Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birdhouse of paper mache

I've got this great paper mache lesson from Ghislaine Aarts.

You need:

  1. box from boots
  2. scissors
  3. masking tape
  4. saw
  5. 2 wooden paint stirrers (DIY store)
  6. wallpaper paste
  7. newspaper strips
  8. toilet paper or paper towels
  9. brushes
  10. acrylic paint or tempera paint
  11. brushes
  12. varnish
  13. artificial snow
  14. small decoration items like pineapples, peanuts or berries
  15. glue gun
  16. wood for frame
Make a rectangle from the lid of the boots box by cutting the sides. Cut three rectangles from the box and glue them up with masking tape. See the photograph.

Saw one of the sirrers in two halves. Lay the halves of the stirrers and the complete one on the board. Lay the cardboard roof above. See photograph 2.

Paste everything together with newspaper strips and wallpaper paste (paper mache). Your latest layer has to be toiletpaper or paper towel. Leave the work to dry.

Paint the bird house with acrylic paint or tempera. Paint one or more birds upon it. Let your work dry carefully and then finish it with colourless varnish. Scatter some artificial snow on the roof if you like it. You may glue some berries, pineappels or peanuts around the bird house for decoration. Frame your work.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentine's day (with Jim Dine)

You need:

  1. white paper 20 by 20 cm

  2. cardboard 10 by 10 cm

  3. pencil and ruler

  4. scissors

  5. glue

  6. colour pencils

  7. oil pastel crayons

  8. chalk pastel

  9. salt

  10. tempera paint

  11. different kinds of coloured paper (ribbed cardboard, tissue paper, crepe paper etc.)

  12. watercolour paint

  13. brushes

  14. markers

  15. red or pink paper for background

Jin Dine, born in 1935 in Cincinatti, is a sculptor and popart artist. Hearts, ties and tools are recurrent themes in his art. Let children learn about Jim Dine by showing and discussing his artworks. Because of upcoming Valentine's day a lesson about hearts today! Basic colours are red and white (and making pink of these of course!).

Children get a sheet from 20 by 20 cm. They have to divide this sheet with ruler and pencil into four squares from 10 by 10 cm. Fold the little cardboard and draw a heart against the fold. Cut it out. Trace this heart in the four squares. Divide the different colouring supplies on different tables. Stimulate children to experiment with these materials. What happens when I sprinkle salt in watercolour paint? How can I make my heart pop up from the paper? Can I combine chalk pastel and oilpastel? What happens when I sprinkle water on tissuepaper? Students have to colour their hearts and backgrounds by using as many supplies and techniques as possible. While doing this, kids may walk around through the classroom(s) and choose the place where the art supplies of their choice are. The only restriction is: when all chairs are occupied, you have to choose another supply first. When the four hearts are ready, they have to be pasted on a red or pink background.

All artworks are made by children of 10-12 years old

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Design your own clock!

You need:

  1. plywood plate
  2. jigsaw
  3. sandpaper
  4. carbon paper
  5. pencil
  6. clock
  7. tempera paint
  8. brush
  9. things to symbolize figures
  10. picture hook

Children first make a design for their clock on paper. With carbon paper this design has to be copied on the jigsaw. Saw the clock and sand it smooth. Don't forget the edges. Paint the clock with tempera. Paste figures or other things to symbolize the figures on your clock. Fix a hook on the backside and hang your clock.

All clocks are made by students of 11-12 years old.

Thanks to Ton Sommers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter scene

I got this lesson from Anneriek Adema. Her students (11-12 years old) made this wonderful winter scenes!

You need:
  1. wc role
  2. coloured paper
  3. glue
  4. scissors
  5. polystyrene
  6. wire, sticks etc.

The wc role is the basis for a snowman, skiing person, ice skater or something. Use coloured paper to make a person, and place him on a piece of polystyrene. Use different materials to make an environment.

This lesson can also be used to make a group work. Give every group a larger piece of polystyrene and let them discuss about what they are going to make.

Colourful dog

You need:
  1. newspapers torn in strips
  2. wallpaper paste
  3. toilet paper or paper towels
  4. tempera paint
  5. brushes
  6. black marker
  7. varnish

There are many tutorials in the internet about paper mache. Search for 'how to make paper mache'.
In this lesson we made doggies from paper mache. After drying the dogs are painted with tempera in bright colours. Use a black marker to outline the patterns. Finish the dog with transparent varnish.

Made by students from 10-11 years old
Thanks to Anne Steenbergen en Malou.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Printed penguins and polar bears

Made by Brittany, 11 years old

You need:
  1. piece of linoleum from 12 x 12 cm
  2. photograph form polar bear or penguin
  3. carbon paper
  4. lino knive
  5. mat
  6. black block printing ink
  7. flat piece of glass
  8. linoleum roller
  9. white drawing paper A4 size
  10. lino press
  11. scissors and glue
Children take a picture from a penguin of polar bear. The animal must be complete, not only a part of it. Because of the fact the animals must be printed, contour lines are important.
Each child gets a piece of linoleum from 12 by 12 cm. Use carbon paper to draw the contours of the animal on the linoleum. Use lino knives to cut the background away; the animal has to remain. From the penguins the white belly has to be cut away too. But: remember the contour line has to remain. Details such as eyes, lines that indicate legs etc. have to be cut away with a small lino knive.
Shake the bottle of blockprint carefully to be sure oil will mix with the rest. Drip the paint on the glass and roll it out with the lino roller. Make several prints of your work. Choose the two best ones and paste them on a black background.

By tearing the paper instead of cutting, you'll accentuate the effect of the winter. The torn paper suggests an ice floe. See the example above.

Made by children from 11-12 years old

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chilly penguin

You need:

  1. grey construction paper A4 size
  2. black shiny paper
  3. white wallpaper
  4. glue
  5. white tempera
  6. q-tips
  7. leftovers of coloured paper
  8. fleece fabric
Children cut a penguin body and wings out of black shiny paper. The belly has to be cut out of white textured wallpaper. The earmuffs and scarf are cut out of fleece fabric. Eyes and noses are cut out of coloured paper.
Snowflakes are stamped with a q-tips and white tempera paint.

Made by children of grade 1.
This lesson is done by Lilia Bezemer and based on examples found on Artsonia.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Made by Marije, 10 years
You need:
  1. white drawing paper A3 size
  2. oil pastels or crayons
  3. watercolour paint
  4. brushes
  5. glitter
  6. glue
Show photographs from enlarged snowflakes or (even better): let students see snowflakes with a magnifying glass or microscope. Discuss the hexagonal structure. The children draw a few snowflakes on their sheet with oil pastel crayons. The flakes don't have to be complete, parts of the flakes can be drawn along the edges.

After this, the sheet has to be painted with diluted watercolour paint in winter colours. The oil pastels will resist the paint. When the work is dry, sprinkle a little glitter in in small dots of glue.

Monday, January 11, 2010

In the style of Keith Haring

Made by Danjel, 11 years old

You need:

  1. white drawing paper
  2. markers
  3. black construction paper
Haring's works originated from the graffiti art and is distinguished by tight lines and the use of bright colours. Haring also worked iti with chalk on black painted plates and vases and statues. Haring has developed his own distinctive artistic language of symbols, symbols that almost look like icons.

Made by Jessica and Sjoerd, 12 years old

Show some works of Haring.. On you'll find everything.
Discuss the distinctive features of the drawings of Haring: cartoon-like people, little details, often thick black lines and outlines, bright colors and little stripes to symbolize movement.
Let the children create a drawing in the style of Haring. They have to omit many details as possible, and yet convey a certain feeling. Children have to remain a lahf centimeter of white around their drawing, just like Haring did.
Paste the drawings on black construction paper and make sure the works are signed by the artists.
On you'll find more than 80 lesson ideas about Keith Haring.

Made by Brittany, 11 years old

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grandma's cupboard

Made by Jara, 11 years old
You need:
  1. white drawing paper A3 size
  2. brushes
  3. tempera paint
Some grandmothers have cups and plates in all shapes and sizes. The complete dinner setthat once was, is over the years pretty decimated. Of course, the cups and bowls are replenished, but there is no uniformity anymore.

Draw grandma's cupboard. Draw a beautiful antique cabinet with different shelves. Paint your drawing with tempera. Show in your work the different styles and colours in plates, cups, mugs and bowls. Maybe your grandma has even different colours of wallpaper sticked on the inside of the cupboard!

Friday, January 8, 2010


You need:
  1. tempera paint
  2. light blue and white drawing paper
  3. ribbed cardboard
  4. black fine marker
  5. brushes
  6. glitter
  7. glue
A snow globe is a glass sphere containing a small scene. If you shake the globe, it will snow in it. In this lesson the snow globe will be drawn.
Give the children a sheet of light blue drawing paper. Let them draw a circle by outlining a saucer. In this circle they have to draw a winter (or Christmas) scene. After this it has to be coloured with undiluted tempera paint. When the paint is dry, outline the drawing with a fine black marker.

Cut the circle out and lay it on a white sheet of paper. Outline the circle then cut the white circle with one centimeter extra all around from the paper. Paste the drawing on the white circle. Cut a standard out of ribbed cardboard and paste both parts on another sheet of coloured paper of your choice. Sprinkle a little glitter in small dots of glue in and around the drawing.

Made by students of 10-11 years old

tamar schechner : artists who blog

Tamar's blog:
Tamar's website:
Tamar's shop:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

One day I stumbled across Alicia Paulson's blog "Posie gets Cozy", I never read a blog before and new absolutely nothing about the concept, I was shocked and delighted to discover a whole world that "spoke" my language and I could relate to. Before I moved to Vermont I worked as Style Editor in a magazine, so writing and using photography were not new to me, I loved the idea of having a bit of myself out there.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

When I moved to Vermont I thought I would become an Interior Designer, I did a lot of interiors for friends and really love it, my business is called Nest Interior Decorating, so hence the name. But Vermont is tiny and mostly rural and while waiting for clients to trickle in I started designing accessories which become my main livelihood.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

I sometimes design something and say to myself...this would look great on the blog, but that's rare since I sink into a complete meditative state when I design, I hardly ever think of blogging, but when I take photos I try to think of the little details, the colors, the styling everything that would make the work stand out and look great in the blog.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

I really mostly read design blogs and food blogs but here are 3 artists I read regularly:

Geninne, I love her art journal and her style and talent
Alicia Paulson, I love the way she writes and her fun and laid back style
Nina Van de Goor, amazing sense of style and a great artist

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

I love blogs that have great photos, I think it's interesting when you get a little personal but mainly I think you should just write about what inspires YOU most, people will follow.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

I love getting comments and feeling like I'm reaching out and inspiring, I get lots of emails telling me that I made a difference in someone life and that feels sooo good!!! It's very isolated working alone in the studio, blogging opened up a whole community of readers that have become like friends and I love that!

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?

I don't see any difficulty in being creative, it's always rewarding to me, I was always creative, it's my life.

Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?

I use flickr a lot too, I try to use twitter and facebook but find it a little boring...

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

When we moved to Vermont four years ago from a very hectic life style in a big city all we could think about is that balance in our lives and I think we really succeeded in doing the right thing, nature is all around us here, our life pace is slower and we take time to do things in a deeper and more thoughtful way, I spend more time with the kids, I cook a lot, We love to entertain, we grow our own vegetables and generally are loving living the little village life, when we miss the city we have a choice between Montreal (great city), NYC and Boston, so life is good.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2010?

I hope my business grows more and more, I would love to get someone to help me a few hours a week and by the end of 2010 to be able to move my studio out of the house and get help on a daily basis, I would also love to be able to afford to travel more, I miss Europe so much!!!!

Thanks so much Tamar for sharing! Your photography and use of color are beautiful and inspiring!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Swinging snakes

Made by Bart, 12 years old

You need:

  1. white drawing sheet A4 size
  2. colour pencils
  3. chalk pastels
  4. hairspray
Snakes swing themselves around branches of trees. In order not to fall, the snake has to swing alternately front and back along the branches. This is easy to be shown with a vacuum cleaner hose and a couple chair legs.
Children draw three trunks with some branches. Around the trunks and branches they draw three or more snakes. Be careful with the principle of going for along and back along.
The snakes have to be coloured firmly to highlight the contrast with the trees. Colour the trees. Colour the background with chalk pastel and fix the work with hairspray.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trees in the snow

Made by Kiki, 11 years old

You need:

  1. blue cardboard
  2. oil pastels
  3. glitter
  4. glue

Look what trees look like in winter: no leaves, just the trunk and branches. The trunk is wide and runs smaller to the top. Branches are getting smaller to the top also.
Children sketch with pencil one or two trees. The trees have to be coloured with oil pastels. Use more colours then just brown: with black, green or blue you can suggest texture in the trunk. Colour snow on the branches with white oil pastels. Of course there will be no snow hanging below the branches, it would fall down!

Use glitter to light up the snow.