Watercolor techniques and Penguins

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Watercolors are always fun with the little ones. Especially, once you show them how to explore different watercolor techniques.

  • What happens when you paint with watercolors and then dab it with a paper towel before it dries?
  • What happens if you drop lemon onto the wet watercolors?
  • What if you put salt on the watercolor before it dries?
  • What if you crumble a plastic wrap onto the wet watercolor paper and leave it there until it dries (at least partly)?

Just make sure, the kids do not use too much. The piles of salt or the puddles of lemon juice sound like a good idea but they can destroy even the thickest watercolor paper.

If you are up to it, you can even fill the whole page with only one color, add a little painted (and cut out) penguin in a cute sweater and you have a South Pole scene that is refrigerator-worthy. Learn more in our January 2015 issue (coming out early next week).

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Happy New Year 2015!

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Happy New Year! 

Let’s fill this year with lots of color and creativity!

Have you chosen your new year’s resolution yet? Are you going to? Well, I am.

I pledge to work hard to bring even more art projects and ideas to my readers – in the magazine as well as on this blog. I want to share my everyday little projects, favorite art books and techniques as well as interviews with people who truly inspire me. 2015 here we come!

Holiday art with lines

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What is a line? It is a dot that went for a walk.

Today we talked about Enrico Arno, a graphic designer who created  beautiful little book – with lines only. We used it as our inspiration. We talked about different lines we could you and the different holidays we celebrate. From Christmas to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, we had a lot of creativity going.

We learned that lines can be used to create patterns, shapes or words… and that lines can be short, long, zig-zag, curly, vertical, etc.

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Then we used all of them in the art. Funny thing was that some kids seemed to color in the shapes. But as I looked closely, I noticed they did not color them in – they carefully and slowly drew lines next to each other – so close, they touched.

Aren’t these festive?

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Alcohol Inks with Preschoolers

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Have you ever tried using alcohol inks before? I love it, especially in the holiday time. It is so easy that it is an awesome project even for toddlers (if you are ok with their hands being colorful for a couple of days).

You just need some alcohol inks and a blending solution.

Then you just put a little blending solution onto the ornament (or a tile, like we did later) and start dropping the inks onto the ornament. The more blending solution you use, the more the inks will blend into each other (and the more space they will cover).

It truly is that simple!

Once it dries, it can be washed and it stays on. Just do not put anything edible on it.

We even made some coasters out of 16-cent tiles. We just glued some felt underneath and made a fun holiday-gift for kids’ teachers and parents in under 5 minutes and $1.

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Try Cézanne art lessons, videos and presentations

YAY! Our new website has launched! We have worked on it for a while now and I cannot even tell you how excited I am that it is launched and done!

Anyway, I’d love to show you how it looks! And what better way to look at our magazine, video trainings and presentations than to give you free access to at least one issue.  Here it is.

It is filled with pages of art projects for kids 5-10 years old.

I chose one of my favorite issues of the magazine. I just love Paul Cézanne. Check it out, maybe you will fall for his apple paintings as well. For me, it is always about the back story…  did you know, why he painted over 200 paintings of the apples for 30 years? You will know it in a minute…

free cezanne art lessons for kids

Just click this link and let me know what you think: https://artreekids.com/magazine/issues/2014/11/

Do not forget to check out the ‘see training materials’ to access videos, presentations and more.

Astonish Paris with an Apple!

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Paul Cézanne said, he wants to astonish Paris with an apple – and after 30 years of hard work and dedication, he did.

Show the kids how they can do the same. Give them an apple, piece of paper, oil pastels and little bit of oil in a cup. First, the kids sketch the basic shape of the apple and then color it in with the oil pasels. It does not have to be perfect but it is nice if they can press down hard (to get nice, bold colors) and hold their pastels down low (so that they do not break).

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When they are done, ask them to dip a q-tip in the oil and use it to blend the oil pastels together. They will be amazed how smoothly iy works and how much fun it is. Just make sure, they do not spill the oil. I put a paper plate underneath and keep a lot of paper towels handy, just in case.

If you want to achieve the same effect we did – use watercolors in the end to paint over the background. The good thing is, if you do paint over the apple, it doesn’t really matter since the paint does not stick to the oil at all. Just wipe it off with a paper towel and you are done.

I am doing this project in a couple of days with first-graders – but we will do more than apples. We’ll talk about composition and add pumpkins and squashes to the mix. Stay tuned for the pictures!

Cézanne, the fall is here

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Enjoy the season with Paul Cézanne and his still life paintings. Learn why he painted apples for over 30 years and why it took so long for art critics to appreciate them. Create your own still life with apples, pumpkin and squashes.

Discover how oil blends oil pastels and hairspray makes chalk pastels stick to the paper. Play around with composition and use a flashlight to shine some light on your art while you learn about highlights and shadows. Transfer your art using wet media film and test how observant you are.

Conduct a taste test, pay homage to famous artists with John Nolan and, most of all, enjoy the fall!

Click here to get started (if you subscribe now, you will get additional 12 issues of arTree at no charge).