Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pencil sketch

Snapshots done up in "pencil sketch" at, for use in a previous project.

Friday, December 2, 2011


The Sm'Arties learned a bit about mandalas as a design motif.  We looked very briefly at the history of this circular art form, but our main interest was as an inspiration to art.

Variety of mandala coloring pages, mostly simple enough for elementary coloring skills.

Intricate mandala coloring pages

I gave out some mandalas as coloring pages, but we also created out own mandalas.

How to draw a mandala

Their assignment included the stipulation that they create as many layers of design as their ages in years.  So, as a minimum, our 4th graders had to have 9 layers of design; our teenager had to have 13 circles.
Karate mandala

We used polar graph paper to keep our circles circular.  Some students chose a theme to pursue; others chose the theme of 'pretty designs.'

Dart board mandala

printable polar graph paper
Car race mandala

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Recycled T-Shirts

We had creative fun recycling T-shirts at my daughter's birthday party.  Go here to take a look!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Op Art Contour Hands

Sm'Arties had fun with  this lesson found on Artsonia, inspired by artist Bridget Riley.

I think most children enjoy optical illusions. These lines flow over the hands, creating the optical illusion of fluid encountering and flowing over a hand.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

50 Trees

In keeping with our Science interest in Botany this year, our art lessons are often inspired by plants.  At this meeting of the Sm'Arties, we drew trees!   

Our trees were not scientific botanical drawings, but fun, stylized, realistic, abstract, themed...just a page full of TREES.
I put out skinny Sharpies and Flair pens. I found it interesting that the 2 girls jumped right in with ink, but all the boys chose to use pencils.  We looked at some printouts of  trees for a little inspiration/copycatting.  Thanks for the inspiration, artists Susan Wolsborn and Eloise Renouf! We love your trees!

She of the 50 cats with creative names also names all her trees: 

It's no surprise that Charlie Brown's tree made an appearance.

Along with a forest of great variety.

...and the next week they brought their assigned homework - draw more trees!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Earlier in the fall, I took head-and-shoulder snapshots of each Sm'Artie.  At home, I loaded the pictures onto and edited them to give a black-and-white pencil sketch effect. 

We traced the portraits onto graph paper, and then colored the squares. 

The rules: no realistic colors (hair can be green and purple; it cannot be brown), use 2 consistent colors on each big section.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sm'Arties hit the woods!

I am 2 art posts behind, but here is a little of what our homeschool mini-co-op is up to these days:

...well, when the Sm'Arties hit the woods last week, they were botanists, classifying plants with Science Geek.

...and discovering the occasional beautiful insect.
Want a closer look?

And when the field work was done, it was time to play!