This summer these students took their art to the Next Level! And they fell in love with their paintings! They already knew how to draw, so they went on to tackle the beast of mixing colors. We first began the course by creating a color wheel so they could see how colors were made. Then, really observing their animal, they had to decide where to place the shades first. By understanding your darkest darks on your object you can gauge the lights and mediums. Once that is in place, the artist looks at the highlight areas: areas where the sun is hitting their object. We first started with a still life so by using simple shapes we could understand darks do not have to be black! After that exercise, we moved on to animals of their choices. Here are their results. . . they were pleasantly surprised even if they felt it might be too hard. SECRET: To tackle the fur and the palm tree fronds we used a special brush so you don't have to paint every hair or leaf.
I just finished an art enrichment program at Cam Heights Elementary School bringing a variety of projects to help these 4th and 5th graders learn about art history, various artists like Klimt, Georgia O' Keeffe, and create great pieces of art. It has been a delight to see students accomplish goals in art, express their creativity, as well as learn about real artists. I still have to help students learn art terms as most teachers refer to a landscape direction of paper as "hotdog" and "portrait" as "hamburger", UGGH. It reminds me when I heard kids talking about Michaelangelo and Donatello, just to find out it was regarding ninja turtles and not the real artists!!!
I also am able to help students from a professional eye, adust a picture to make it more appealing with the use of either complementary colors or how to fine tune a picture with a stroke or two of a line. And many students do not know how to use brushes, as they don't get to paint much in schools. So these students learn the difference between watercolor and tempera/ or acrylic brushes, how to properly clean and store them, and how proper tools are used.
Many of the pieces of art you see now will be on display at the school's art show held yearly at Studio Channel Islands Art Gallery this coming February.
I am seeing how art is helping Seniors in the Assisted Living and in Memory Care Facility here at Alma Via in Camarillo. I have also learned it is not the product that is important but the process of enjoying creations and expressing yourself. Many of the residents have limited dexterity, but enjoy creating pieces that are broken down simply. This helps them engage their minds and stay focused. They also enjoy the fellowship creating within a group and the dialogue and exchange of ideas, but don't we all learn and are inspired by others in a community. Some projects are just for the fun, and other times I like to work with my art therapy training to focus on a theme to help them process emotions. Especially as we are approach Thanksgiving, it is nice to have something that reminds us of the positive things in life. It is easy to slip into negativity when your mind is slipping, and the body isn't moving like it did at 40, but to focus on thankfulness brings health to our minds and bodies. We really have a lot to be Thankful for our friends, family, community, and needs met at a great facility like Alma Via Senior Living Home.
Parents are always wondering if their child drawing cartoons is really learning any skills? YES! When your child is drawing and copying what they see, even if it is an anime or another cartoon, they are focusing on their drawing skills. For many young children, drawing something realistic is intimidating and they are afraid of failure. Drawing cartoons puts an animal into a correct perspective, yet they can be silly which takes the edge off of it having to be perfect. So much of their schoolwork revolves around them performing or testing well and this gets translated into a need for "perfectionism" for many young children. And who wants to fail?
I have found that the students in my after-school cartooning classes at St. Mary Magdalen's School love to draw and have fun with drawing many of their favorite characters from current movies, such as "Jungle Book", "Finding Dory", and "The Secret Life of Pets". They are learning how to draw expressions, a variety of animals, create a story, and will gain confidence to draw beyond the "stick figure".
Not only do art camps expose students to art in general, they also allow the students to hone their artistic talent: whether it be in drawing, architecture, fashion design, painting, or fantasy art.
Lorrie Milton taught an Animal Adventure class where they drew a variety of animals, Ashley Goodman-Konzmann taught a small group how to paint and see value in their work, and I taught Fashion Design and Fantasy art. Next week we will cover a variety of media including sculpting.
Each day, these art students learned how to draw fantasy art and then they chose how they wanted to complete their pieces. Students were able to choose between watercolors, markers, colored pencils, art Stix, or chalk pastels. Andrea, the youngest, brought in glitter and it added a sparkle to our unicorns! Never would have thought of that! I love their creative touches — loved this week! ☺