Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Under the Sea Jellyfish Watercolor

Credit: The Art Smart Teacher, Elementary Art Fun, How to Draw Animals

Watercolor Paper
White Oil Pastel
Liquid Watercolor - Warm Colors (Red, Pink, Yellow, Orange)
Liquid Watercolor - Cool Colors (Turquoise, Blue, Purple, Green)
Paint Brushes
Salt Shakers with Salt

Watch this video on jellyfish, paying particular attention to their heads and tentacles:

Pass out the papers, having the students write their names on the back in pencil. We will first complete a guided draw of the jellyfish (have the students lightly draw with their pencils). They can draw one large one or no more than three smaller ones here and there on their papers. We will then paint them using warm and cool colors.

1. Draw the main body of the jellyfish (it looks like a turtle's shell):

2. Draw the first two tentacles:

3. Draw the third tentacle:

4. Add some detail to the head:

5. Add more tentacles:

6. Complete the jellyfish by finishing the last tentacle:

7. Once you are done with your jellyfish drawing, trace over the pencil lines with your white oil pastel - remember to trace heavily (press as hard as you can). Add more details to the jellyfish's head (dots, lines, designs) and legs - see below for a sample. Note: Keep the tentacles at the bottom very simple - this will make it easier to paint later. But definitely add details to your jellyfish's head!

8. Once you are done tracing with your white oil pastel, we will begin painting. Using your brush, paint the jellyfish with water first and THEN add the paint using the WARM colors. Do not overwork the colors too much - just move them around and let the water do most of the work. Docents: A couple of drops of the different colors should do it - do not over-saturate. Artists: Try not to go outside the lines of your jellyfish.


9. Once the body of the jellyfish has been painted, carefully add water around the outside background of the jellyfish (the "water"). Again, add a couple of drops of the different colors but DON'T blend the colors too much - we want to see every color (not a muddy mess)! Take a look at the sample above.

10. Working quickly, add salt to the background and let dry (this might need to be done one table at a time due to the number of shakers). The watercolor paper soaks up water quickly so have the artists paint and shake as they go!

11. Once complete dry, carefully remove the salt.

12. If time allows, you can watch this additional video on these amazing creatures!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Stacked Birdies Watercolor Painting

Credit: Art Projects for Kids

Stacked Birds PDF Tutorial
Multimedia paper (I used white cardstock)
Black Sharpie marker
Crayons, Markers
Turquoise liquid watercolor paint

1. Hand out paper and have students put their name on the back. Have the students gently crease their paper to act as a guide (don't fold entirely).
2. Conduct a guided draw with pencil for the students based on the Stacked Birds PDF Tutorial (linked above and posted below).

3. Go over all pencil lines with a Sharpie.
4. Use crayons to add details to the birds - decorations, patterns, etc.
4. Use Crayola markers to color in the birds, grass and flower.
5. Using a paint brush and clean water, color over each bird, grass and flower.
6. Finish the project with turquoise liquid watercolor paint (a few drops on each page and then have students use lots of water to move the paint around their birds, flower and grass).

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Chinese New Year Dragons: A Lesson in Line and Color

Credit: Deep Space Sparkle

I was recently at Disney's California Adventure where the park was celebrating the Lunar New Year! It was so much fun - lots of culture, amazing food, parades and fun! 

Many countries celebrate December 31st as the start of the New Year. The Lunar New Year begins February 5th and is a long holiday marathon filled with traditions and rituals. Let's learn a little bit more from a Lunar Celebration in New York City!

As you heard, 2019 is the Year of the Pig! 

What does that mean? Every year, there is an animal associated with the Chinese Zodiac. If you were born in 2009, your animal is an Ox. If you were born in 2010, your animal is a Tiger!

There are all sorts of beliefs associated with the animals. Oxes are known for diligence, dependability, strength and determination. Having an honest nature, Oxes are strongly patriotic, have ideals and ambitions for life, and attach importance to family and work. People born in a year of the Tiger are brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. They are very charming and well-liked by others!

When I was in Disneyland, this is how the Year of the Pig was represented:

Yep! The Three Little Pigs! 

So what does all this have to do with our art project? I thought it would be fun to create some Chinese Dragons to celebrate the Lunar New Year! We saw lots of dragons at our time in the park, and one of Disney's favorite dragon characters is ...

Mushu from the Disney movie, Mulan! Looking at this picture of Mushu, are his colors more warm or cool? When you think of dragons, do you think of them as predominantly warm or cool? Why?

The Chinese dragon is considered to be the ultimate symbol of good fortune. It possesses noble qualities and magical abilities that exceed those of every day man. The Chinese people believed the dragon would grant them fertile lands and wealth.

Chinese dragons were described as a combination of parts from lots of animals:

  • Belly like a reptile
  • Horns like a deer
  • Head like a camel
  • Eyes and neck like a snake
  • Ears like a cow (although sometimes they are hidden)
  • Scales like a carp 
  • Claws like an eagle 
  • Paws like tiger

For this art project, we are going to do a guided draw. There is no wrong way to draw these dragons, but there are certain things we want to add to each one, so make sure you're following along! 

  • Watercolor Paper
  • Black Oil Pastels
  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes
  • Liquid Watercolor (Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green)
  • Wipes
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Please place your sheet of watercolor paper vertically on your desk. Flip it over and write your name on the back.
  • We are going to start with the dragon's face. In the bottom corner, draw a "V" and then outline it again. Then draw the dragon's horn and his eye.

  • Next we are going to outline more of his mouth, adding teeth (you can color these black or leave them white - up to you). Then draw the "frill" around his eye. 
  • Add another horn coming up through his "frill" and add some details around his chin. Fill in the "frill" with lines that look almost like the petals of a flower.

  • Now we are going to draw our dragon's body. Don't draw yet - just observe the samples. Here is what he's going to look like when he's all finished. Do you see that we used the WHOLE paper?

  • Pick a point at the top right of your paper. This will be the dragon's tail. Make a large backwards "S" and bring that line down to meet your dragon's head. Then start at his head and make another curvy line to meet back at the tail!

  • Now we are going to add his legs. Add legs where you see the dotted lines in the picture above (and look at the sample). And then add another leg on the other side at the top. Make sure to add claws!
  • Now we're going to draw one more line for his underbelly. Start at the dragon's head and make another line leading up to his tail.

  • Now add some spikes (triangles) along your dragon's back, and lines on his belly.

  • The last thing we are going to do is to add his scales. These should fill up his entire body. DO NOT make these too small (otherwise you're not going to be able to see the rich colors when you paint). You should do 3 - 4 semi-circles as you work up the dragon's body to the tail (see above and samples). Or you can leave some spaces in between - it's up to you! But every dragon does need scales, so get to work adding those to his body!

  • Now we are ready to paint. We will be using watercolor pencils. These are so cool (we've used them before, but not in awhile). You will color in your dragon, just like you would with regular colored pencils, but when you're done coloring, we will use water over the top and the pencil work will turn to watercolor!

  • You can choose to do a "warm" colored dragon or a "cool" colored dragon. If you are doing a "warm" colored dragon, please come up and choose red, yellow, orange pencils and ONE cool color (blue, green OR purple).

  • If you are choosing to do a "cool" colored dragon, please come up and choose blue, green, purple pencils and ONE warm color (red, yellow OR orange).

  • Using your cool color (if you are doing a warm dragon) or your warm color (if you are doing a cool dragon), color in bits of his face (eye, horns, lips). Go ahead and put that color away.
  • Now choose your favorite color out of your warm or cool colors, and color your dragon's mouth, legs, belly and spikes. 
  • Now it's time for the scales on his body. Alternating with the colors you have left, color all of the scales on his body. Try not to have to same two colors next to each other.

  • When you color, make sure that you're doing it kind of dark - then when you go over it with water, the color will really pop through!
  • When you are done coloring, we will come around with water and a paintbrush. Carefully paint over your watercolor pencil, making sure to use enough water to blend all of the colors together.

  • Finally, we are going to take some liquid watercolor (like we used last month) and paint around the outside of the dragon. One of our volunteers will come around and add a small drop of a contrasting color (yellow or orange if you have a cool dragon and/or blue or purple if you have a warm dragon). We are also going to add a drop or two of gold watercolor paint. This makes the background sparkle!
  • Clean your brush and use lots of water to move the paint around on your background. Do not go right up to your dragon, but around the outside (leaving some white around the edges). Cover up all of your pastel smudge marks!

  • Once the dragons are dry, please mount them on black construction paper to display.
  • Clean up your desks and we can watch a parade from the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney's California Adventure!