Thursday, April 17, 2014

Giveaway Winner

Hey everyone, time for the giveaway.

I had a total of 284 entries and Random Org picked the following:

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2014-04-17 18:58:50 UTC

That worked out to be Heidi Newsome.  Congratulations Heidi and thanks everyone for entering.

Have a great Easter everyone!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Monday Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone.  I haven't had a giveaway for a while on the blog so let me introduce you to this little book.

InstaCraft by Alison Caporimo is filled with 50 quick and easy little crafts. Just right when you don't have a lot of time but need a handcrafted item as a gift, party favour or accessory .

You can click on the photo for a closer look.

Here are a few examples of some of the projects.

So cute.

If you want to win your own copy of "InstaCraft" you can enter by leaving a comment on this post,  by liking this post on Facebook, or send me an email at

I'll make the draw on Thursday just in time for Easter.

Good luck everyone!

Disclaimer: All comments provided are my own but the book has been provided by Ulysses Press.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

van Gogh Sunflowers

Spring has finally sprung and I am longing for flowers and bright colours.

I did this project a while back with Grade 3.  This is a 3 session project, but that 3rd session is really short.


- substrate, we are using primed canvas but you could also use hardboard, cardboard, or heavy poster board
- drywall filler
- acrylic paint
- reference photos, here is one
- some recycled cardboard (cereal or cracker box)
- green paper, at school I ran the paper thru the shredder for stems. You could also just free hand cut them.
- scissors, tacky glue, glue gun
- black pony beads


Session 1
 Take your substrate, we are using canvas, prime if needed with gesso or white acrylic paint.  I would only do this if I had marks or writing on it (recycled cardboard).

Using reference photos sketch out a vase and flower heads onto your recycled cardboard.

Cut out.  For extra dimension you can cut out some petals and flower centers.

Work on wax paper.

Spread some drywall filler on the substrate.  You can use putty spreaders, old plastic gift cards, or just a scrap of cardboard.

Add a layer of drywall filler to your vase shape and flower heads.

Using a pencil or toothpick draw a few detail lines.  I'm using an old knitting needle.

Set all drywalled pieces aside to dry. It will take about 6 hrs.

Session 2

Take your canvas and paint with a nice acrylic background colour.

Make sure to wrap your painting around the sides.
You can also add a table colour in the bottom 3rd of your canvas.  I did this with the students but not on my sample.  It's up to you.

Set aside to dry.

Take your other drywalled pieces and paint with acrylic.

It helps if you have a variety of colours.  You can also just add a little black or white to make a tint or shade to give you some variation in the colours.

For the vase I painted it brown first and then when it was dry I added some tan/white/yellow to make it look more like the original.  I dry brushed it on.
Leave pieces to dry.

Session 3

Now it is time for assembly.  You can see the table colour in this student's piece.

Using tacky glue and green paper for stems start gluing the pieces down.  It helps if you lay everything out first on the canvas before gluing.  It also helps to glue the vase on last to cover up the ends of the stems.
At school I cut strips using the paper shredder.

You could also cut them with scissors.  This way you can change the shape a bit.

Glue on some black beads for extra texture.

Finally when the glue is all dry, seal with Mod Podge.  The podge helps seal the drywall and prevent it from flaking.  It also makes the piece pop with a nice shiny finish.

Here is some of the student work.

Great work Grade 3.

I recently came back from my annual Maui break.  I did lots of painting this year and I stuck to my guns and went computer free.

Here is sampling of my work.

This is on Front street just after the break.

With this one it started to rain as I was painting but I got some cool texture happening in the sky from the rain drops.

This is done in my bound sketch book, I just add colour but it's not wc paper so it's just a quick rendering.

I did find this great little journal at the Barnes and Noble in Maui. It's Italian     hand pressed paper and I love it.  Takes longer to dry than my traditional wc journals but so much fun to paint it.

This is a row of kayaks at Kapalua.

I was reading 'Island' magazine while I was there and was inspired by a picture from Tobago.

Love how the cloud bank turned out on this one.

And this one I painted on the plane there in my sketch book using my Peerless Watercolours   (I prep a travel palette thanks to Jane Davenport) and a really small wc field kit.

That's all for now.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Landscape Inchies Part 2

Here is part 2 of the inchie tutorial.

We will be making these 3 inches, Canadian Shield, Atlantic, and Great Lakes region.


- wc paper inches cut to 3"x3"
- scrap piece of heavy paper
- white tissue paper
- glue
- green painter's tape
- disk tempera paint
- acrylic paint, black, white, red, yellow, orange
- fine black and red sharpie
- cotton Q tip
- pencil
- yellow and white oil pastels
- white streamer
- iridescent glitter glue 

Canadian Shield:
Give each student a scrap piece of heavy paper. This can be scraps of wc paper, card stock, etc.

Have them spread some glue over the paper.  Watch out as some kids will put way too much glue on!

Place tissue paper over top of glue and kinda scrunch it.  You want some wrinkles in the paper.

Set aside to dry.

Take a wc inchie.  Put some green painter's tape about halfway up the inchie.

Paint the top part of the inchie a watery blue.  I had the kids mix a little black into the blue to make the sky a little darker.

Let dry.

Remove tape.

Add some yellowy green to the bottom section.

Paint a little darker green lines (hills) on top of the yellow green.  You want to see both colours.

Paint the tissue paper covered scrap paper with some grey acrostic paint.  (black and white mixed together)

Take some white on the brush, splatter with your finger flicking the brush.

You can do black as well if you want.

Let dry.

Cut some rocks out of the tissue paper covered scrap.

Glue onto the inchie.

With a fine black sharpie draw in some trees.

Take a Q tip.  Cut one end off.  You now have a paint applicator that can make small circles (cut end) and large ones (cotton end).

Dab into acrylic paint in fall colours. Apply leaves to your trees.  I chose this because there are some beautiful trees in the Canadian Shield region that are especially nice in the Fall.

That's it for this one.


With pencil draw in a lighthouse on the rocks.  Make sure to add a straight line on one side of the horizon to represent water.

Peggy's Cove is the inspiration.

With red and black sharpie add some details.

With yellow oil pastel put in the glow around the light.  With white oil pastel put in the light and colour in the lighthouse as well.

With a watery purple wash of disk tempera paint over entire inchie.

The oil pastel should resist the paint.  You can blot with a kleenex if you need to.

Let dry.

With black disk tempera paint in the rocks.

Paint the water in dark blue.

Take that same dark blue, make it more watery and add a little to the sky near the top.  You can blend it down a bit.

That's it for this one.

Great lakes Region:

For the Great Lakes I used Niagara Falls which is the on the outlet for Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. (Niagara River).

Take your inchie and draw the falls in pencil.

Paint the sky blue with disk tempera.

Paint the fall section with light blue disk tempera(white and blue mixed).

Paint in the sides with green disk tempera.

Paint water below falls with a dark blue.

Let dry.

With plain water add some to sky above falls.

While still wet blot with tissue lifting some of the colour.  This creates our mist coming from the falls.

Do the same for the bottom of the falls.

Take a 2" piece of white streamer.  Fold in half.  Open and then cut a fringe in one half.

Put some glue over the falls.

Place uncut side of streamer into glue.  Fringe is up top.  You then fold it down to represent falls.

You can then add some iridescent glitter glue and a touch of blue disk tempera to the falls.  Do this carefully as the streamer is quite delicate. 

That's it.  You now have all 6.

See you next time.