Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mixed Media Angel Block

The Christmas rush is coming…I've spent the last week doing all the clay projects, I have 2 more weeks of Christmas themed projects and then I'm prepping for Christmas craft day.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it :)

Here is a angel that Grade 6 will start tomorrow.

The substrate is wood. I had my carpenter 'father in law' cut hundreds of these for projects.  The planks are 1.5" thick and 7.5" wide. They come in 8 ft lengths and are cut square.

You could also use canvas, cardboard, or canvas board.

They are thick enough to sit on a mantle or shelf.

I'll give you the full "how to" in just a minute but first…

from Ulysses Press

…how about a giveaway!

Daily Zen Doodles is a new book by Meera Lee Patel. It's a little workbook filled with prompts for doodling and inspirational quotes to help you relax and focus during your busy year.

With the holiday season upon us we all need a little time to slow down and quiet our minds a bit.

I try to do some drawing everyday, whether it's faces, my corner of the staff room, or what I see outside my window. It calms me and helps me think so I can plan out those 24 different Christmas projects or whatever else is on agenda.

This book is a great way to get you started.

I'll put the give-away details at the end of this post.

Now back to the angels.


- substrate, mine is wood and is 7.5" square
- acrylic paint in white, blue, and purple
- some everyday items for printmaking, pencils, lids, cups, etc.
- sandpaper, optional
- metallic acrylic paint in gold and silver
- Crayola Model Magic, you'll need a golf ball sized portion
- tacky glue
- iridescent glitter glue, I use an opal or clear type that works with your base colour
- wax paper
- scrap of kraft paper or a brown bag
- tan coloured card stock
- coloured pencils
- old book page
- some embellishments, I used a sequin star and some metallic foam (a placemat)
- mod podge for sealing
- printed text from the computer, "all is calm, all is bright"


Take your wood, sand any rough sides if needed.

Paint the 4 sides and the front with white acrylic paint.

Set aside to dry.

Take your scrap of kraft paper and paint it white.

Set aside to dry.

Take a piece of wax paper, 6" or so wide, and crumple into a ball.

Flatten out the wax paper.  Using the leftover white paint print some shapes onto it with some everyday tools.

I using circle shapes.  I like to use ends of pencils and dowels, little shooter cups I get from the dollar store and corks.

While our painting is drying we will make the body of our angel.

Give each student a golf ball sized portion of model magic.  I like using model magic in my mixed media projects.  It's expensive so we only use it for one part and I tend to use my 40% off coupons at Michael's to buy it.

Have the kids flatten out the model magic. Our backgrounds are 7.5" square so we don't want our body too big. Around 9cm or 3.5" max. I pre cut some strips of paper to use as a guide and you could also get the kids to measure with their rulers.

Model magic is easy to cut. We just use a plastic knife.

Cut a nice triangle shaped body.

Now we want to texturize our model magic.  I'm using a bottle lid and a glue lid.  I'm also using my new favourite clay tools. These are cupcake decorating tools that I found at the Dollar store. I get 8 tools each with 2 ends for $1.

I bought 12 sets!

Leave your model magic to dry overnight on a paper towel.

When the wood slab dries we want to add our background colour.  We are going for a distressed look, we want to see some white poking thru.

Using a dry brush and being careful to only use little amounts of paint at a time brush on the background colour.

Let dry.

When it's dry you can distress it further by sanding some of the paint off.

Your kraft paper should be dry by now.  Using the inside of my masking tape roll as a template I traced out a circle for my halo.

I want a rich detailed design for my halo.

Squeeze out a little gold and silver paint. To make my design I use cut pieces of cardboard, dipping the ends into the paint and making lines.  Corrugated cardboard gives you a nice ripple. I'm also using my glue lid again, end of a pencil, and the end of a paint brush or wooden skewer.

Let dry.

I use up my leftover metallic paint by painting my old book page.  Metallics tend to be translucent but you can add a bit of water so it's more of a wash.  You want to still see the text.

This will be used for the arms so each student only needs a quarter of the page.

When your model magic is dry paint with acrylic paint.  I used purple.

Squeeze out a little glitter glue onto your wax paper and then using your finger smear it on top of the paint.

While my body and halo are drying I work on the face.

I have a range of flesh toned card stock for the kids to choose from.  They only need a little square.  Using a plastic shooter cup (yes it's those same ones from the Dollar store) trace out a circle.

Using coloured pencils I add the hair and rosy cheeks.  With a sharpie I add eyelids and a smile.

Your angel could have open eyes if you prefer.

Cut out the halo and glue near the top of the background.

Glue the face into the middle of the halo.

To make the wings fold the printed wax paper in half.

Cut a leaf shape on the fold so you have 2 wings.

To attach to the background I use mod podge.  I use the mod podge instead of glue because I want it to dry clear.  Glue can sometimes dry cloudy and you would see it thru the wings as they are a bit translucent.

Glue on the body of the angel.  I just use tacky glue.

For the feet I cut 2 circles from a gold placemat. (Dollar store again)

Cut the book page into strips for the arms.  I added a sequin star.

I printed out the text "all is calm, all is bright".

I added some colour with some disk tempera.

Glue onto the background.

Finally you can add a coat of Mod podge to add a nice shiny finish and help keep everything in place.

That's it.

If you are interested in winning your own copy of "Daily Zen Doodles" by Meera Lee Patel you can enter by doing one of the following:

- leave a comment on this post
- like or comment on this post on my Facebook page
- or send me an email at

I'll make the draw on Friday Nov 28th/14.

Good luck everyone.

A big thank-you to Ulysses Press for sponsoring this giveaway!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Poppies in the Art Journal

Looking for a poppy themed art project for the art journal…..or maybe the bulletin board.

This is a very easy poppy project, no special supplies.


- paper or journal page
- reference photo
- black washable markers, the regular crayola, Mr. Sketch, etc.
- disk tempera paint
- red paper, optional
- glue, optional
- fine sharpie or your favourite pen if you want to add text to your page


A big thanks to Mrs. Werbicki who was the inspiration for this project. She used this technique a lot, doing leaves, then pumpkins, and finally poppies in Grade 2.

Provide students with a reference photo to point them in the right direction.

Have them draw some poppies.  I like to stress that poppies can be irregular, no perfect petals.
We also tend to see them at different angles, not all straight on.  We may only see half of one, the side view of another.

This will make the drawing look more realistic right off the bat.

Add a pod or 2.

You now need those washable markers. Most kids have them with their school supplies.

Outline all the flowers.

Using disk tempera start painting in the poppies.  We work from lightest colour to darkest.

We want variation in the colour of  our poppies so paint some parts yellow.

Add some orange and then some red. The colours all start to mingle and we get that variation I mentioned.

Add some green for the stems and pods.  Finally add some black in the centres.

I also splashed some paint on my background.

Here is where the magic happens.  The water in the paint makes the marker start to smear creating   a great soft look.

Take some red paper.  Here I have some extra painted paper I had.  I ran it thru my cuttlebug with an embossing folder to get some nice texture.

Cut out the letters for Poppy.

Glue the letters on your page and then add some text, a poem, or just your thoughts on Remembrance Day.

That's it.