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Writing thank you notes, that arrives in the mailbox gets more attention than ever in our age of electronic communication. Send out cards that are personized and in your own handwriting easily!
Art FUNdamentals is a multi-age, self-directed art lesson book for homeschoolers or anyone who wants to learn how to draw or create better
The girls love Halloween so were happy to volunteer to put together activities with a Halloween theme for our homeschool co-op yesterday.
Earlier in the week I helped them finalize their art activities and get materials prepared for a varied age group. I helped them design mask templates, printed out directions and made up drawing sheets on the computer. They enjoyed making sample masks, Halloween cards, and artwork to give the other children ideas.
We used cut card stock for the cards and masks. The advantage of cardstock over construction paper is that it is a bit heavier weight and more light-fast, so holds up better. To embellish the cards and masks, we used cut out pieces of cardstock, crayons, markers, colored pencils and oil pastels. The advantage of oil pastels is that they show up on dark paper. You can also use Crayola MetalicFX crayons.
You can view and download some of these activities from my Halloween Activities folder on Google Documents. I adapted a Halloween card activity sheet from Enchanted Learning, although I have taught making a simple pop-up card design like this for years.
After the art creations were done, my 12 year old daughter read Halloween stories to the other children.
Art Every Day Challenge Tip:
Draw some Jack O'Lantern designs and go carve a pumpkin! Put up pictures of your Jack O'Lanterns on the Flickr Art Every Day Challenge group!
The Art Every Day Challenge has definitely been a challenge this month for us, but we are nearing the end of the month and so far, so good – the kids and I have created something every day, and so have many other participating families.
I've started carrying my sketchbook and a pencil case with some basic art supplies in the front of a small backpack I toss in the car and bring along with me. Also, I bought a very small sketchbook in the Visual Journal series by Strathmore. It is small enough to go into my purse and I have a drawing pen clipped into the spiral binding, so I always have somewhere to capture a quick sketch. This has helped me to accomplish the art every day challenge, even when life gets hectic.
sketch of my daughter's moose purse
Visual Journal by Strathmore
The girls have been bringing along a bag with their sketchbooks and basic art supplies when we go out too. This has been great for occupying their time productively in waiting rooms and other errands that aren't interesting to them. While waiting for almost 3 hours in the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo to finalize the immigration paperwork last week, we created a lot of sketches!
Waiting at Canadian Consulate sketch, Wendy Malowany
Shoes, Wendy Malowany
I've found that even when I've only had chance to do a quick sketch, the act of drawing daily has sparked many ideas for art work I will be creating later. For example, my shoe sketch gave me the idea of creating a series of paintings of shoes. I wanted to snap some photo references of people's feet at the Canadian Consulate, but they locked up my cell phone when I came in, so I didn't have a camera. Guess I'll have to find some other interesting shoes to capture another time soon.
Art Every Day Challenge Tip:
Gather some basic art supplies and but them in a bag or backpack to bring along wherever you go!
The "Challenge" has started and I'm including my Day 1 and Day 2 drawings here, but have created a Facebook Art Every Day Challenge Album and and will be creating album on Flickr to include not only my artwork, but the artwork of other participants in our Challenge.
I decided to do a couple contour drawings for Day 1 and Day 2. Contour drawing is a great way to get back into drawing if you haven't been regularly drawing on a daily basis because it really makes you concentrate on what you are looking at, and also has an immediacy and freshness I like.
"Ralph", by Wendy Malowany
Ralph wasn't cooperating and moved before I could finish, but the contour drawing still captures his personality in his face.
"Laundry" by Wendy Malowany
If you aren't familiar with the contour drawing of Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso,I recommend looking at them.
If you haven't joined the challenge yet, it's not too late to do so; you can join in at any time!
I'll continue to post ideas to help people get started, or continue with the challenge.
Art Every Day Challenge Idea for Today
Create a contour drawing or do a series of contour drawings.
Start with a warm-up, blind contour drawing. A blind contour drawing is when you only look at the object you are drawing and never look at your paper. You focus on the exterior and interior lines of your subject and draw very slowly. Usually your proportions are off, but it really trains you to look carefully and the finished drawings always have an interesting line quality, even with distorted proportions.
Have fun and keep creating!
Our Art Every Day Challenge is beginning tomorrow, so I thought I would share some ideas to help everyone get started.
If you haven't done so already, get a variety of art supplies together and keep them in a handy place so you'll have easy access to them. You can buy a Art Bin at art and craft stores, but a tackle box works just as well and usually a lot less expensive.
Check for discount coupons for your local art and craft stores. A.C. Moore and Michael's have websites and you can sign up for their mailing lists to receive coupons via email. Often they have a 40% off coupon for one item and you can print off enough coupons for all the customers in your immediate family.
Although I love going into an art supply store and looking over and handling different supplies, I order a lot of my art supplies online, and have saved a lot of money by doing so. I have actually bought some items for less online, even with shipping cost, than I could have gotten with a 40% off coupon locally. I'll post some favourite art supply companies at a later date, but one you should definitely check out is Art Supply Warehouse (ASW)
You don't need a lot of expensive supplies, but have a good variety. Drawing pencils, ink pens, markers, watercolors, chalk or pastels, a kneaded eraser, etc.
Gather a few art books and have them handy to inspire you. Basic "How to Draw" books can help get you started, as well as having reference photos or actual objects to draw. You can't draw something well if you don't know what it looks like! Seeing is the biggest part of drawing, so look around you for interesting things to draw, and look carefully while drawing.
If you don't have a collection of art books for inspiration, today would be a good day for a trip to your local library. Look in the 700's section (Dewey Decimal system) for some inspiring art books. Creative techniques, mixed media ideas, or anything that sparks an interest is good.
I'll be posting more ideas, but here are a few topic ideas to get you started for the first day, and the first week of our challenge:
Do a series of "experimental" pages
Most of all, have fun! You'll surprise yourself at how creative you can be and how being creative every day can improve the rest of your day. I can't wait to see the sketches and other artwork people create during our challenge!
We are getting ready for the Art Every Day Challenge starting soon - Sat.,October 1st, 2011.
I ordered a great book on Friday, and am looking forward to getting it since it looks like it will really get ideas flowing for sketches and artwork!
If you'd like to join in on the Challenge, you can request to join our Facebook Art Every Day Challenge group.
The challenge will be to create art every day - sketch, paint, draw, sculpt - any visual art medium.
The challenge is for the month of October, but I plan on continuing the challenge and would love to have others continue too.
Post your ideas and send me images of your art to add to our Art Every Day Challenge album.
Starting in October, I am going to sketch in my art journal and have my children do the same. If you would like to join me in this challenge to create something daily, I'd love to hear from you!
No matter what you feel your skill level is in art, everyone is creative so take the plunge with me and encourage your kids to do so too!
I'll be posting on Facebook and uploading sketches on Flickr, so if you'd like to follow me, you can adding me as a friend. Just mention the Art Every Day Challenge, if I don't already know you, so I accept your friend request.
Don't worry if you aren't sure what to draw or create. I'll be posting ideas to get you started before October 1st and as we go. You can scan your work and send it to me to add to my Art Every Day photos if you like too!
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