Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Turtles Week 1 and 2 (and 3!)

One of my teenagers and I have been working on a turtle (mine's the little one) for a couple of weeks. We're figuring out how acrylic works and if we like it better than gouache. I haven't ever been the biggest fan of acrylic paint, but I'm starting to like it more. And don't worry, the background is definitely going to change. I think it'll look sweet once the face and fins are done. 

Georgia O'Keeffe

So this week with the littles we learned about Georgia O'Keeffe! My middle little was SO excited when she found out that this week's painter was a girl (something I didn't really think about). "You mean, this painter was a GIWL??" Yeah, girl. She was. #feminism

Georgia did a lot of desert scenes, but I love her up-close flowers. The girls got to choose flowers and recreate them with chalk pastels. I was going to do this project with paint, but the girls wanted to learn what chalk pastels were like. That was a great move because they lerved them so hard. They were having so much fun -- and the flowers went so quick --  we did two drawings each. Success!

Sunday, February 2, 2014


My student who did the Gandhi drawing is getting into gouache now. I've converted another! He just picked it up so quickly, too. He started this Spiderman piece a couple of lessons ago. He's really into choosing a piece of art he likes and trying to replicate it. A lot of artists have done this to practice techniques and improve skills. Of course, it's always acceptable and even encouraged to take artistic license and change things. 

Our goal for this piece is to get it completely finished. We've done a lot of "sketch" pieces and are moving towards completed paintings. It takes a few lessons, but I think it's worth it to finish while you have momentum. 

I'm really happy that I have such independent-thinking students. I come to a lesson with ideas for the next lesson, and they always tell me what they want to do or don't want to do. I'm just there to give them advice, teach them techniques, and help them build their artistry. It's really humbling and so very exciting. I can't wait til this one is finished! 

(Sorry the picture's a little blurry. I'll try to get a better one next week.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud

Tomorrow is my 5th art lesson with my littles. It's a family of three little girls who love art! I get to leave work on my lunch break to teach them in the middle of the day. It's so hard to go back to work once I've got art on the brain! We've been having a lot of fun doing art as part of their home school.

What really works for us is choosing an artist, learning about them, and making a project inspired by that artist. It's pretty simple, but there are oh so many possibilities.

So far we have learned about Wassily Kandinsky, Eric Carle (the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Jasper Johns, and Leonardo Da Vinci. Tomorrow we're learning about Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud. They're both associated with the Pop Art movement, and both made art about food. So we're going to pick our favorite foods and paint them a la Warhol and Thiebaud! If the kids were older, I would teach them how to screen print. Baby steps.

I'm excited! Who says little kids can't learn about important artists?

Edit: We did it! We had one project with snow cones, one with sugared chick peep candies, and one with ice cream. I did a pineapple. Yum!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Tuesdays are busy for me. I teach my youngsters at lunch and then my teenager after work. Today my teenager and I painted pomegranates! Hers is on the left. For her second time painting fruit, I think she did awesome! Here's what we did a few weeks ago: a watercolor and gouache study of a fish. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Frog

I think it's fun when people post images of their progress. I drew this frog back in August when I was teaching summer art lessons at the museum. I got to TA for my colleague, which gave me time to practice my art skills. Here's a picture of a frog I drew in my sketchbook.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Here's the picture I was talking about! My student is, like...half my age and he's making stuff like this.