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Happy Spring! The weather in upstate NY has been seasonably cold this winter and we are ready for warmer weather. Around here though, you have to wait for that. Consistently lovely days don’t arrive until May. In the meantime, we enjoy the few special nice days we get and we turn our attention to the coming of spring. What better way to celebrate than with some spring art with nature study? We took some time enjoy more of Hodgepodge’s art tutorials using A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels.
Chalk Pastels Are for The Whole Family
One of the things I love about Tricia and Nana’s art is that all of our kids can enjoy the projects from younger to older and from art challenged to art gifted. Chalk is a very forgiving medium and even my 10th grader, who doesn’t enjoy art, has a good time and is pleased with his results.
Tools for Chalk Pastel Art
You don’t need much to get started. Here’s our list.
- Chalks– we use a set from the local craft store. I bought two since we have four kids. Less sharing is required that way. I like to ease stress during art times!
- Paper towels– damp ones too (baby wipes work but we don’t have those around anymore and no…I don’t still buy them!)
- Mats– something to work the art on so you don’t worry about the table. If you are a worrier about tables where art is concerned.
- Paper– I really like the sulphite drawing paper from Discount School Supply. It can handle wet and dry media.
Bonus Item: Not necessary for the success of your time with the chalks, but you need something to read along with the tutorial.
- Kindle Fire– or another tablet on which to view your tutorial. I used my laptop in the past, but the Fire takes less space and is easy for all the kids to see.
Acrylic Art Challenge Included
According to Tricia, Nana wanted to add some challenging assignments for the art experts among us. I’m so glad she did! The assignment is for a spring tree in acrylic and my daughter took the challenge. This is a fabulous activity for kids who want to take their art to the next level. Here are some of her results:
Tools for Working with Acrylic Art
Here are a few things we’ve gathered as we’ve begun to work with acrylic paints. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is what Rebecca has asked for which she has put to good use!
- Acrylic paints– I’ve always used craft acrylics, but the art acrylics are thicker and more vibrant. Lovelier all around! We have the three primary colors plus a dark and light green.
- Palette– Rebecca asked for one and it’s been a well used tool for her.
- Brushes– A must! I’ve always had a variety of sizes and types from a large assorted package, but artsy girl asked for open stock, quality brushes for Christmas and we delivered. I hit a 60% off sale in December and stocked up. Wow! What a difference a brush can make!
- Canvas– Tricia uses the canvas board, but we’ve enjoyed using stretched canvas in the large packs.
Color Mixing & Brush Technique for Acrylic Art
One of the best parts of this project was the color mixing! It was just a few sentences of directions from Nana that tell your student how to mix up a nice gray for the walkway and the brown for the tree trunks.
The messier, the better as far as Rebecca is concerned and mixing her own colors and shades was part of the joy.
After mixing the colors, Nana mentions the magic of using a brush in a particular way. Your student gets to test it out while putting down layers of the painting. Fabulous results! There’s a bonus technique when it comes to the dogwood blossoms. Wait until you see that fun!
Video Art Courses from Chalk Pastel
Hodgepodge and Chalk Pastel now have video art courses! What a fabulous way to follow along with the projects in any of the chalk pastel books. We love Nana’s camera presence. It’s just like being there with her!