Make, Create, & Share!

Simple Monochromatic Landscape!

Create an easy monochromatic landscape painting with your favorite color! Monochromatic paintings only contain a hue of one color – By adding white to your color you create a tint, by adding black to your color you create a shade, and by adding grey to a color you create a tone! By creating different tints, shades & tones it’s possible to paint a picture using only one color!

What you need:

  • Acrylic paints – White, Black, & one color of your choosing (Start with a bright color that doesn’t already have black, white or grey added to it).
  • Brushes – A 3/4″ flat brush and a smaller round brush (or something similar)
  • Canvas – I used an 8″x8″ stretched canvas
  • Palette and Water for rinsing brushes
  • Paper towels

Step one: Gather your supplies and pour your paint – you’ll need black, white & one color.

Step two: Paint the top inch or two of your canvas with just white paint using your larger brush.

Step three: Mix a little bit of your color into your white paint to make a very light tint of your color!

Step four: Paint a wavy line just at the bottom edge of your white paint

Step five: Mix another scoop of your color paint into your light tint you made in the last step.

Step six: Paint another wavy line just below your last wavy line!

Step seven: Add more of your color paint to your tint created in the last step.

Step eight: add a thicker wavy line below your last one!

Step nine: Use just your plain color….

Step ten: And paint another thick wavy line below the last!

Step eleven: Now mix a little bit of black to some of your color paint (not the tint, just the color).

Step twelve: Use this shade to paint a wavy line and rest of your canvas

Step thirteen: Use a thinner brush and paint vertical lines at different heights, from your bottom layer up. These will be our tree trunks.

Step fourteen: Go back to your larger brush and add just a little black paint – we don’t want a lot of paint on your brush for this step, you can bounce your brush a couple times to get off extra paint.

Step fifteen: Dab or bounce your brush up and down on your vertical lines (tree trunks) to create your trees. Bounce back and fourth making a triangle shape – your tree should be smaller at the top and larger at the bottom.

Step sixteen: Finish your trees and add more dab/bounce marks at the edge of your bottom wavy line to act as some shrubbery or ground cover.

Art activities, Greetings!, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the art room? (April 2021)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

This past month I’ve been able to hold some classes back at other locations! It’s been fun to get to have some in person classes going again!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique fun pencil holders and personal creations! In the monthly paint, draw, sculpt classes, students have also created distressed wooden signs! Join us next month for a new session of monthly ceramics and paint, draw, sculpt classes – check out the classes page!

Students finished up and created many different things this past month – two point perspective, pastels drawing, acrylic painting landscapes, artistic playing cards & polymer clay creations!

Students have been busy the past few weeks working on creating collages inspired by children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle. Students chose an animal as their collage subject, then drew the animal out. Using crayons, watered down acrylic paints, and stamps, they painted sheets of rice paper – incorporating several colors, textures and methods into each piece. Students then use their drawn animal as a template for cutting out their colorful papers and apply their cut-outs to their final paper. Finally students incorporate smaller details and design elements to their collage with crayons and/or pens. Can’t wait until they are all done – these have been looking awesome!

Check out these projects you can do at home!

Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (April 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our April spotlight is on:

Caden Gleason

My name is Caden and I am in the 2nd grade. I have been taking art lessons since I was 5 years old. I am now seven years old! I wanted to take art lessons because my sister took them. I love spending time in the art room with Miss Jenell, my sister, and other friends I meet in class! We enjoy telling jokes and being silly while making art (Mom: “Sorry, Miss Jenell!”) I like learning about the birth of our country. I draw lots of pictures with pencils of the Colonists and the Redcoats. My favorite thing I have made was a paper mâché crab with Mrs. Jenell. My favorite style of art is music. I often create new songs on my piano. When I make art projects, I usually use blue because it is my favorite color. I think what makes a good piece of art is its beauty. I like beautiful art pieces. One day I would like to try mixing different colors of paint on top of different things like balloons, furniture, or even trees. I look forward to my next art class! I love learning from Miss Jenell!

“Crabby Army”, Paper Mache  
“Young Pumpkin”, Acrylic Paint 
“The Light Tree”, String & Nails 
“The Hot Cup”, Markers, Water Color 

Caden is fearless when it comes to trying out new mediums and techniques in art – happily learning new methods and bringing creative ideas to the table! He always goes about his art with a positive and happy attitude, which shows through in his playful artwork! Keep on creating Caden!  

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Polymer Clay Mushroom Bookmarks!

Create a fun little bookmark out of polymer clay!

What you need:

  • Polymer Clay – I used white, however, any lighter color will work with the coloring techniques we will utilize. You’ll need approx. half an ounce of clay to make one mushroom (depending on how small or large you make it!), most blocks of polymer come in one ounce blocks.
  • Chalk Pastels – in the colors you would like to add to your mushroom
  • Jumbo paper clip
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrap paper
  • Tin foil
  • Wire – 18 gauge or similar
  • Pliers for cutting & twisting the wire
  • Toothpick

Step one: Gather all your supplies and knead your polymer clay so it’s soft! Cut a piece of wire approx. 2-3″ long.

Step two: Wrap your piece of wire around the end of your paper clip – make sure it’s the end of the paper clip shown in the photo (as the other end will become the part of your bookmark)! Twist your wire tightly around the paper clip, like in a twist tie fashion, this is easiest with a pair of pliers.

Step three: Divide your one ounce piece of clay into 4 pieces (or if you have 1/2 an ounce divide it into 2 pieces). Use one of your 4 pieces to form the stalk of your mushroom, pushing the wire and top part of the paper clip into your clay (if needed, you can trim your wire down so it’s not taller than the stalk!). Secure your stalk to the paper clip by making sure the clay is tight around the paperclip where it was pushed in – I used my toothpick to help with this!

Step four: Use another one of your 3 remaining pieces of clay to form the cap of your mushroom (or if starting with 1/2 an ounce, your remaining piece). Roll it into a ball and slightly flatten it – we don’t want it too thin, it should still hold it’s shape and not be floppy when picked up, not much thinner than a 1/4″.

Step five: Use the back of your paint brush, or eraser end of a pencil, to make an indent in the center of your flatten ball – this will become the underside of your mushroom cap.

Step six: With the toothpick, score the clay from the center indent made in the last step, to the outside edge, in a radial fashion.

Step seven: Now you have your cap and stalk!

Step eight: Attach the cap to your stalk with the toothpick – placing your stalk in the indent created by your pencil end or paintbrush. Blend in the stalk clay and cap clay to help secure the two pieces together. You may need to touch up your cap texture after this step! Flip your mushroom right side up and make any needed adjustments to the cap shape!

Step nine: Scribble your pastels on a scrap piece of paper to create pastel dust!

Step ten: Use your paint brush to pick up some of the pastel dust and gently brush it on to the top of your mushroom cap!

Step eleven: I brushed a layer of my lighter color pastel over the entire cap and a layer of my darker color around the edges of my cap! Once your have your cap colored to your liking, bake your mushroom at 275*F for approx. 10-15 min. (check the package directions on the clay you have compared to your mushroom thickness). I use a piece of tin foil crunched up to make a cradle for my mushroom cap as it bakes so the cam doesn’t get flattened. Let your mushroom cool and enjoy your one of a kind bookmark! Use your leftover clay to create another!

Variations: Instead of making this a bookmark, use the same steps above only use a jumbo toothpick instead of a paper clip, making your mushroom great for fairy gardens, table top gardens, or decorations for flower pots! If your paper clip is large enough to support the weight of your mushroom, you could definitely use it in a fairy garden, etc. too! Try making more than one mushroom on the same paperclip – just add more than one piece of wire to your paper clip! Use extra clay to give your mushroom dimensional spots on it’s cap before baking!

Let me know if you’ve given this project a try and check out other projects here!

Make, Create, & Share!

Resist Dyed Easter Eggs!

Make fun Easter eggs with this technique which gives a similar look to batik! Simple and easy to create, use liquid masking fluid as a resist on your eggs surface, place in a dye bath, then remove the masking fluid to reveal your beautiful designs!

Liquid masking fluid, or liquid frisket, (a type of liquid latex) is typically used to block out small areas in watercolor painting – blocking the paint from the surface of the paper where it has been applied. Once dry, the masking fluid is then easily removed from the papers surface.

What you need:

  • Eggs – either blown or hard boiled, I used blown white eggs but you could use any color!
  • Masking Fluid – This is what I used!
  • Small paint brush – the masking fluid can clog up a brush, it’s best to use an inexpensive one!
  • Food coloring (or egg dye)
  • Bowls for mixing your dye
  • Spoon
  • Paper towels

Step one: Gather all of your supplies! If you’re using blown eggs you can plug the holes in the ends of your egg with poster putty so the dye doesn’t fill up your eggs!

Step two: Paint a design on your egg with the masking fluid – you can help protect your brush bristles from the masking fluid by coating the bristles with liquid dish soap first.

Step three: Use bottle caps, egg cartons, or make egg stands from strips of paper (like a napkin ring) to hold your egg while you paint with the masking fluid and/or to place your egg on while the masking fluid dries. Work on one side of an egg at a time, letting the masking fluid dry before turning over! If you make a mistake, let the masking fluid dry, then peel it off and start over!

Step four: Mix some food coloring and water together – the more drops you add to your water the more intense your color will be. Once your resist is dry carefully place your eggs in the dye. If using blown eggs you will need to rotate your eggs every once in a while as they’ll float and only one side will be sitting in the dye! If using hard boiled eggs make sure your dye is deep enough to completely cover your eggs!

Step five: Let your eggs sit in the dye until they’ve reached the desired color – the longer you leave them in the dye, the darker the color will be! Use a spoon to gently place your eggs on paper towels to dry off.

Step six: Once the dry is dry, remove the masking fluid by gently rubbing it off the surface of the egg with your finger.

Display your beautifully dyed eggs, give them as a special Easter gift or serve hard boiled versions! Check out how to make marbleized eggs here!

Art, Art activities, card making, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting, paper art

Suminagashi

Suminagashi is one of the oldest practices of marbleizing paper! This Japanese art form can be dated back to the 12th century and it’s name, “suminagashi”, means floating ink! Floating ink is exactly what we’ll be doing to create these fun pieces of paper!

What you’ll need:

  • Plain copy paper – Just regular printer paper I found worked best!
  • A large pan of water – I used cold water in a 9″x13″ glass baking dish
  • Sumi brushes or large soft round brushes
  • Sumi ink or Higgins ink – I suggest black when first getting started for the best contrast!
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Optional: Pieces of cardstock & Mod Podge to turn your suminagashi papers into cards, tags and more!

Step one: Gather all your supplies. Fill your vat with approx. 1-2″ of water. In a small clean cup or dish, mix together a little dish soap and water (a drop of soap in 1/2 cup of water should do).

Step two: Dip one of your sumi brushes into your ink (try to just get ink on the brush bristles & avoid getting ink on the handle) and gently touch the surface of your water in your vat with the ink. You should be able to see the ink spread on the water’s surface! If it sinks to the bottom, try again, being careful not to break the waters surface with your brush. This also works best if your water is still – watch out for a lot of movement of a wobbly surface or a fan!

Step three: Grab another brush and dip this one into your soap mixture. Gently touch the surface of your water again, this time with the soapy mixture, placing your brush in the center of the ink bloom you made in the previous step! (Note: it can be hard to see the ink at first on the water’s surface, this is why I used blue ink, but don’t worry – your ink is still there!).

Step four: Continue going back and forth between your ink brush and your soapy mixture brush, repeating steps two & three, placing each alternating medium in the center of the last bloom you created. As you add more and more, it will continue to spread and fill your vat! If you’re having trouble getting your ink to float, sometimes this can mean we have too much soap in our water – try starting over with clean water and less soap in your soapy mixture!

Step five: If you have multiple colors of ink you can create your designs in the same steps above – just add in another brush with your additional color! This photo also shows a spot of ink that sank to the bottom of my vat – that blue spot we see on the left….any ink that ends up sinking, will not show on your paper, on the floating ink will become apart of your pattern!

Step six: You can also create multiple spots/centers on your surface by creating the pattern with your ink & soap mixture in various places – in this picture you can see four areas where I repeated the ink & soap mix pattern. You can also gently blow on the water’s surface to “move” your ink around on the surface. Even a little air movement will naturally do this to your ink on the surface, as well as the movement to the surface you’ll create when adding your ink and soap mixture! Be prepared to have your ink move around on the water surface slightly!

Step seven: Once you have your ink design on the surface of your water, gently place a piece of your paper on top – I find the best way to do this is to roll the paper slightly, having the center hit the water first and then carefully let the paper unroll onto the water.

Step eight: Let your paper sit in your water until the ink shows through slightly (like in the photo here or in step seven), this will only take around 30 seconds.

Step nine: Carefully lift your paper out of the water – the paper will be fragile as it’s wet, try to support it with your whole hand.

Step ten: Lay your wet paper on a flat protected work surface to dry. You may find that once dry, your paper is wrinkly – you can remedy this by placing a heavy stack of books on your paper for 24hrs (just make sure your paper is completely dry first!) or by ironing your paper flat – use a piece of parchment paper under and on top of your paper to protect from the iron.

Turn your papers into cards, gift tags, collages, bookmarks, stationary, origami, or for scrap booking projects!

Check out this method for other marbleized papers and this one to marbleize eggs! Be sure to let me know if you’ve given this a try!

Art activities, Greetings!, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the art room? (March 2021)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

This month I was able to hold classes at Westside Community Center in Bivalve MD! We enjoyed painting wine glasses and weaving baskets (and will enjoy painting next weekend!). It was great to be able to have classes at another location again and we have some new classes scheduled for April – check them out here!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique tea pots and are now working on fun pencil holders! In the monthly paint, draw, sculpt classes, students are working on sculptures inspired by artist Alberto Giacometti. They were asked to create a tall, lean figure depicting and action or movement with wire & tin foil armatures covered with paper mache!

Students worked to create their own playing cards the past month as well – designing an image that was of personal interest to them! It was also fun to learn about the history of playing cards and the artwork they include!

This month we also will be holding Creative Science “Inking it up” and have created future creative science lessons; Creative Science is a partner program between Brad Hartle, 4-H STEM educator with UMES and myself. We’ve worked together to create fun & engaging lessons that involve art and science for youth! Our Paint by Science lessons are intended to educate youth on specific subjects while painting these subjects along on canvas, helping to immerse the student on the topic! Our Art Exploration lessons, designed to engage youth in hands on activities in both art and science, with experiments, arts & crafts, and combined projects! All of our new lessons are intended for youth 8+ and each lesson comes with a supply kit that ships to you! Classes are held via zoom, registration closes one week prior to the start date of the class! Please contact me if you have any questions or interested in joining us! Check out the link below to see all of our upcoming lessons!

Check out upcoming Creative science programs here! Use the coupon code “EARLYBIRD” to receive 10% off through March 25th!

Additionally we’ve worked on various art projects this month, including landscapes that incorporate, background, middle-ground & foreground, light & shadow and charcoal water droplets! Tux also enjoys helping everyone out with their art projects!

Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (March 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our March spotlight is on:

Peyton Lindsey

I have been taking art for three years. I started taking art because I love drawing and painting. I wanted to become a better artist and learn about the different mediums. My friends and family inspire me mostly, A lot of the artwork I do is my friend’s pets. the person who gives me the most inspiration is my mom; she always gives me great ideas of what I should draw or paint next. I love drawing and working with acrylics. Those two are my favorite but I do like working with clay too. My artwork has improved drastically since I started taking art class. I went from that looks kind of like a person to that looks exactly like a person. Miss Jenell has helped me out a lot she is an amazing teacher. She is extremely helpful!

Besides art, what other activities do you enjoy? “I love riding horses and dancing, but I mostly love riding It always makes me feel more in control of life right then since right now we cannot control how life goes right now. Dancing also helps with that same thing because you are in control of your movement and it just feels amazing.”

“Back Braking”
This is a pencil drawing. I did it last year! This is one of my favorite drawings that I did because this person is a strong dancer. It is hard to balance like that for too long, so it takes a lot of strength.

Have you ever entered your artwork into a contest or show? “Yes, I have entered four pieces into the Ward Museums Art Show. I have entered two pottery pieces and the tentacle, and an inspiration from isolation glass painting.”

“Twisting Tentacle”
This is a copper sheet embossing, it is made from an aluminum copper sheet. I did this for the ward museum, It was a lot of small details to get it right. It was hard not pressing to hard, so you did not go through the sheet. I loved making the tentacle. I found it to be a lot of fun and interesting on how easy it bent. I found it even more amazing when we aged it to make it look old.

How long does it take you complete your art? “It takes me anywhere from one day to one month to complete a drawing or painting just depends on how big and how detailed it is.”

“Daisy”
This is an acrylic painting of my dog that I did two years ago. It was extremely hard because I know what she looks like and that is something that always gets me when I am doing painting, I got it eventually and it turned out to look like her.
“Light house dream”
This is a rubber stamp of a light house that I did in class last year.
This was hard but fun to make since you could not cut too deep or you would go through the rubber.

Are there any mediums or styles of art that you’d like to try? “One day I would like to try sculpting, I do not want to do anything big just something small and somewhat easy!”

“Yummy Spaghetti”
This is a fork with spaghetti and meatball made from polymer clay. It is a food bookmark!
This was fun to make and what is even more fun is that when I got home, I used it to prank my brother! He thought that I had ruined his new sweatshirt! It was so funny!

Payton’s fearlessness to try new mediums and techniques, along with her positive attitude, allows her easy-going, fun loving, personality to shine through in all of her works of art! She is persistent, working to get a piece to her liking and open to trying new techniques along the way! Her pieces are inspiring and sure to bring a smile to your face!

Check out past Student Spotlights here!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Wire Wrapped Sea Glass Pendants

Take your found beach glass treasures and turn them into a wearable piece of art! Great as a gift or to wear yourself. The instructions below are for making a necklace, however, you can turn your finished wire wrapped pieces into key chains, zipper pulls, pull chain pendants (for ceiling fans, etc.), ornaments, or gift toppers.

What you need:

  • Sea Glass (Either found pieces or you can purchase some from craft stores)
  • 14 Gauge aluminum wire (I use aluminum sculpture wire as it’s very easy to shape but also holds and is non staining)
  • Pliers – I prefer to have a pair of round tip pliers, needle nose pliers as well as wire cutters. See an example of the pliers I use here. The project can be completed with just a pair of needle nose pliers (and wire cutter), however, you will need one of the items below to take the place of the round pliers;
    • Wooden or metal skewer, thin diameter knitting needle, or jewelry mandrel.
  • Cord, leather, or chain for your necklace – I used 3/16″ leather lace, 16″ long.
  • Jewelry findings – For a cord necklace you will need: A clasp, two jump rings, & two fold over end caps. If you’re going with chain skip the end caps!

GETTING STARTED:

Step one: Cut a length of wire – I start with between 10″ & 16″, depending on the size of my sea glass. It’s better to have a piece that’s too large and we can trim down later.

Step two: Using your round pliers, “pinch” the wire at it’s center (or close to the center!) – see the next step if you don’t have round pliers.

Step three: Bend the wire around the round pliers, crossing the wire over one another, creating a loop. If you don’t have round pliers bend the wire around a skewer or mandrel for the same result!

Step four: Twist your wire two or three times, tight against your pliers or skewer/mandrel, just like a twist tie! You can use your needle nose pliers to twist instead of your fingers!

Step five: Remove your wire from your round pliers (or skewer/mandrel). This loop will become the top of your pendant.

Step six: Now we will create coils at each end of the wire we just created the loop on. Pinch and twist the end of the wire with your round pliers (or needle nose pliers).

Step seven: continue to twist and coil your wire around until you create a loop.

Step eight: Switch to your needle nose pliers or fingers and continue to coil the wire around the center loop. We want your coil to be flat – not like a spring.

Step nine: Coil your wire around 3-5 times. It’s okay if you coil too much – we can always uncoil later if you need more wire to wrap with!

Step ten: Repeat with the other end of your wire!

WRAPPING THE SEA GLASS:

Step one: Place the piece of sea glass you would like to wrap between your wire.

Step two: Tightly bend and wrap your wire around your glass – try to wrap around all sides/edges of the glass. It’s okay to overlap and cross your wire. If you feel you need more wire to wrap, try to uncoil a little from your ends to give you more slack.

Step three: Press your coils down on your glass – I have a coil on each side of this pendant but it’s okay if they both are on one side as well! Make sure your glass is secure and won’t fall out! If it does simply undo & repeat the last step until you have it wrapped tightly!

ADDING A CORD:

Step one: Cut your cord to the desired length – mine’s approx. 16″. Place through your loop.

Step two: Fasten the end caps on your cord – place the cord inside the cap…

pinch one side of the cap down, sandwiching your cord between the metal. Pinch down the other side. Squeeze tight to secure your cord in the metal!

Step three: Repeat with the other end of your cord.

Step four: Use a jump ring to attach your clasp to one side of your end cap.

Step five: Place a jump ring on the other end cap for your clasp to connect to!

Step six: Wear your wire wrapped pendant!

This project is a lot of fun and a great way to make some handmade gifts! Try using different types & gauges of wire, wrapping with more than one piece of wire, creating more coils, etc. for more variety! You can also wrap stones, pebbles, and marbles for a different look!

Take a look at some upcoming classes and find more projects to do at home here!

Art, Art activities, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

DIY Bird Feeder!

Make a little bird feeder for your yard! Paint, decorate, and design your own to give as a gift or keep for yourself! This cute little platform feeder is a simple and fun project!

What you need:

  • Wooden craft picture frame – mine is approx. 8″x6″ with a 4″x6″ opening
  • Acrylic craft paints in desired colors
  • Paint brushes
  • Sharpie
  • Krylon clear gloss outdoor spray sealer
  • Flat thumb tacks – Use stainless steel ones for longer lasting outdoor results
  • Plastic mesh cut to the opening size of your frame (I used needle point plastic but you could also use aluminum gutter shield, or plastic food mesh – if you have some with small enough gaps to hold birdseed!
  • Twine, rope, chain, leather, or any similar material suitable to use outdoors – I used approx. 6′ of jute, cut into two, 3′ pieces
  • Hammer

PAINTING YOUR FRAME:

Step one: Paint both sides and all edges of your frame one color.

Step two: Let your first layer of paint dry (use a hairdryer to speed up the dry time) and apply a second layer of paint if needed!

Step three: Add some designs and patterns with your other colors – I did dots and stripes! Let your paint dry completely before moving on!

Step four: Apply the outdoor sealer – do this outside on a protected work surface. Apply the sealer to both sides and edges of your frame – letting it dry completely before flipping your frame.

Step five: Once your sealer is completely dry use a sharpie to outline and add details to your painted design. I decided to cover most of my painted area with additional doodles!

ASSEMBLING YOUR FEEDER: