80% of our phone calls and emails are regarding our amazing birthday parties.  Here are a few quick notes regarding these celebrations!

Our adult photography class played around tonight with extended shutter speeds.  There are some really wonderful effects that you can do with your camera if you DARE to put it on manual mode.  Before you attempt it, you need to understand that there are only three ways that a photographer can control the light hitting the film (or digital sensor): SHUTTER, APERTURE, and ISO.  

Have you ever tried to draw the interior of a room and the funny angles of the walls and furniture make your drawing look more like a carnival fun house instead of a something grounded in reality?

Your problem can be solved if you understand drawing perspective.

Our drawing fundamentals class spend this week's lesson learning the principles of one-point perspective (next week, we look at two-point).  

Some guidelines as you begin to grasp this concept:
  • One-point perspective only works if your viewer is facing the horizon dead-on.  In an interior room that is the furthest wall.
  • One-point perspective only works if your walls are square to the horizon and the object inside the room follow those walls (i.e. furniture is not set on a diagonal in the room)
The first thing to identify is the vanishing point.  Your vanishing point is at eye level of the viewer.  If you're creating a drawing from your own creative brain, this is important to know -- because where ever you set your vanishing point, you "put" your viewer there. 

Take a look at the photos above.  The vanishing point is higher and lower because the camera was raised and lowered.  Notice that the bottom photo is the perspective of a REALLY tall person but the top photo is taken from the perspective of a small child.  The vanishing point shifts up or down the depending on the viewer.  

Once you have your vanishing point established, the rest of the lines radiate out from the center.  Table tops, table legs, shelves, mirrors, picture frames, baseboards...anything that follows the walls of the room.  

Assuming all of your furniture follows the walls, your drawing should be composed of only three types of lines:  Vertical, Horizontal, and lines that radiate from the vanishing point.
There are an INFINITE number of colors that you can make from one tray of water color paints!  That's what our artists explored this week in class, while they practiced their brush strokes and paint control.
Any color, mixed with a small amount of another color, makes a new color.  That new color can be lighted by adding water.  Or darkened by added more pigment.  Or changed ever-so-slightly by adding a little MORE of the second color.  

Gradients, shades, tints, oh my!   How many different colors can you make?
We're still working through ours but we're hoping to fill page with NO REPEATERS!

Grid Drawing


Our Drawing Fundamentals class has spent the last two weeks focusing on ACCURACY.  Accuracy in rendering a subject, either from a photo or from still-life, is one of the first skills that we work on.  Angles and shapes fit together in the proper scale and proportions.  

Talented artists who can render accurately have amazing EYES.  It's not just the hands that draw.  We would even argue that hands aren't even the most important tool in drawing.  Drawing begins with the eyes and an awareness of how these angles and shapes fit together.  
One of the best ways to train our eyes to SEE these relationships is through drawing on a grid.  

Grids break up the large page into smaller, more-manageable spaces.   They give us a roadmap to follow.  It's easier to plot a point and hit the target if we narrow the playing field!
Below is an example of a simple grid drawing.
The original line drawing is on the left and the artist's rendering is on the right.  Completing this drawing without a grid, is much more difficult! (We know.  We tried!)
Our artists found it easier to work in one square at a time and to "jump" around, instead of working in neighboring squares.

We followed a 1:1 ratio on our grid drawings so that we could check our accuracy after we were done by overlay our drawing over the original.  

We used simple line drawings, but this exercise works with photographs as well.

Click here to download a printable grid and simple line drawing that you can try at home!
(Easter-themed, because we're dreaming of spring!)
We're spending our January the preschool room by focusing on science and art.  We've got a full line-up of colorful chemical and physical reactions that produce art.  On of our first experiments is making monoprints with bubbles!  The result is a lacy, delicate painting.


You'll need:
A pie plate, a small bowl, or something similar
Food coloring
A Straw
Dish soap
OPTIONAL: We used a cookie sheet under the bowl for all the "runaway" bubbles!  
>> Read more about our uses for cookie sheets here

Combine the food coloring, water, and dish soup in the bowl.  It only takes a couple drops of dish soap to make some really great bubbles.  The amount of food coloring you use will determine how dark or light your print is.

Blow bubbles using a straw.  Our young artists/scientist really liked blowing the bubbles until they overflow the sides of the bowl (hence the cookie sheet).  

Press the paper on top of the bubble-bowl.  Voila!

Video Clip of Bubble Printing