Friday, September 30, 2011

Migrating Ducks Art Project and Giveaway Results

I know you are anxious for the giveaway results and I have kept you waiting almost all day.......but I've been working on this Duck project.

So first we'll do the ducks and then giveaway at the end

So maybe you remember that set of ceramic ducks on the wall of your Grandma's house, I sure do!

Why not make it an art project...perfect for Fall.  The ducks haven't left yet but it's only a matter of time.

This is a set on painted cardboard which you could also make out of paper......

...and for the little guys you can make this handprint duck.

So let's get started.

First up the set of three:


- templates, optional as you can always make your own but if you want mine
- Large duck Template#1  so this one is so big I have to give it to you in 2 parts
- Large duck Template #2
- Medium duck Template #3
- Small duck Template #4
- thin cardboard (cereal box)
- pencil, scissors
- gesso
- paint, I used acrylic
- Mod podge to seal
- wire/tape for hanging


Using your templates trace out your 3 ducks on to your cardboard.

Cut out.

I gave mine a coat of Gesso.

Let dry.

Now start painting.  I used acrylics so I want to put in my base coat colors first and then add my fine details and shading.

When you are finished painted add a coat or two of ModPodge.  This will give the cardboard extra weight and protect it for years to come.

Add a hanger on the back.

Now you can easily make these out of  posterboard instead and get the kids to use pastel or colored pencil.

Next up Handprint Ducks:


- white wc paper
- blue tempera disk paint
- template, you can use mine,  Handprint Duck Template #5
- colored paper
- brown liquid tempera paint
- googly eye, optional
- glue
- scissors
- pastels or colored pencils


Tape down your wc paper on to your art board.

Paint in your blue background with tempera disk paint.

Let dry.

Using the template or designing your own cut out the body parts for your duck.

Glue onto your background in the center, make sure you have room for your handprints.

For the eye you can glue on a googly one or make one out of black paper and a hole punch.

Take some brown tempera paint and place on a plate.  Shake a little to make the paint flatten a bit so you have a large surface to place your hand in to.

Dip hand in to paint and then make print on the paper.

We had our thumbs closest to the body which means you have to get both hands messy. (Oh what fun!!)

Wash up!

After paint is dried come in with some pastel or colored pencil to add a few details.  As you can see we did it before the handprints but found we had to come back in again to add some to the wings so do it after.

That's it.
Some great looking DUCKS!

Incidently I got carried making templates so here are a few other ducks you could use:

Template #6 a
Template #6 b
Template #7

On to the Giveaway for this wonderful book: "Learn World Calligraphy".

I had 49 comments and 27 emails for a total of 76 entries.

Using Random.Org to choose our winner we get:

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-09-30 22:21:59 UTC

That works out to be by time entered:

Tara who emailed me on Sept 28th at 11:26 am and said:

"Hello Gail,

I follow your posts religiously and would love to receive this awesome resource."
Thanks everyone for entering and we will see you the meantime make some ducks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learn World Calligraphy : Book Review and Giveaway

"Learn World Calligraphy" is a recent release by author Margaret Shepherd.  She has written 16 other books on calligraphy so she knows her stuff.

The unique thing about this book is span of calligraphy styles presented.

- Greek
- African
- Thai
- Tibetan
- Celtic
- Hebrew
- Chinese and Japanese
and list goes on.

The entire book has been hand lettered in multiple styles, giving it a very artsy feel.  This allows you to get inspired just by reading the "How To".

Margaret also presents ways to incorporate lettering into your art projects, showing you historical pieces and ways you can duplicate and update them.  I can see a lot of applications in my work. Just being able to add Greek characters to our "ancient civilizations" projects in Grade 6 is terrific.
I especially loved her ideas for taking a word, writing it in such a way that it graphically represents the object or meaning.....way cool!
So the details: 
  •  softcover
  • 192 pages crammed with info, she actually super shrinked the index and credits so they are only 2 pages total
  • lots of pictures and examples
  • suggested retail $24.99U.S/$27.99 CAN

On to the Giveaway, if you are interested in winning your own copy of this amazing book you can leave me a comment on this post or email me at:
I will make the draw on Friday so you have until Thursday at 11:59 pm.   The draw will be random based on time of your entry.  U.S and Canadian residents only.
Good Luck everyone!

- review/giveaway copy provided by Newman Communications, Inc.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Turkey Line Drawing

It will be Thanksgiving here in Canada in a few weeks so I thought I better put a few related projects up.

This is a good project for Grades 4 and up.  Now usually we describe a contour line as an outline but here we are also using line to represent texture and a sense of 3 dimensional mass.

This is a good project to get kids to focus on details but in a very easy manner.

- dark colored paper, I used dark brown, dark colors contrast best with the white lines
- white tempera paint, white pencil crayon, white gel pens, or even white crayon
- turkey reference photos, feathers for reference
- pencil and eraser

Draw out your outline in pencil.

Starting with that outline apply white paint.

When the outline is done start working on each feather section.  You want to add some variety here so the feathers will look distinct from one another.

Color in some sections, use bold lines, thin lines, curved lines, straight lines just keep it consistent for each section.

When the tail is done start working on the body.  You want to emphasize the roundness.  Take your time.

That's it, although it appears quite complicated once you get started it's really not that hard.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cat Portraits

So the inspiration for this project came from a pillow in the Marie Claire Idees magazine (Sept 2009).

At first I was going to get the kids to cut their own versions from fabric and then mount them on posterboard but I thought it would be more interesting to get the kids to create their own print.

The original was made from lace.

- white paper
- tempera paints
- assorted odds and ends for printing, i.e. cardboard, bottle tops
- plasticine or modelling clay (optional)
- scraps of ribbon or printed fabric
- embellishments for collar
- black paper
- black markers or pencil crayons
- glue

Before starting you can talk to the kids about textile patterns, bring in some samples to give them some ideas about print designs.

Take a large piece of white paper and paint your background color.

After the background has dried take your odds and ends and using a different color start creating a print design.

Here I'm using bits of corrugated cardboard, bottle tops, ends of pencils........whatever you have around that would make an interesting design.

If you have some plasticine you can make your own stamps.  Etch in some lines with a toothpick.

I keep some scrap paper nearby as it's usually the 2nd or 3rd print you want.  Use the scrap paper as a blot for your first print.

Let dry.

Turn your printed paper over and draw out your cat design.

Cut it out.

Glue on some eyes made from paper.

Add a nose and whiskers with paint, pencil crayon or marker.

Take some scraps of ribbon and make a collar.  Glue down with tacky glue.

Turn over and glue the ends of the ribbon down.

Add an embellishment to the collar.  Here I am using part of a doily.

Glue onto an oval background.

Then glue this to a black piece of paper as a mount.

You can add a little border with extra ribbon or using markers.

Here is a blue version.

The book print cat was made by creating a page decoupaged with pieces from an old book and using Mod Podge.

See you next week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Large Papier Mache Pumpkin

This is just a short post to show you another variation of the papier mache pumpkin.

We follow the same procedure as before we just use these large pumpkins.  For the nose I made a cone out of cardstock and then taped it on the face.

The eyes are 2 sections from an egg carton, taped on and papier mached over.

You only need 2 coats of mache. Let dry and then paint with acrylic or tempera.

If you want to keep it on display outside use an outdoor sealer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to do a Rooster Wycinanki and Variations

So I've been trying to design a Rooster project.

Last year I gave you a brief introduction to Wycinanki or Polish paper friezes.  The rooster is a very traditional design.

In this post I'll give you directions and the templates for this design(probably Grade 4 and up). If you are teaching younger grades keep reading as I have some easy variations for you to try.

Now with wycinanki it is usually cut out of 1 piece of paper and all connected.  I cheat, cutting in sections, and then pasting together.  It's just easier for the kids this way, no need for Xacto blades.


- black paper
- colored paper or tissue
- white paper for mounting
- template #1
- template #2
- white pencil crayon
- scissors
- tacky glue


Fold your black paper in half and trace out the rooster design.  You can make up your own or follow the template. (template #1)  Make sure to place it on the fold.

A white pencil crayon works well.

Cut out 3 designs.  The main rooster, a top design , and something for the bottom.

Unfold and then glue your pieces onto a piece of white paper.  Now designs are usually circular so you could mount on a white circle and even add a black circular border.

Build up your design with bits of colored paper.  I included some of these shapes on template #2.  You can use tissue paper if you want.

Glue into place with tacky glue.  You can put a piece of wax paper on top and then place a heavy book on top of that to get it to dry really flat if you wish.


Now for younger kids you might want to do just a basic rooster.

I have the templates for this guy here;

 template #3, template #4, and template #5.

You can cut the main shape out of black paper and add the colored shapes just like the previous project.

Or you might want to try something like this.


- brown kraft paper or paper bags
- template #3
- oil pastels and colored pencils
- book pages, newspaper, maps, etc.
- paint
- glue
- scissors
- plastic wrap

For this rooster I wanted some interesting papers to create with so you start off by painting your book pages or newspaper, or map paper.

I also like to add another layer of interest so after the first coat of paint is dry I add another color (usually in the same family or an analogous color).  Use different objects to make a repeating print, splatter, sponge, dry brush, paint stripes, whatever catches your eye.

While your patterned papers are drying paint a background for your rooster. 

While the paint was still wet I smooshed in a piece of plastic wrap and left it to dry.  (don't remove that plastic wrap until it is dry)

Using the basic shape (template #3) trace it onto brown kraft paper or a piece of paper bag.

Using pastels add some color and outline your features with colored pencil.

Cut out your rooster.

Glue the rooster to your background when dry.

Using your patterned papers that you made cut out an assortment of tail feathers and glue onto your rooster.

Add some wing feathers too.

Give one of these roosters a try and I'll see you next time!