Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Unusual Way to Store Coal

Visit our webpage to find out what unusual item is storing coal in this free desktop wallpaper image (we have only shown you a bit of a teaser here.) Those of you that have ever lived in or traveled to Appalachia will recognize this scene.

Special edition prints of this image are available as well.

cpbstudios.com - gallery of work

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fantastic Friday with the Arts - Van Gogh's Sunflowers

Warm weather is here, spring is in the air, let's paint flowers! In honor of Vincent Van Gogh's March 30th birthday, we learned a bit about still lifes and tried our hand at painting sunflowers. We began our lesson by exploring the art of the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh (March 30, 1853 - July 29, 1890.) We paid special attention to Van Gogh's Sunflowers series. A large sample of these paintings can be found at http://www.vggallery.com/misc/sunflowers.htm .

I also took this opportunity to introduce the kids to the concept of the still life. A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects. Flowers in a vase definitely qualify as a still life. Because Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting are mostly yellow, we also discussed the term monochromatic, which means all of the colors in the artwork are tints (light versions) or shades (dark versions) of a single hue.

The kids began this project by drawing their own still life of sunflowers in a vase with a pencil. Ideally, it is best if the kids have actual sunflowers to look at when drawing their pictures, however since I did not have any, I printed out pictures of sunflowers for them to look at. Here is a website that has a lot of pictures of real sunflowers - www.sunflowers.com .

Begin painting - we used washable tempera paint.

Here is one of the most colorful finished pieces. This one happens to be created by my daughter who absolutely loves lots of color. She followed the guidelines of the project initially, but eventually went her own creative way, and that is OK. Monochromatic painting is not her thing. For me, art is all about creativity. As long as the kids are expressing themselves and creating, it doesn't matter if the finished product is a little different than expected. Originality is actually a good thing!

Well, that's it for this Fantastic Friday. As the spring flowers start popping up in your yard this spring, remember Van Gogh's sunflowers and try a still life of your own!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Sweet Girl

Meet my sweet daughter - she is 7 yrs. old now, but this adorable portrait takes me back to her first ballet recital when she was only 3. My husband is a portrait artist - this is his latest creation. We have recently started an online portrait business. If you happen to be looking for a gift for that hard to buy for person, consider a portrait. We have any easy to use website that allows you to quickly order the perfect portrait for you or someone you know. Take a look!
Our business can be found at - www.cpbstudios.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fantastic Friday with the Arts - Snowy Scenes

It seems winter may finally be nearing an end in Kentucky, so we decided to create one last snowy scene for the season. This project is one of my favorite winter art lessons. It is very easy to create, and the strong contrast between the black, white, and blue makes for a very dramatic and eye catching scene. It is popular with the kids, and the parents always seem impressed by the results.

I always begin this lesson by showing paintings of wintry scenes by famous artists. I usually choose Pieter Bruegel's The Hunters in Snow -The Hunters in the Snow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , as well as any winter scene from Hendrick Avercamp -WebMuseum: Avercamp, Hendrick . Both men were Dutch, and lived during the 16th century. They both created wonderful winter scenes.

After viewing the work of the two artists, the kids began to draw their own winter scene. They used black marker on blue paper. I explained to them that these scenes are "twilight scenes." Scenes taking place just as the day is coming to an end, therefor showing everything in a dark silhouette only. We also looked again very closely at Bruegel's The Hunters in Snow. I wanted them to notice the depth and perspective found in this work. We discussed the concept of foreground, middleground, and background. Anything they wanted to be far away (or in the background) should be smaller than what they have drawn in the foreground. I encouraged them to try to have an item, such as a fence, span all three space levels. The item should start off large, and gradually diminish in size until it disappears into the background.

The next step is super easy. Paint the snow! Many times I have used white chalk for this step instead. It creates a bit of a softer look. I reminded the kids to paint the snow anywhere it would naturally land in real life - branches, fence posts, or roofs.

That's it! Pretty snowy scenes! Let's hope these cute pictures don't evoke any more snowy weather in Kentucky. This is the last bit of snow we all want to see until next winter!!! Have fun creating!