warm and cool colors 
5. use wet on wet and wet on dry painting techniques

We talked about watercolors and how they work. We activated our paints by adding 
a drop of clean water to each color. We talked about the difference in opacity of color 
based on how much water was used.

We used our first watercolor page to create a single color gradient from darkest to lightest. We learned how to control our paint and its translucency with water. We discovered how to lift color when it was too dark for our liking using paper towels.  We also learned that we could "erase" problem areas by adding more water to that area and using the paper towel to lift the mistake right off the page!!

Next we moved on to color mixing. We discussed two ways of doing this with watercolors.

 One way to mix color is to use the lid of the paint tray as a pallet to mix colors together. This is a great way to mix color if you are working on a painting over time. The color that you mix can dry on the pallet and when you are ready to work again you simply add water to your new color and it will be activated and ready to use again. 

The second way to mix colors is to do it directly on your paper using the wet paint on wet paper painting technique. The first step is to wet the paper with your brush with clean water. Then add the colors you are mixing and use your brush to combine them right on the paper. One advantage to using this method is that you can leave the color a little varied and thus add texture to your work rather than a solid flat color. This method lends itself to some pretty interesting results. 

I had the kids divide their paper into 4 sections using a crayon and then they produced 4 new colors using the color mixing methods we discussed.

Finally, we discussed the difference between warm and cool colors. The kids divided their last paper into two sections and used warm colors on one side and cool on the other. We discussed some color theory at this point and talked about how different colors gave us different feelings and how the use of color could change the overall impact of a painting.

I love the dark, stormy quality of the cool colors here verses the happy summery feeling of the warm colors the artist chose to use.


I cannot wait to see what else we can discover and create together during this session!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Art Party

On Saturday, I was honored to throw an ArT PaRtY for my favorite girl in the world! 
My only daughter turned 8 this weekend and decided that an Art Party was the way to go with 10 of her best little friends. The girls did an amazing job at being creative for the art portion of our party.

Mixed Media Project
You will need:
-8x10 stretched canvas (we have
 done this on cardboard before 
too with great results... you will 
have to deal with some warping 
as it dries, but what is a little 
pressing when cereal boxes are free!)
-tissue papers
-white glue mixed with water
-paint brushes
-oil pastels
-collage materials
-glue sticks 
-hot glue (if needed)

The Process:
We started by selecting tissue papers and tearing them into small pieces. Then we used the paint brushes to paint on a layer of watered down paint on the canvas. Next add a piece of tissue paper to the gluey area. Wrinkles are encouraged! we want to make a texture with our paper. Add more glue to the top of the tissue paper, sealing all the edges. Continue adding paper until the entire canvas, and preferably the wrapped sides, are covered in color and texture.
Allow the canvas to dry completely. Looking lovely already!

Now it is time to get out the oil pastels. Pick a contrasting color of oil pastel and rub it all over the surface of the canvas, highlighting the texture that was created by the glued tissue paper. This part is really fun. Some students chose to use more than one color of pastel, which is great too.

Finally we did some collage work on the canvas as well. We added papers, fabric, buttons, washers, tiny mirrors, etc. The possibilities are endless for the collage

Melted Crayon Resists
During our drying time for the mixed media project we worked on some fun watercolor experiments.

We grated crayons with a cheese grater, placed the shavings
on our paper, placed a piece of wax paper (parchment works
as well)) over the top and ironed the colored wax onto the
paper. When we were done we painted over the crayon with
watercolors using the wet on wet technique.

When these are completely dry you can go back in with ink and create whatever image might come to you from your composition thus far!

I love the vibrant colors in this student work

I had fun doing one too!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spring 2012 classes

 I would love to meet you and have a great time with your young artist in my art classes this spring!
My studio is located at my home which is just 2 miles west of
Hershey Elementary School in Lafayette, IN.

This semester I am holding 3 Saturday sessions for artists ages 7-12. Each session consists of 4 one hour classes at a cost of $35 per student (this includes supply fee).

Session I - Classes Full
Watercolor painting
February 25- March 17
9:30-10:30 am or 11:00am-12:00pm

Session II
April 7- April 28

Session III
Paper arts and book making
May 5- May 26

*******Register today via email at  or call  (765)237-9002********

I am going to start Preschool/Kinder Art Classes again starting in
March. These classes are for artists 3 to 6 years old. Each
Session will have 4 one hour classes taught on Thursday. Each session
will cost $25 per student (this includes supply fee). We will do a variety of projects from painting to printing to weaving, etc. We always have a ton of fun!

Session I
March 1- 22
10:00am (class filled) 

Session II
April 5-26

Session III
May 3-24

*******Register today via email at or call  (765)237-9002******

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Aubrey's Art - Photography

In the last few years I have really enjoyed working with the media of digital photography. I love that you can take a million photos at no cost (now I am showing my age) and edit the great ones before a single print has been made. I like to do nature shots, abstract work, and, of course, portraiture. 

Here are a few examples of my work.

Can you tell what these are?