Colourful Picasso Drawing

I am back from vacation (more of which soon!) and am trying to catch up on some of the art lessons and art time I missed out on while travelling.  It is impossible for me to catch up entirely so I have determined I will do 50% of the missed lessons and journal prompts.  That way it forces me to eke out some art time during this busy summer while not putting me under pressure.

I chose this Life Book lesson because it looked like I could easily fit it into a small chunk of time.  I did it in three stages – gesso, drawing, painting – but in total it probably took me about half an hour.  In the lesson, Misty Mawn used Picasso’s line drawing of a female head, part of his War and Peace series.  Normally I would do my own thing but a) I have always loved this Picasso drawing and b) I needed to just crack on with the art so this time I decided to use the same drawing as my starting point.  The drawing – done with Neocolor II crayons –  was quick to do.  The final stage was also quick and easy as I simply filled in the shapes with white paint, blending the crayon.  I usually use Neocolor as a layering element in mixed media pieces or as a sort of watercolour so it was new to me to use them to tint white paint.  I think I will use that technique again.

26 Picasso Sketch 1

26 Picasso Sketch 2

Paint Chip Doodles

Every Summer I undertake a project with my four sons.  The idea is that it keeps them busy and stimulated for a period each day, it might involve trying something new or learning something, it provides some structure and routine to each day of the (exceedingly long) summer break, and it gives us a focused activity to do together each day.

In previous years, the projects have very much had an educational focus.  For example, we did ancient civilizations a few years ago; the 50 states of America; Knights, Kings and Castles; and last year we studied History of Art.  This year, however, I am trying a slightly different approach.  This year, the spread of ages of the kids – the youngest being 7 and the oldest 13 – made it a challenge to settle on a subject that would be accessible to everyone.  So for this year I am experimenting with a less educational approach and making it more about sampling fun activities.  As such, I created a whole list of possibilities and printed them out on paper, folded, and popped them in a box so that we can do a “pot luck” each day.

First up then was an activity inspired by the wonderful Claudia McGill.  On one of her blogs, Claudia had shared some illustrations she had done using paint chips cards as her creative scaffolding.  I squirreled that idea away for future use and decided it was perfect for the pot luck.

I had collected up an assortment of paint chip cards last time I was in a DIY store so the boys were able to select colours that caught their eye or else look at the names of the paint shades and make a selection that way.  We drew on them with black biro for ease of use.  The only “rule” was that the name of the paint had to inspire the doodle.

Here is what my 13 year old came up with.  The pink strip is dishy coral, sweety pink, and prettiest pink; the red strip is magnificent red, show stopper, candy heart, and robust red; the pale green strip is heather green, pottery glaze, and misted mint; and the yellow strip is lime blast, alchemist, game changer, and ginger wasabi.

Paint Chip Doodles AB

My 7 year old wanted to work with all natural, neutral colours.  The dark brown strip is back in the saddle, brevity brown, woodsy hollow, and relaxed vibe (so relaxed that the wee figure is in fact deceased); the beige strip is tawny owl, linwood sands, and paper kraft; the red-brown strip is fireweed, burnt scarlet, farm stand apple, and coralbelle; and the grey strip is saxon grey, stone eagle, and icicle.

Paint Chip Doodles AR

My 9 year old doodled on these three paint chip cards: the green one is admiral bronze, pampas grass, rainforest floor, and olivine crystal; the peach hued one is coral odyssey (that’s Odysseus between his foes), indulgent peach, and coral perfection; the purple one is impulsive purple, opulent purple, allium blooms, and elusive violet.

Paint Chip Doodles ET

My 10 year old’s selection was a blue strip containing sweet lavender, celestial skies, and melodious; the brown strip containing fireweed, burnt scarlet, farm stand apple, and coralbelle; the yellow strip featuring lime blast, alchemist, game changer, and ginger wasabi; and the red strip of magnificent red, show stopper, candy heart, and robust red.

Paint Chip Doodles OA

Here are the doodles I produced:the blue strip containing sweet lavender, celestial skies, and melodious; the pink strip is dishy coral, sweety pink, and prettiest pink; the lilac strip is thistle, furtive mauve, and plumsicle; and the yellow strip features yellow & mellow, morning mimosa, and vanilla chai.

Paint Chip Doodles LR

It was a super quick, super thrifty, and super fun activity.  The kids all really enjoyed it so I can add this to my “rainy day” list of activities.  They plan to use their paint chip strips as bookmarks which I think is a great idea.

Tree of Hearts ~ Art Journal page

The challenge for Week 25 of the Documented Life Project was to incorporate hearts.  I have some serious time management problems now that the kids are all home for the Summer break and frankly I was just lacking in inspiration.  However, looking through my 8 year old son’s school art folder finally set the creative wheels in motion.  I had wanted to do something much more mixed media this week – steering myself away from my default drawing  – and had even hoped to experiment with some new techniques.  However, it came down to some cheap children’s watercolours and black ink.

This is what I came up with:


For something that took me under fifteen minutes start to finish I am fairly pleased with how it turned out.  I am not really one for mawkish sentiment but the quotation seemed to tie in with the image and incorporating some text helped reduce the black in the tree trunk.  I wish I had given a little more thought to composition as the branches are very near the top of the page while I have all that empty space at the bottom of the page.  That’s what happens when I rush, I suppose.

This is my 8 year old’s art work which inspired my Art Journal page.  I like it a whole lot better than my version: