Monday, June 6, 2016

3D Fluttering Butterfly

Looking for something bright and fun for your last bulletin board....why not these fluttering butterflies.

Made from 2 butterflies to look like it's fluttering off your display.


- nice painting paper for background, I use Sunworks white construction paper.  It's not really construction paper but a great drawing paper.  You could also use 90lb wc paper.
- white cardstock
- disk tempera paint
- green, red, white and yellow acrylic or liquid tempera
- paper scraps, book pages, brown kraft paper, recycling
- coloured cardstock scraps
- pipe cleaner
- tacky glue
- oil pastels or crayons
- optional: rubbing alcohol and eye dropper


Tape background paper to art board.

Draw in a rough horizon line.

Paint in your sky with blue disk tempera.  I wanted to give it some texture, like all the fluff flying around right now from trees and dandelions.

So while it is wet I take an eye dropper and some rubbing alcohol.

Drop onto your wet paint.  It creates this effect.  Don't panic if it looks a little brown or grey in the center of the drop.  That will dry and go away.

This technique also works with acrylic paint but the secret is having wet watery paint.  Brush on a little bit of water to your wet acrylic to get it to work.

Paint in the green grass.  Set aside to dry.

Take your scraps of paper and tear some strips.

Glue onto a sheet of white cardstock.  This will be your extra grass.

Let glue set up for a while.

When set,  paint with acrylic or liquid tempera.  You want the paint thin enough you can still read the words of the text.

Set aside to dry.

While your papers are drying take a 1/2 sheet of copier paper and a 1/2 sheet of cardstock.

Sketch your butterfly shape.  You want 2 the same size. You could draw one, cut it out and then trace around it or use a template.

I added some oil pastel.  You could also use wax crayon.

Paint with disk tempera.

Paint the back of the cardstock one as well.

When the background and grass paper are dry start cutting out strips (pointy at top) and glue onto your background.

I added some extra details to my butterflies with scraps of coloured cardstock and.....

a little extra paint just to jazz them up a bit.

Glue the copier paper butterfly into place on the background.

Bend 1/2 a pipe cleaner and glue in place for the antennae.

take the cardstock butterfly and fold in half.

Run some glue on that fold line.

Stick into center of other butterfly. Let it set up for awhile and then close the fold a bit again.  You want to keep a nice flutter to it.

That's it.

See you next time.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Flower Inchies

This spring I have done this flower inchie series with both Grade 3 and Grade 5, (different schools).

Amazing results.  As always each inchie represents a stand alone art project that you can do in larger form.


- wc paper, I used a 140lb cut into 3"x3" squares
- disk tempera
- acrylic paint
- white glue
- oil pastels
- a few buttons
- black beads
- black paper for mounting


First up is the close crop.

1) Draw in pencil a close cropped view of a flower. Reference photos are always helpful.
2) With oil pastels do a bit of outlining.
3) Paint flower and background with disk tempera paint.

Painted Paper Collage

1) Paint a wc square a nice background colour with disk tempera.
2) Out of painted paper scraps cut flower petals. I have a stash of painted paper.  Whenever we paint we use up excess paint or paint extra to add to the stash.
3) Glue onto background and add a center.  Glue on a few beads as well to the center.

Black Glue Sunflower
1) Draw a sunflower on wc paper with pencil.
2) Go over lines with black glue.  I have a class set of black glue.  You can make it yourself by adding a few squirts of black acrylic paint into a white glue bottle. Shake and you are ready to go. I use the same set and just refill as needed.
Set aside to dry overnight, make sure it is lying flat.
3) Paint in with disk tempera.

Abstract Bouquet

1) Using acrylic paint I painted an orange splotch and blue background.
2) I added some dark purple parts to the splotch and then used it to show shadow side of vase.
3) I added a little green into splotch. I then took a little white paint and mixed a lighter version of both the orange and blue. I added the lighter blue into the background further defining the vase. I added the lighter orange into the splotch.

Drywall Flower 
1) Draw a flower shape onto cardboard and cut out.  Make sure it fits on wc square.
2) Cover with a little bit of drywall filler.
3) Set aside to dry overnight.

4) Paint background square. I used turquoise and green disk tempera.
5) Lay on a crumpled piece of wax paper. I then turn it over keeping the wax paper in place and put a magazine or something on top, (not too heavy). Leave to dry.

Next day:

6) Paint drywall flower with acrylic paint.
7) Glue on background.  Add some buttons in the center.

This is one of my favourite painting projects to do with kids in the large form.  Do a practice drawing with the kids first.
1) Draw the stamen. It's like a horn or banana shape with dots or grapes at the point.

2) Next draw a petal, a ruffly rounded triangle shape.
3) A hibiscus needs 5 petals.

4) Do drawing on a wc square.
5) Add some oil pastel (white and yellow) to stamen.
6) Paint the background. I used blue and purple disk tempera.

7) Add a touch of red and pink disk tempera above the stamen.
8) Use a clean brush and wet it in some clean water. Just touch the edge of the center and pull out into the petal. You just want a subtle colour here. Repeat for all 5 petals.

That's it.

A great spring or summer art project.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Tipi Tri-rama

I have been making quite a few of these lately.  Now the tipi is an old project of mine but I realized I hadn't posted how to make the background.

This tri-rama has many uses or as a teacher told me this week, "This is a game changer".

Here are student examples from this week.


- tipi, use this post of mine to guide you
- file folder letter sized
- ruler and scissors
- oil pastels
- disk tempera paint
- white glue
- some moss and pebbles
- modelling clay in yellow. orange, and red


I like to use file folders for these tri-ramas but you could also use manila tag or pasteboard.

Using a ruler draw a line down the tab on the right side when the folder is open.

Cut along the line cutting the tab off.

Inside the folder there is a box, using the bottom of this box draw a line.

Essentially we are making a square so if your folder does not have a box just measure until you a square.

Fold 1 corner across to another corner.

Do the same with the opposite corners so it looks like this.

Choose one corner, (only 1) and cut to the centre.

This enables the bottom sections to overlap and form your tri-rama.

But before we put it together we want to complete our background.

The students drew their backgrounds first in pencil and then went over those pencil lines with oil pastels.

On one of the bottom flaps we made marks to look like grass.

We then painted with disk tempera.

This is mine fully painted.  You only need to do one section on the bottom.

Before I glue I re do those folds so my sides will stand up nice and straight.

Spread some glue on the unpainted flap.

Fold the painted flap over top the one with the glue and press down to seal them together.

We glued in some moss.

Glued a ring of pebbles for a fire pit,

and a bit of modelling clay for the fire.

Add your tipi and you have a great little tri-rama.