Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Printing Snowflakes

There are so many sparkly symbols that enhance the celebration of winter. My favorite is the snowflake, paper snowflakes, painted snowflakes, stamped snowflakes, glittered snowflakes. We do a lot of cutting of paper snowflakes a the studio. It's a fantastic way to practices those fine motor skills while making beautiful little designs. 

During our first week of Winter Camp we combined two mediums to create layered snowflake prints. The first layer was a watercolor resist. 

These are really fun. We use white oil pastels to draw snowflakes on water color paper, invisible drawings that will appear only when the blue watercolor is brushed over the paper.

While the water color paintings were drying we started making our printing plates by cutting out little pieces of foam into shapes and glued them onto a round cardboard. The kids came up with so many different designs for their snowflakes, no two alike.

Once everything was dry it was time to merge all the snowflakes together. We offered both gold and silver ink onto pieces of plexi-glass for the printing of the snowflakes. Using brayers, the kids rolled the ink from the inked plates onto their foam plates, then pressed them onto the watercolor painting much like a stamp.

One, two or three snowflakes printed onto the paintings. Some kids are happy with just one but some love the sound of the brayer on the ink plate and print over and over again.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Drawing Oranges

Drawing is such a great way for kids to express themselves. All one needs is a pencil or ink and paper. Each person has their own way of mark making and we instill the importance of keeping their own way of drawing. My friend, Barbara Rucci asked me to write up a post on our oranges still life project for her incredibly inspirational and informative blog artbarblog.
It's no secret that kids love to mix their own colors. This project combines the mixing of warm colors with drawing from life. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Monochrome Paintings

I have been neglecting my blog over the past few months.  I do love sharing ideas for art projects with kids and will try and be a bit more attentive to writing a few a month going forward. In the mean time I have been writing posts for some of the talented and lovely women of the online art community.
Go on over to artfulparent.com  where I have put together a post on creating these monochrome collage paintings with toddlers. This early childhood project is a fantastic way to begin color theory with little ones.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Little Pumpkins

We celebrate Halloween  happily the whole month of October. I do so enjoy the orange and black color combination as well as a good plastic skeleton. We make these colorful, layered, sparkly pumpkins in our Toddler Class for ages 2 and 3 but you could do this project with older kids and with larger sized pumpkins if you like.  This is a great project to do with a group or just you and your child together.

Materials Needed
oil pastels
tempera paint-colors of your choice
white glue
glitter - colors of your choice
chop sticks
a square of cardboard or newspaper down below the pumpkin

I set up each pumpkin on a small piece of cardboard. You could use a scrap piece of paper or if you are doing this with a larger group, you might want to cover the tables with butcher paper or news paper.

I give each child a bowl of oil pastels. Drawing on a 3 dimensional surface is a different experience the drawing on a flat piece of paper.  We talk about each color they choose to use and about the types of marks they make using the oil pastel. This will be the first layer on the pumpkin.

When finished exploring the oil pastels I offer them paint. They choose a color of paint but instead of a paint brush, I offer them a chop stick. They can drip it on, splatter it on or rub it with the chop stick. This allows for smaller mark making and splattering.

And some like to pour the paint on.

Once they have chosen all their colors to use and are finished exploring the paint, I give them some white glue to paint onto their pumpkin stem. It's the time for glitter, pinching of glitter or pouring of glitter.

Looking at these little sparkly gems puts a smile on my face. My son made one and it sits as a center piece on my dining room table. I feel quite lucky.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Making Leaf Prints

Aaaahhhhh Autumn. Dreaming of a reprieve from the dry summers here in Los Angeles. One of the many things I love about our ongoing classes is that our projects constantly revolve reflecting and celebrating the season. Leaf printing over tissue paper watercolor is a project I have been doing since I opened the studio 8 years ago. We now do this printed leaf project with ages 2 to 10

The tissue paper painting never ceases to delight all those ages. Discovering a new way to paint, mixing colors and not feeling the pressure to paint something representational can be so rewarding.

Here’s what you will need.

-Watercolor paper- the size you like
- Bleeding tissue paper- torn into shapes about 5”X 5”
- Cup of water
- Leaves- we gather these from the ground on a walk
- Water based printing ink- which is a bit thicker than paint but paint will do as well.
- A Brayer or small paint roller from the hardware store
- A plastic placemat or piece of plexiglass

We make this project in 2 steps. We do the tissue paper painting in one session of class and the leaf gathering and printing in another session of class.

For the tissue paper painting-

I have the kids paint water onto their watercolor paper. I spread the torn tissue paper around the table so the children can choose their colors. Place a piece of tissue paper on the painting. Paint it with water. When soaked, peal the tissue paper away and discard in a bowl so it doesn't get all the other tissue paper wet. Repeat as desired.

When painting is dry we set out into the neighborhood with baskets to look for leaves. Leaves that are still fresh and not dried work best for the printing. We try and find different shapes of leaves.
Back in the studio I put black ink onto a piece of plexiglass and gold ink on another. You can use other colors of course but I find that the dark colors sit nicely on the bright paintings.
Using your brayer or paint roller, spread the ink around the plexi and then onto the leaf. Using the brayer is much more successful than just pressing the leaf like a stamp.

Moving to the printing, place leaf with the ink side down and use a clean brayer or a rolling pin to press leaf down. You can use your hand to press but the brayer does work best. Learning to use new tools is always exciting and helps children to feel independent and self-sufficient.

Repeat until desired.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Batiking Fabric with Kids

It's quiet in the studio this week. We just spent 11 lively, festive, sometimes rambunctious but always- full- of -making weeks of summer camp with the studio brimming with curious creative kids. With all the bustling of summer camp, it's been a while since I have posted a project. This one is so good for all ages. We have done it with age 2 and done this project with teens and all in between. I will say that the glue is not as easy to get off as everyone says. We had to use palette knives to scrape and pull off the glue before washing the fabrics. It was hard work but lead for great conversation while working and the results are worth it. As many of you may know, I don't shy away from difficult projects. I really enjoy the challenge and also enjoy challenging my students. 

white fabric- we used cotton muslin bought from a fabric store but you could also use an old sheet or poplin
small bottles of glue- we have used both the gel and the washable white glue.
acrylic paint- desired colors watered down to the consistency of watercolor paint.
wooden stick- for hanging. 
ribbon or thin fabric- for the tabs at the top to hang from branch
spray bottles
paint brush

Sometimes when doing this project we have the kids draw their idea on the fabric then following those lines with glue and sometimes we just give them the glue and let them draw with it. If you just give them the glue and let them go, many times it the kids start out slowly drawing but then they get the hang of it and just start splattering it around resulting in an abstract splatter affect.

We then let the glue dry overnight. 

When the glue is dry we start to paint. We first give them spray bottles. By wetting the fabric first it allows the paint to be absorbed into the fabric a bit easier, than just sitting on the surface. The kids love using the spray bottles through out the painting of the fabric. It helps the paint to spread out. 

Look at these vibrant colors.

We then let it dry again overnight to set the paint into the fabric. 

If the glue design is simple, the glue is somewhat easy to peel but these artists designs were pretty intricate. The peeling process was a bit arduous so we resorted to using plastic palette knives. I do enjoy any opportunity to use tools. We also had to wet the fabric a bit again to soften the glue enough to scrape. This project was one problem solving opportunity after another.  I would love to hear about your experience with this project if you have tried it before.

Once the glue was cleaned off and the fabric dried, we added small fabric tabs to the tops of the fabric so we could hang them from sticks. We used hot glue to fuse the fabrics tother quickly but you could also use regular glue or fabric glue. You would just have to wait until dry before hanging them on the sticks.

The results are spectacular.