Check out our easy tutorial below for how to make your own marbled paper using some common items you probably have around the house:
  • shaving cream
  • liquid watercolors or food coloring
  • eye droppers, medicine droppers, or pipettes
  • pie plate (we like the light weight aluminum ones)
  • wooden skewer (or something to stir with)
  • paper shapes
  • squeegee
For older artist, the results are stunning and the design possibilities are endless.  For younger artists, the process of squirting out the shaving cream and dropping the color is great for fine motor development (not to mention, it's fun to play in the colored shaving cream when your done!).  

For a edible version, try whipped cream instead of shaving cream.  The colors aren't as bright, but it's safe for the really young artists to put in their mouths.

Step-by-Step

Step One: Squirt the shaving cream into the pie plate.  
You need complete coverage but it doesn't need to be deep.  We usually look for about half an inch.  You can use a spatula to spread it evenly around when your done squirting it out.

Step Two: Drop color onto the shaving cream.  
I think small drops work best.  We usually use 3-5 colors.  We don't dilute our watercolors for this activity.  You don't need much at all--maybe two teaspoons of total color!
Step Three: Swirl the colors together.  
The keyword here is SWIRL.  Not stir.  Not mix.  You're looking for swirls of color.  Using a thin stick (like a wooden skewer or even a toothpick) help ensure that the colors don't get too mixed up.  Hold the skewer perpendicular to the table surface and think of cutting and dividing up the dots of color instead of mixing.
Step Four: Place your paper shape on top of the shaving cream.  
Press down to make sure that the two surfaces connect at all points (press harder than you think).  
Step Five: Lift paper out of the pie plate and use a squeegee to scrap all the shaving cream off.  
If you don't have a squeegee, try an old gift card or expired credit card (or hotel key!)
Afterward, you can drop in more color, swirl again, and repeat the printing process.  Or, you can just enjoy the shaving cream as a sensory play invitation.  
We recently use our shaving cream prints to make planets. We splatter painted a piece of black construction paper with white paint and then glued on the marbled planets. 
These printed papers are perfect for collages (think spring flowers, fall leaves, etc).  They also make a beautiful set of notecards!
 
 
Teaching is what we do here at Orange Easel.  We teach art skills as well as life skills--like cutting with scissors, holding a pencil, and even using power tools (for the older kids).

We know that as parents, you are your kiddos BEST teachers.  And you've got a lot to teach!  We've got six magical words to help YOU teach anything.  We use them all the time when we're writing out a teaching plan or when we come across an obstacle in class.


I do. We do. You do. 

We think the "We do" step is really the most important (and the hardest) so this blog post is going to focused pretty heavily on that stage. We've outlined some tips below.  Be sure to watch our YouTube video too, where Miss Allison explains more about these three stages.

What can you teach ?

Our job as parents is to make little productive adults, right?  So, what can we teach?  Well, everything we know.  We need to  teach them everything that they'll need to be successful on their own.  All those life skills from tying their shoes to doing their own laundry to checking the tire pressure in their car tires.

There are many checklists floating around blogs and pinterests boards that can give you an idea of what kinds of tasks your children are ready to learn.  Do a google search.  Or just take our word for it, and check out this one from FamilyEducation.com

We generally believe that kids are much more capable than we give them credit for.  Given the proper TEACHING, they can be responsible for many jobs around the house.  

And teaching is what we do here. So, let us help you out.  

I do. We do. You do.

These are the steps.  There's no timeline for them.  There's no magic number of times you have to show them and do it with them before they "get it."  There's nothing that says that just because you've made it successfully to YOU DO that you don't have to revisit the WE DO stage when the bathroom cleaning gets a little lax.   

Just know that when your little ones (or big ones) are struggling with something that they SHOULD know how to do, it's time to go back to WE DO.

The Importance of We Do.

That means together.  Like side-by-side.  Fully supportive.  This is hard because whatever it is that you're trying to teach is going to take twice as long with someone else tagging along.  Gah.  It's going to be frustrating.  This is going to test your patience.  For you control freaks out there, this is going to test your ability to let go a little bit.  

The goal with WE DO is to teach them these new skills through cooperation not through coercion.  Everyone's experience will be better if your kiddos actually want learn it.  The pace of the learner matters.  

In no particular order, here's are best advice on WE DO.
  • It's not all-or-nothing.  Just because you're teaching your kids to do their own laundry and you're in the WE DO stage doesn't mean they have to always do it with you.  You can still do stuff for them.  They might even appreciate it a little more.  We all like it when people do stuff for us, right?  
  • Check your attitude.  If you're not in a teaching mood, don't bother.  See above and just do it yourself.  
  • Check their attitude.  Just because you're ready to teach, doesn't mean that their are ready to learn.  Set yourself up for success.  Make a plan together.
  • Teach with kindness, patience, and humor.  Don't just bark orders.  WE DO.  So, you do it too.
  • Don't expect perfection.  Don't refold the clothes.  Don't re-chop the onions.  Unless it's going to hurt or injury someone else in the family, leave it.
  • Get them on board with the process.  "Can you help me with dinner?" will usually get a positive response.  
  • If it gets stressful, call it off.  Live to fight another day.
  • Be a team.  Yes, laundry stinks.  Nobody likes to do dishes.  But, hey, we're in this together, kid.  Let's get it done.  
  • Praise them.  Not "Good job."  Instead try: "I really appreciate your help." "I know it's hard to learn something new.  You really tried hard and you got it."  "You made my evening better."  "I love spending time with you."  
  • Thank them for their help.  Even if it took five times longer than it normally does.

But, what if they just don't want to?

Honestly, who really WANTS to do laundry?  We get it.  It's hard to make these chores attractive.  

If you've got a little one who has dug in their heels on something, pick a different battle.  Start with something they're interested in.  Go slow.  Especially if they haven't had many responsibilities leading up to this point.  

That WE DO stage might need to last a good long while.  

Hang in there, parents.  You're raising responsible adults and that's not an easy task.
 
 
Not everyone can make it over to the studio over Christmas Break so we brought some art ideas to you via Facebook Live.  All of these tutorials use the basic art supplies and stuff we figured most people have around the house. If you need a new activity to keep the kids occupied, check out our tutorials and let us know how they go!

MONDAY - Paper Mosaic Art

Perfect for the older kids, these mosaics use magazines to create a sophisticated and texture-rich piece of artwork.

SUPPLIES:
  • Magazines
  • Glue
  • Paper or cardboard backing

TUESDAY - Ice Art

Sensory fun for the younger artists.  We even show you our trick for an inexpensive light table.

SUPPLIES:
  • Ice
  • Food coloring
  • Droppers
  • Salt

WEDNESDAY - Salt Dough Sculpture

Easy to make, clay or playdough substitute!  If you bake it, you can even finish your sculptures with paint.

SUPPLIES: 
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Water

THURSDAY - Fun with Weaving Art and Pom Poms

Use whatever you've got: yarn, ribbon, scrap fabric, etc.  Over-under-over-under...this weaving process is great fine motor practice for small kids, while the big kids can make a stunning piece of unique art.  

SUPPLIES: 
  • Yarn, ribbon, scrap fabric, material
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors

FRIDAY - Griddle Art 

One of our ALL TIME FAVORITES.  We love this way of "painting" with crayons.

SUPPLIES:
  • Flat electric griddle
  • Crayons
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper
 
 
Below are Holiday Hours and Class Schedule for December 22nd through January 4th.  Please check this list to find our when your class is meeting, IF your class is meeting, and when our studio will be open for regular business. 
OTHER NOTES:
  • We will be checking emails and phone messages daily.  If you leave us a message, you can expect a response within 24-48 business hours.

  • Gift Certificates ARE available in the studio and we are open for some last minute shopping hours before Christmas.  If you can't make it over to the studio, you can always purchase them online too.

  • Artists who have yet to enter the art show, please don't fret.  We will accept submission through December 31st. 

  • We will continue to book birthday parties over the holiday.  You can expect a response within 24-48 business hours.

  • There are no Preschool FUNdamental classes until January 6th.  Our December classes met only three times and the tuition was prorated to reflect the holiday schedule.

  • With the exception on Monday, our regular evening classes DO meet during that week between Christmas and New Years.  We're having a special ART + PJ's + HOT CHOCOLATE class so don't miss it!  (Monday artists -- pick a class time later in the week and join us!)

  • Enrollment for 2017 semester will continue through December 31st.  Don't forget to sign-up!

DECEMBER

Wednesday December 21st
Regular evening classes meet 5pm-8pm
4th/5th Grade and Emerging Artists will be working on finishing up their watercolor paintings and finish pieces for the January Art Show.

Thursday December 22nd
No Mom's Morning Out
No regular evening classes
Holiday hours - open 11am-4pm
Stop in during our Holiday Hours if you need to pick up a gift card, check the lost and found, or drop off work for the art show!

Friday December 23rd
Holiday hours - open 11am-2pm
Stop in during our Holiday Hours if you need to pick up a gift card, check the lost and found, or drop off work for the art show!

Saturday December 24th
STUDIO CLOSED for Christmas
No Open Studio Saturday 

Sunday December 25th
STUDIO CLOSED for Christmas

Monday December 26th
No Monday FUNdamentals
No evening classes
STUDIO CLOSED for Christmas
Monday K/1st and 2nd/3rd Grade classes -- please come to one of our special holiday pj-and-hot-cocoa classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday this week.  

Tuesday December 27th
No Tuesday FUNdamentals
Art Camp 10am-2pm
Regular evening classes 5pm-7pm
K/1st and 2nd/3rd Grade classes meet as scheduled.  Come in your pjs--Since our monthly projects have wrapped up, we will be making some fun holiday projects and drinking hot chocolate.

Wednesday December 28th
Art Camp 10am-2pm
Regular evening classes 5pm-7pm
4th/5th and Emerging Artists classes meet as scheduled.  Come in your pjs--Since our monthly projects have wrapped up, we will be making some fun holiday projects and drinking hot chocolate.

Thursday December 29th
Mom's Morning Out 9:30am-1:00pm
Art Camp 10am-2pm
Regular evening classes 5pm-7pm
4th/5th and Middle School classes meet as scheduled.  Come in your pjs--Since our monthly projects have wrapped up, we will be making some fun holiday projects and drinking hot chocolate.

Friday December 30th
No Friday FUNdamentals
STUDIO CLOSED

Saturday December 31st
No Open Studio Saturday
Open for private parties 12pm-6pm

JANUARY

Sunday January 1st
STUDIO CLOSED for New Years Day

Monday January 2nd
No Monday FUNdamentals
No evening classes 

STUDIO CLOSED for New Years Day

Tuesday January 3rd
No Tuesday FUNdamentals 
No evening classes

Holiday hours - open 9am-12pm

Wednesday January 4th 
Resume normal hours. January classes begin!
 
 
We're at the Farmer's Market on select Saturdays throughout the summer offering free face painting to all the kids!  Stop by and see us!
 
 
Our grade school classes have been designing their own two-color screens for tshirt and bags and more!  Check out what our class looks like when they FINALLY get to print!

Screenprinting!

Posted by Orange Easel School of Art on Monday, April 25, 2016

Some of the final projects:

 
 
Something for your Monday Morning!  Join us each Monday at 10am for some art ideas that you can do at home as well as the inside scoop on what's going on in the studio!

At Home Ideas, Studio News, Deadline Reminders, and More...

Posted by Orange Easel School of Art on Monday, May 9, 2016
 
 
These swirling colors are made from just a few ingredients.  Similar egg dying instruction may have you use shaving cream for this, but since we hope to EAT our hard-boiled eggs afterwards, we've chosen to use a whipped topping. 

Supplies needed:
Whipped Dessert Topping
Food coloring
Toothpicks
2-9x13 pans or baking dishes
Eggs (we like hard-boiled)
Paper towels
Cooking oil (optional)

Step 1: Preparing your "Tie Dye"

  • Cover one of the baking dishes with a layer of whipped topping.  You'll need about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Drop food coloring on the surface of the whipped topping.
  • Using a toothpick, swirl the colors into the whipped topping.  TIP: Keep the toothpick perpendicular to the surface and be careful not to stir.  

Step 2: Dying your Eggs

  • Make sure your eggs are dry. 
  • Roll each egg into the whipped topping to completely cover.
  • Place covered eggs into the second baking dish to rest.
  • You may need to add cool whip and repeat step 1 if you start to run low on your "dye"!
  • Let the eggs rest, covered in the whipped topping mixture for 30 minutes.

Step 3: The Reveal!

  • Wipe the eggs with a damp paper towel to remove all the whipped topping and uncover the swirls of color!
  • You can also rub a small amount of cooking oil on the eggs to make them shine!

If you try this at home, share your pictures with us by tagging us @OrangeEaselArt on Instagram or by posting to our facebook page.  
Local artists are invited to attend our Egg Decorating Workshop on Saturday March 26th.  Tie Dye will be one of SIX stations we'll have set up!  Click here to learn more.
 
 
Approximately HALF of our art class time is spent NOT making art. 

A great deal of our time is spent looking at our art and talking about in-progress art hanging on the wall.

We're learning so much by doing this exercise:
We're identifying WHAT we like. 
Everyone has different tastes and styles. What are you drawn to?  Miss Allison loves the color orange.  Miss Sara loves the color grey.  Admit it, you've got a color.  Maybe it's the one color that you always gravitate towards on the clothing rack, or the home decor items.  Maybe you're drawn to paisleys,  Or polka dots.  These are things that are good to know about your own personal tastes.   It's also important to NAME these styles.  Ornate, sketchy, minimal, modern, classic, bold, high contrast, intricate, etc.  The better we can TALK about our art, the better we can understand it.

We're finding out what "good" means. 
Set style aside for just a second.  We all know "good" when we see it. Everyone in the class can identify the "good" art. Yes, we make art that isn't good.  We all do.  That's nothing to be ashamed of or to shy away from.  "Not good" art is simply one step towards something great.  

But back to the "good".... What characteristics make it "good"?  Strong composition. Balance.  The rule of thirds.  Clear focal point.  Tension.  Attention to detail. Completeness. Contrast. Harmony.  

Breaking down "good" into parts makes it's achievable for everyone.  When we can see the components that make-up GOOD art, we can also see what's missing from ours.  Where it's lacking.  We're identifying the next step. When our class is looking at a body of work, we can more clearly see OUR next step: The direction we need to go. Changes we need to make. Things we need to focus on. It's important that that discovery comes from the ARTIST...it's not handed down from the instructor.

But what about FEELINGS...

One more REALLY important thing...we're not great at critique yet.  We don't know all the right words to describe what our brain sees.  We stumble over the words and use lots of pointing and gestures.  Getting the message across AND being tactful at the same time is just too much to ask.  

Because of this, the art on the wall during these discussions is often NOT from the class in session. 

Our community of artists will keep their art in their hands. The art on the wall is from a sister class who is doing the same project. Discussions can flow freely when the artists know that the friends who made it aren't in the room.  Afterall, they aren't trying to hurt anyone's feelings; they are working to learn the vocabulary to accurately and objectively (and kindly) describe art.  

Because that's what artists do.
 
 
A new take on the traditional paper chain!  All you really need is paper and a stapler.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
Construction paper strips (ours are 1.5"x9")
Stapler
Small piece of yarn or string (optional)
Scotch tape (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: 
Fold all of the strips of paper in half.

This will make the chain "building" process easier!
Step 2:
Insert one folded paper strip inside another, making sure that they folds are lined up and pushed together as tightly as possible.
Step 3:
Staple. Just above the folds.

Step 4: 
Leaving the inner most strip in place (red), gently pull down on the the outer strip (pink) to form a heart.
Step 5: 
While holding those (pink) ends together, wrap another strip (red) around the bottom of the heart.
Step 6:
Staple
REPEAT steps 4-6 to build a chain to your desired length
As the chain gets longer, you may find it easier to work "upside down"
To hang, make a small loop from a piece of string.
Locate the top two strips of paper which have not been formed into a heart.  Tape the sting on the outside of one of the strips. 
Then, bend the paper strips inward and pinch to form a heart.  Staple or tape to secure (depending on the size of your stapler, it may not fit!  Tape works just fine.)

Take it step further...

Here are some ideas to ADD to this project:
  • Before building your chain, write a name of someone you LOVE on each strip of paper
  • Add beads to the top yarn piece
  • Bead a string down the middle of the entire chain.  To do this you'll need a needle to poke through the folds of the construction paper
  • Create multiple strands to hang in a doorway or a window like a curtain
  • Join the ends of your chain together to make a wreath
  • Cut the strips of paper using decorative scissors
  • Play with different lengths and widths of paper in a single chain (you'll get different sized hearts!)