Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Simple Marbling Paper Technique

Marbled paper is made by floating oil paint on water. Because oil and water do not mix the paint stays on the surface of the water and can be manipulated to make designs. Marbled paper is sometimes used in bookmaking and as stationery. I've made marbled paper with children as young as three with some lovely results!
The supplies that you will need: 1. Odorless Turpentine (There are still some fumes, so you should work in a well ventilated area). 2. Tubes oil paint 3. A shallow pan that you devote to art projects or a polystyrene plate. 4. Small plastic squeeze bottle with a small opening or bottle with an eye dropper. 5. Old plastic comb or fork. 6. White drawing paper.
Squeeze oil paint into bottle and add enough odorless turpentine so that after it is thoroughly shaken it will flow easily from the container. This may require a little experimentation. Your shallow pan should contain water. Gently shake some of the turpentine/oil paint solution onto the surface of the water. Manipulate the colors on the surface with a comb or fork.
Gently drop a sheet of paper on top of the water.
Pick up your paper and you have your design!


I'm starting a newsletter with DIY templates, news from my Etsy shop, and step-by-step photos of some of the techniques for my artwork and illustrations. The newsletter in early June 2018 will include a template for a simple pop-up book to make with children. Sign-ups on the right-hand side of the blog.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Making Mosaics with Children

Mosaics are a great way for children to experiment with combining different shapes, colors, and patterns to achieve a pleasing design. This is a very small mosaic, about 4x5 inches, and a sheet of masonite is used as the substrate. Masonite is very inexpensive yet stable. The sea shells, glass beads, beach glass and small ceramic tiles were first glued to the masonite with Tacky Glue. After the objects were dried in place I mixed leftover tile grout from our bathroom renovation for the background material. I added water to the powdered grout until it was the consistency of peanut butter and pushed it into the areas between the objects with a trowel. This part is a little tricky for small children. The grout will partially cover your objects, but don't be discouraged, as the grout dries the surface can be wiped clean with a rag.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Drawing and Children

As the school year begins many elementary school children feel pressure in their art classes when it comes to drawing. When my son was in first grade he had a homework assignment to create a mobile based on elements of a favorite picture book. He chose "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." He carefully set out to interpret the illustrations of Felicia Bond, with what I perceived as charm and attention to detail, and together we added thread to his cut out drawings and attached them to a coat hanger. His teacher hung the mobiles around the classroom. A few days later I thought to ask him how all the mobiles looked. He replied that all the drawings were MUCH better than his. Were my feelings as a parent affecting my judgement? I happened to be in his classroom soon after and immediately checked out these mobiles. What I instantly realized was that many of the other characters had clearly been TRACED, and very likely by the hand of the parent. I felt bad for the children who were made to feel that their own drawings would not measure up. Children's drawings are a delightful look into the way they see the world. Art, in my opinion, should be full of choice and personal interpretation, and hopefully children are given these opportunities in school and at home.