Wednesday, November 23, 2011


As the Picasso's Basement Fall Season wraps up I'm looking forward to HOLIDAY GIFT DAY AT PICASSO's BASEMENT. On Saturday December 17th from 10AM - 1 PM I will be hosting kids whose parents need some shopping time. We'll be making holiday gifts for family and friends, eating some holiday treats, and playing a holiday game.  For more details on this please look for upcoming updates on Picasso's Basement Facebook Page.

In the meantime, here's a craft I created from an old Capri Sun Juice Crate, an old map, a little paint, a utility knife, and a good dose of Mod Podge paste and sealant.

My husband accuses me of living like a bag lady in my own car . So you can see I've filled it with some of the many items that usually sit under the feet of the passenger: pencils, tape, CDs, magazines, etc. Also makes a handy desk caddy. It's an easy craft to do with your children.

Better yet, send them to HOLIDAY GIFT DAY AT PICASSO's BASEMENT and they can make one to give to a loved one as a gift!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh Bookmark, My Bookmark

Last class of the session for my 3rd - 6th Grade group and they specifically requested a free drawing day. I tried, oh how I tried, to let them have a day without any structure. But it went against my nature as an illustrator so I figured I'd give them something to work towards.  BOOKMARKS.

Luckily I had these cool plastic sleeves I'd bought for my own promotional bookmarks when I remember I'm an illustrator.

All you have to do is draw something on card stock and have it fit in the sleeve. The kids had a lot of fun, created some really wonderful designs. OK, it was essentially a free drawing day, right? And I'll miss them until the next session in January!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And the Leaves That are Green Turn to Brown...

This post title comes to you with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel!

Autumn, when all art teachers must make the kids work with leaves. Which is not a bad thing, leaves are beautiful. Like all things in nature, none are identical. They have different shapes and no leaf is JUST one color. The red ones have a touch of ochre, the green ones are a little brown or yellow. I decided we should really work with the mixes of colors and used this as an opportunity to break into my new Dick Blick chalk pastels and teach the kids about blending colors.

Black paper. Nothing shows up the vibrant chalk pastels like black paper. These chalk pastels were new to me, by the way:  handled like a pastel but with a lot more dust, softer than a chalk. Exhibit A: See pictures of kids covered in chalk dust! But talk about vivid!

 I thought it would be pretty to use several long sheets of paper to allow the kids to work with several leaves and mount them together. And learn a little about composition to boot.

First they "drew" their leaves onto the paper with Elmers glue. I asked them to use more than one leaf design on each page so they could work with their composition skills. I even encouraged them to overlap the leaves but that took courage and only a few did it. Still, excellent drawings! When the glue dried it created a resist to the chalk and they were able to color them in using a limited palette of autumnal colors. I showed them how to blend with just ONE finger.

                                And then we mounted them on colored paper. GORGEOUS!!!!