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Watercolor Projects

Easy Watercolor Line Art for Kids

Easy Watercolor Line Art for Kids

By on Jun 2, 2016 | 7 comments

There’s something about the lure of summer to awaken your creative juices. My favorite illustrators like August Wren and Alisa Burke create art. every. single. day. I can’t even imagine doing that. Can you? But something inspired me this morning to turn off my computer, find a sketch pad and grab a box of watercolors. Usually I plan out what I want to paint, but today, I decided to paint as if I were a child being handed a tray of paint. What would I paint? What colors would I use? It ended up being nothing…just a series of lines and blobs. But that’s what a child would do. Well, actually they would most likely paint a rainbow or a flower or a lollypop tree…but if we said they could paint anything except those things. I let the paint dry and took out a Sharpie marker and drew a few lines. Not worrying about it needing to be something. And as it turns out, the painting did indeed turn out to be nothing, but it did its job. Tomorrow I will do it again. This time, I feel it won’t take as much energy to get started. WANT TO SEE ME IN ACTION? Here’s a 1 min video…   Want to create something with me? Paint or draw something tomorrow that could be used in your art class. Tag me on Instagram with #deepspacesparkle and let’s share some ideas!...

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Hawaiian Dancers Art Project

Hawaiian Dancers Art Project

By on Mar 4, 2016 | 2 comments

What you’ll need: 12″ x 18″ white drawing paper (or watercolor paper if you have it) Black water-proof marker (I use Sharpie brand) Watercolor paints (I use liquid watercolors but pan watercolors are fine) Colored markers Tissue paper Optional: small silk flowers, leaves or decorations Drawing the Dancers The steps for drawing the dancers are varied, depending on how you like to draw. For me starting with a letter “U” about a hands length down from the top of the paper works best. Some kids will draw this letter large and some will draw it small. The resulting figures will be based on whatever size created, so make sure you reinforce the notion that all sizes are just fine. I leave the face for now and go directly to the neck. After the neck, draw shoulders. I emphasize that the male dancers have broad shoulders and the female dancers have small shoulders. Next comes a trick I learned as a fashion illustrator. It brought about a few laughs but basically it gets the job done. Just below the shoulders, add two dots (one below the left shoulder and one below the right). So you can see why the giggles, but these dots are guidelines for the torso.From those two “dots”, draw a line, slanting inwards, to create the waist. For the female the slant is more exaggerated, for the male, not so much. Now that we have shoulders and a torso, its safe to draw arms. I give a few options here, so you might want to do the same. After the arms, draw a skirt or in the case of the male, a sash. Draw the legs and then go back and draw a head piece first then the hair. Facial features are next and then the background. I put up a few Tropical scenes to give the children ideas, but basically they knew what they wanted.     After the drawings are complete, use markers to color in any small areas. It doesn’t make sense to color in large areas with markers, as painting with watercolors is much faster. Hand out pans of watercolor paint. I had a few bottles of glitter watercolor paint and it worked really well with this lesson....

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“Antiqued” Oil Pastel Flowers in a Vase

“Antiqued” Oil Pastel Flowers in a Vase

By on Feb 12, 2016 | 8 comments

Recognize this beauty? This was the one of the first lesson I posted on my writing blog back in 2007 before Deep Space Sparkle existed. Such classics should be given due credit, don’t you think? Create this sophisticated bouquet with your little ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here is a great way to teach watercolor resist. It’s simple and involves a surprise at the end. On the white board, demonstrate how to draw a vase, a table line, then circles for the center of the flowers. Give the students different options for drawing the petals. Ask the kids to choose a favorite color from the pastel palette with the rule that it should be a dark color. This helps the drawings stand out after the watercolor is applied. The kids then draw their vase, table line, flower centers, petals, leaves and stems. Using any color they wish, color in the shapes. When the kids are about halfway through their coloring (slow part), demonstrate the next step. This provides great motivation to complete the coloring portion. SCRUNCH THE PAPER Demonstrate how to take their beautifully colored picture and scrunch it. Because the paper is stiff, the kids literally have to sit on their crushed balled of paper or push really hard with their hands in order to get the required wrinkles. After smoothing out the paper, the kids apply a watercolor wash to the entire surface. TEACHING TIPS A tempera wash doesn’t work. Liquid watercolor is best. I put out two containers of wash; one brown and one blue. The kids can chose which one they like. When the wash settles in the wrinkles, it gives the picture an “antiqued” look. Do you have left-over coffee or tea? Try brushing the cold beverage over the paper to see what happens. The paper will become quite soggy, so leave on testable to prevent tearing when lifted. After the paper dries a bit, you can transfer tho a drying rack. For a more colorful version of a bouquet, try this Watercolor Bouquet project. Perfect for kids ages 7-10. ART SUPPLIES You’ll need a 12″ x 18″ piece of white drawing paper (76lb) Oil Pastels (non water-soluble) Blue or brown liquid watercolor paints Or cold coffee and tea  ...

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Abstract Moose Winter Art Project

Abstract Moose Winter Art Project

By on Jan 11, 2016 | 3 comments

During my visit to Alaska in 2014, I scoured books stores and art galleries looking for an artist who captured the spirit of Alaska and whose art could be translated to children. Dawn Gerety’s work fit the bill. I love her paintings: colorful, pattern-filled and whimsical, her collection of art went beyond the galleries to books for kids. When I got home, I crafted this project for older students. It is rich with the elements of art, captures the graphic beauty of the mighty moose and is easy enough for even the most art-timid child to be successful. The project uses watercolor paints and watercolor paper along with salt to achieve the fabulous texture, but if you don’t have all three ingredients, I offer great substitutions....

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How to Draw & Paint Garden Flowers Video

How to Draw & Paint Garden Flowers Video

By on Jul 18, 2015 | 8 comments

I must admit. I’ve gone a little flower crazy since reviewing Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy. I can’t stop painting flowers! And I created this little video which ties in nicely with my other newest obsession–making videos. For this project, grab a few sheets of 12″ x 9″ watercolor paper, a sharpie marker, some oil pastels, watercolor paint and some table salt. I know what you’re thinking. What about a pencil? Sometimes it’s nice just to throw caution to the wind and draw shapes and lines and see what happens. Of course, using a pencil to sketch your flowers is perfectly fine. Draw lightly then trace with a marker to achieve the thick black lines. Then, erase the pencil lines. You can see how a class of third graders drew their flowers with markers directly onto watercolor paper. They didn’t add stems but instead just made random flowers and scattered them over the paper. I loved how they turned out. Download my handy FLOWER DRAWING GUIDE to use as a practice sheet or just to get some ideas flowing. Are you ready to watch the video?...

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