I had much fun last week working on this large mural for my Church's annual Sunday School Christmas Play. I used a mix of decent acrylic paint and cheap tempera paint and gesso (because I needed a heavy solid white!).
This week I had fun volunteering in the grade one and grade four class (separately) in the local public school. Of course I was in those specific classes because of my daughters being in those classes :) I wanted to teach them something new, but also incorporate a Christmas theme to the project. So I was thrilled when I found a great idea from: http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/2013/12/13/hear-near-far-winter-trees/. I began by introducing the students to the term Atmospheric Perspective. I explained this in simpler terms - "Near, Here, and Far". I showed them examples from other artwork showing how the artists captured atmospheric perspective in their paintings. We made a chart - trees that were near the viewer are typically bigger, brighter, and more colourful. Trees that are further away are smaller, duller, and generally lighter in colour. I explained how the layering of condensation in the air causes items further away to look lighter and hazier. Then came the fun part. The students began by cutting out three different Christmas trees, using three different sizes and three different colours of paper. They added decorations, etc., on the trees.
Then the students painted the snowy backdrop; they drew two horizontal lines across their paper, dividing the paper into thirds (I managed to work a small math lesson into it …). I dapped blue tempera paint on the bottom third. They spread that around with their brush, then I added white paint to the middle third. The remaining blue paint on their brush blended nicely with the fresh white paint to make it a lighter blue tone. We repeated the same step for the top third. Then they added their trees, remembering that the larger and brighter looking trees are in the foreground, and near the bottom of the page. The smaller, further away trees, are closer to the horizon line which is near the top of the page.
The kids finished their artwork by added lovely snowflakes.
The completed grade four artwork:
The completed grade one artwork:
For the last couple months I have been experimenting with ink and watercolour. Truthfully, at first, part of me just wanted to sit by the warm fire (during the middle of the unexpected November snowstorm). Oil painting restricts to the studio. So I literally thought, 'What can I work on in the house, by the warm fire?'. I love drawing, and I do love portraiture. So I remembered the picture I took of my Oma and Opa, 2 years ago. I have been wanting to use this picture for something. So I began to draw it. And then I outlined it in ink. And then I painted it with watercolour. I enjoyed it so much, I kept finding other photo's to capture in this similar style. It borders on illustration I suppose. I am working on some more for Christmas presents which I will post at a later date.
For this three or four lesson project, Amy and Megan began their still-life image by applying an acrylic based modelling paste onto a masonite board. They molded the image using their hands, palette knives, and other wooden tools. Then they painted the image using acrylic paint. I love how different their two paintings ended up; Amy's the the top image, and Megan's is the bottom image.
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.