Saturday, January 28, 2017

Valentine Snowman

This is a cute Valentine project for your bulletin board, art journal or to go home for Mom and Dad.

You can also add text if you want.


- wc paper or heavy painting paper for background
- blue disk tempera
- rubbing alcohol spray or piece of household sponge
- white liquid tempera or acrylic
- white cardstock or poster board
- black, red and orange paper scraps
- glue
- oil pastels
- glitter glue and text, optional


First off I'm having camera issues so bear with the inconsistent photos.

Tape off your background paper.  Using blue disk tempera paint your background.

To give your background texture and make it look like it's snowing try one of these techniques:

- spray on some rubbing alcohol, I just buy it from the dollar store (supervise the kiddos for this one)
- spray some plain water (not quite as effective as alcohol but works)
- sponge on a little white tempera

When background has dried paint some snow on bottom of page.

Out of some white cardstock or poster board cut 3 circles.  I traced around 3 different tapes I had lying around.

Cut out circles.

I want to define my circles a bit so I took a white oil pastel and outlined the circles.  I have kids place it on a scrap piece of paper and colour on the outline so that it is half on the circle and half on the paper.

Repeat with a touch of black.  Just a touch we don't want a muddy snowman.

With your finger smudge that pastel around the outline, you should get a grey smudge.

Glue on your circles, overlapping them.

Now add your details.  Cut out a hat from the black paper scraps and glue it on. Use oil pastel to add eyes, mouth and arms.
Add a red paper heart and an orange paper carrot nose.

Finally you can add some glitter glue to the snow and snowman for that extra sparkle.

You can also add some text if you want and that's it.

I think they are adorable!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Penguin Weaving

I have 2 penguin weaving projects for you.

This easy paper weaving.

and this yarn woven penguin using a loom.

Paper Woven Penguin:


- 1 piece of white cardstock (8.5x11), 1 piece of blue cardstock, I piece of black cardstock, and 1 sheet of drawing paper (8.5x11)
- scraps of white paper and orange paper
- white and silver paint
- glitter glue
- crimper, optional
- pencil, white pencil crayon, scissors
- glue
- snowflake punch, optional


First off I want to take my 1 piece of drawing paper and cut it in half the short way.

I want some interesting papers to weave into my penguin so I alter my 2 pieces of drawing paper.

I might paint one with glitter

or spray on some splatter

or stencil on a design with paint

or crimp in some texture with a paper crimper, this one does circles and add a little paint to accent the design.

It really doesn't matter what you do just make the 2 papers look different.
The kids will share papers so there will be lots of variety. 

Some other ideas:
- draw circles with gray crayon
- finger paint with grey and white paint
- sponge on some grey and white paint
- draw lines on with grey and white oil pastel

Fold your piece of white cardstock in half the short way.

Starting at the fold cut several slats in the paper. Stop about 2 inches from the top or open ends.

At school I either get students to draw these lines first with their ruler or I run the paper thru the photocopier putting the lines on for them.

When your painted papers are dry cut in strips the long way.

Start weaving. It should look like a checkerboard.

When my weaving is all done I took my blue piece of cardstock and folded it in half the long way.

I drew a sketch of my penguin, trying to determine how big to make my belly.  This sketch will not show in the final piece as we will use the other side.
Refold your paper and cut out the belly while folded, that way you get a symmetrical opening.

Before I glue my blue paper in place I need to trace my belly onto the black paper.  I missed this step so I used the piece that was cut away but I think it would be easier for your students to just place the blue page on top of the black and trace in the belly.

Glue blue paper into place.

Trim any excess white strips.

I have the penguin belly traced on my black paper so now I draw in the head and the wings.

I fold the black paper the long way and cut out the wings and head.  I don't want the belly so I mark it to remember to cut it off.

I wind up with something like this.  Because I cut on the fold both sides are identical.

Glue into place.  Any pencil lines are on the back of my black paper so I don't see them in the final piece.

Using the black paper that is leftover and some scraps of white and orange I cut and glue on the details of my penguin.

I add a few punched snowflakes.

Now you could draw some on with white crayon or pastel.

That's it for my paper woven penguin.

Yarn Woven Penguin:

- loom, I have 2 class sets of looms my father in law made for me but you can also just use a piece of corrugated cardboard with slits cut at the top and bottom
- string, you can also just use the white yarn for setting up your loom
- white and black yarn
- plastic fork
- black, white, and yellow or orange felt
- glue


Tie on your string and start stringing your loom.

I used 17 strings but you can choose what works for you as long as it is an odd number.

Take a good length (about 48") of black yarn and tie on to the first string of your loom.

Start weaving, I use a plastic needle to help me weave but you can also just tape the end with masking tape.

Make sure each row is opposite to what you did the row before (under, over)

Weave 25 rows.  Incidentally I use that plastic fork to push my weaving rows together.

Using that same black string I now start weaving on only 3 strings on the closest end.

I think I did about 50 rows double the number I did for the head of the penguin.

Tie off.

Now tie on the other side and do 50 rows on the first 3 strings on that side.

Tie off when done.

Switch to white yarn and tie on string for belly.

Weave 50 rows.

After the 50 rows I continue weaving for another 10 but I include all strings on the loom.

Tie off when done.

Remove strings from loom.  I then tie 2 by 2 of those loom strings into a good knot right close to my penguin weaving, trim excess.

I like to hide my loom strings so I flatten them to the back of my weaving a glue a piece of felt on top of them to secure.

Turn to the front and using felt add details.

You can also add a hanging string.

That's it you now have a yarn woven penguin.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Penguin March

This week the Calgary Zoo announced they would start up their very popular Penguin walk, where the King penguins get to go out for a walk around the zoo. That was the inspiration for this project.

I did 2 versions. A large 12"x18" (bulletin board size) and then a smaller 9"x12". (art journal size)


- background paper, use good heavy painting paper or wc paper
- blue disk tempera
- grey (black and white) liquid or disk tempera
- white paper
- black paper
- scrap of orange paper
- glue
- oil pastels, you need orange, yellow, black and white
- Kleenex
- some textures for printmaking, I used some bubble wrap and bumpy foam
- glue
- glitter glue, optional
- text, optional


Place your paper on your art board.  I like to tape my sides to hold it down and to get that nice white border.

With a pencil draw a path.

Paint with blue tempera along the sides of the path.  Get nice bright colour so make sure the students swirl that paintbrush on the disk well.

I wanted a snow effect so while the paint was still wet I used a Kleenex to lift some of that paint.  Similar to what we do when lifting clouds.

For the small one I concentrated where my lifting was like a snowbank.

For the large one I kinda did it all over.  It's up to you but I wanted you to see both results.

I then painted the path.  You can use disk tempera or liquid.  I used acrylic as that was what I had on hand in the studio.

To get grey you mix mostly white and a touch of black.

To add some texture to the path I mixed a darker grey, (just added some more black) and painted some bubble wrap and bumpy foam.

I then turned them over onto path and pressed to get that texture.

For the small version I didn't even paint the path just added the dark grey texture onto the white path.

While your background is drying let's make the penguins.

You start with the bellies. They are a rounded triangular shape. You want one large one and 2 smaller ones for perspective.

For the large version you can get 3 out of a 8.5x11 piece of paper.  For the smaller just cut the paper in half and set it up the same way.

Once the bellies are cut out use them to draw out your head and wings.

I call them wishbones you'll see what I mean in a moment.

I traced them in white so you could see them.  Use a white pencil crayon if the kids have a hard time seeing their pencil lines on the black paper.

See what I mean they look like wishbones.

For the large one you are going to need 1 and 1/4 pieces of black paper.  For the small just 1 sheet.

Glue the bellies onto the wishbones.

These are King penguins so we are going to add some colour with the oil pastels.

Put some orange right at the top of the white and then some yellow underneath.  Use a Kleenex and smudge it a bit.  Kleenex smudges better that your finger with oil pastels.
You can also add a touch or orange to the side of the head.

You can put some white pastel under the wings.

And I would add just a touch of black to sides and bottom to show the roundness of the penguin body.

Do it now as it is easier than waiting like I did.

Glue your penguins onto your path.

Add eyes (white circles and hole punched black circles out of scraps) or you could use googly eyes.

Cut out beaks from orange paper and feet.

I added some snowflakes.  I have this great Martha Stewart snowflake punch that I use constantly during the winter. Kids love punching snowflakes.

You can add a touch of glitter glue to snow for that sparkle.

Finally I added some text to finish the project.

That's it.