Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Printmaking - Self-Portrait

This is the demo that I made for my 8th grade students' printmaking project. They learned about the pop art movement, with a focus on Andy Warhol's screen printed portraits. The students carved their own portraits, using photos for reference to do a transfer on to the rubber printing blocks. After doing a series of test prints, the students then printed their portrait four times with their choice of colors. Below you can see the finished portraits by my students. The final portraits measure approximately 14" x 14".

Monday, January 24, 2011

Printmaking - Owl

I recently finished doing printmaking assignments with all of my classes. I had them use rubber printing blocks for carving. My 6th graders were making prints of the subject of their choice, so this owl print was my demo for their class. It's inspired by a vintage cast iron trivet that I own. Below you can see some of the work by my 6th grade students.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paris - part 3

On December 30th we went to Montmartre for a second time with the intention to do some drawing and painting. The day started out nice and sunny so Jeff and I grabbed a seat outside Cafe des 2 Moulins, ordered some cafe creme, and got out our sketchbooks. I drew a picture of the little grocery store across the street. Jeff also took a lot of reference photos of Montmarte for us to use later on for artwork.

The Cafe des 2 Moulins is the one used in Amélie. We had breakfast there earlier in the week.

After the sunny morning, the weather turned rather gray and cold so we didn't really have a good chance to draw or paint outside anymore. The last drawing below was done while sitting outside Saint Severin cafe by Saint Michel at night. The weather was cold and rainy, but sitting under the awning and heat lamp at the cafe made for some good people watching.

While the weather in Paris may not have lent itself well to drawing outside, I do have 1500+ reference photos to use for doing art from home, so you can definitely count on seeing more Paris themed artwork from me in the future!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Paris - part 2

On December 26th we went to the Eiffel Tower. It was very cold but luckily it was one of the clearer weather days, which worked out perfectly for some sightseeing. After going into the Eiffel Tower we wandered over to the little Christmas village - Village de Noel, I think - that had been set up in the big plaza area across from the Tower. There were a lot of booths selling food and knicknacks, as well as music and an outdoor skating rink. We found an empty table next to the skating rink to sit and rest at, and since the view of the Eiffel Tower was pretty good from there I decided to try painting. I was determined to do at least one on location painting while we were in Paris.

I had to work fast because my fingers were getting really cold, and the sun was rapidly setting. The orange lights on the Eiffel Tower turned on as we were sitting there. While I was painting, a small group of kids stopped by the edge of the skating rink and watched me. They started talking to me, but since I don't understand French I could only smile and shrug. The kids had a hastily whispered conference and then attempted to talk to me again, with the lead girl haltingly saying, "You draw bee-yoo-tiful!" I laughed and thanked them. They giggled and skated away. Cute kids.

After finishing the little watercolor painting, we went inside one of the food tents so I could hold my sketchbook by a heat lamp to get it to dry. The cold was what kept me from doing much painting outside - too hard on the fingers and the paint just took too long to dry. Once I could close my sketchbook, we walked around and took some more photos of the Eiffel Tower.

And the next morning Jeff asked me to marry him. Definitely the best Christmas break ever!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paris - part 1

Over the Christmas and New Year's holiday, Jeff and I went to Paris. We did some sketching and painting while we were there, but not too much on location artwork because it was so cold outside. We did take a lot of reference photos, though, to use for paintings and drawings once we got back home.

For the next few days I'll be sharing the few pages from my sketchbook that I did work on while we were there.

The first day we were in Paris was actually Christmas day. After much walking around and exploring, we ended the day with some dessert and people watching in this cafe. The name of the cafe was Cafe Panis, across from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Inspirations: Vintage Books no.10

I hadn't been to the local used book store in a while, so last night I went to check it out and see what was new. I found a few great vintage childrens' books to add to my collection, including the one below.

Alexander, by Harold Littledale and illustrated by Tom Vroman, was published by Parents' Magazine Press in 1964. The illustrations in the book make great use of strong lines, simple shapes, and vibrant colors. The pages in the book alternate from full color to black and white with red accents on every other page. Many of the color pages make great use of utilizing the white space around the images, with the little boy in the book often moving around on the white of the page while Alexander the horse is in the main color image.

You can click the tags at the bottom of this post to re-visit the previous books and inspiration posts.