Spring How-To!

Hooray for spring, warmer weather and FLOWERS! As a Florida native, experiencing my first PNW spring has been quite the experience. By far, the prettiest sight was when the cherry blossom trees bloomed. It seemed like it happened over night! Seeing the streets lined in beautiful bright pink trees was an inspiration.

It inspired me to paint!

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So, that is what 4 years of art school will get ya.. But for the beginner, I have a simple step by step How-To.

  • Step 1: Paint the background, I took light blue and dark blue and painted the center the lightest and got darker as I went to the edges.IMG_8736
  • Step 2: Using a white dry pastel, draw the outlines of the flowers, leaves and branches. IMG_8738
  • Step 3: Paint over the branches with dark brown.IMG_8739.JPG
  • Step 4: Using light brown, paint half of each branch. IMG_8740
  • Step 5: Paint all the leaves in half dark green, half light green. (each leaf)IMG_8742.JPG
  • Step 6: Paint all of the flowers in pink. We will add more details next.IMG_8743.JPG
  • Step 7: Add dark pink. Paint each individual flower petal half dark pink. IMG_8745.JPG
  • Step 8: Add very light and very dark pink stripes to each petal. Also, add a very light brown highlight to the bottom of each branch, and a very dark green line down the center of each leaf. IMG_8757.JPG

VOILA! CHERRY BLOSSOMS! SPRING!

For classes, visit our website @ feelartistic.org 🙂

PTA Reflection

PTA Reflection

(Sponsored by: Everett PTSA Council)

 

This year’s PTA Reflections prompt was about letting one’s imagination fly, a prompt that can be taken any number of ways. The versatility of a prompt such as this one is that students of all ages can give their own take on it: there were short stories about dragons and unicorns, drawings of hot air balloons and birds, pictures of wonder and ideas of discovery. I was pleasantly surprised by the art done with the medium of photography–there were some wonderful, creative works that I would never have thought of being brought to life in the form of a photo. The colors and spectacle in each piece of artwork made visiting this mini-exhibit completely worth it for me. It’s so inspiring to see children champion creativity over monotony!

Written by Rumi Gilani  

 

 

 

 

What exactly is Manga?

One of our most popular classes at the studio is Manga Art. Kids love it! It really lets them get creative artistically and gives them the opportunity to create a dialog.

But what IS manga?

Manga is Japanese style art. In modern days it has become comparable to comic books. Some modern pop culture references are Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, etc.

The origin of manga comes from the basic human desire of wanting to express and record – hence referring to the origins of manga as being that as fundamental as scribbles and doodles. The 20thC great master of mangaOsamu Tezuka is recorded to have stated that ‘manga begins from scribbles’. If one goes by this theory, we can argue that the origins of manga can stem as far back as the Stone Age scribbles on the cave walls. (Japanese Gallery, London)

Although manga started as scribbles and doodles it has evolved into a highly popular and profitable art form. There are manga t.v. shows, movies, and most common is comic books.

Similar to photography and cinematography, comic books were an art form that was not known in Japan before the 19th century. Folklore and mythology often represented famous historical scenes, and the idea of a narrative told by a sequel of images followed by an appropriate text was invented in the West.

The main difference between the first Western comic strips that started appearing in newspapers around 1900 and the Japanese manga was that the later lacked any political massage or intellectual criticism, which would be considered rude and offensive in Japan of the time.

The form, however, rapidly developed in an atmosphere of intellectual creativity of the ’20s and ’30s and one of the first manga magazines to be published in Japan –Shonen Club recorded sales of 900.000 copies as early as 1931. After the WWII, whereas American comics got restricted by the new censorship laws, mangaexploded into the most productive cultural industry of Japan, marking the aesthetics and visual concepts of the new generations.

What distinguished Japanese comic books from the rest of the world was actually the rich heritage of the traditional painting and craftsmanship, as suggested by the very title of the form. Centuries of sophisticated and complex print-making tradition manifested in the modern-day comic books by the selection of subjects as well as by the specific and particular use of perspective.

Thereupon, comics in Japan were always meant for everyone and dealt equally with the topics from everyday life same as with fantastic stories, while they were offering complete visual, almost cinematographic experience, with the text being used more as means of providing special effects in the background. The reason is that Japanese artists sometimes use more than 20 pages per single scene, thus visually presenting the entire event, which again can be put into a single sentence. Therefore, comics are not merely ‘read’ but more ‘seen’, an experience which is close to the understanding of Japanese language itself, which can be a reason for the initial development of a specific artistic preferences and therefore style in the first place. Keicichi Suyama, a manga researcher, states in the “Hisory of mangaJournal : World Edition 1972″ translates the word manga as Cartoon, or caricature.

Here a few student examples from the studio to get a visual!

Silhouette Art – What & Why?

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At the studio, we use silhouettes as a teaching tool for a variety of skills. Not only is this task simple enough for ages 5+, it is beautiful and teaches a lot. I’m going to give you the steps to make your own silhouette art and below I’ve outlined the skills you will acquire along the way!

Skill number 1: Simplifying an object. This sounds easy but it really can be difficult. You want to focus on the bare basics of your subject. Start by analyzing what are the most important and identifiable details about the subject. Once you have recognized those, you can start there. Not focusing on too much small detail. See the big picture.

Skill number 2: Drawing what you actually see. Most people have a set image in their head when they think of the item they are drawing. The key to a successful silhouette is erasing all preconceived notions of the object you are portraying. You need to be able to draw what you are actually seeing in front of your eyes. This way, your drawing will be easily identified after you have turned it into a silhouette.

Skill number 3: Lighting. Learning how to paint a silhouette and about the illusion you are creating can give insight into how you can use lighting to create a realistic work of art. By painting your image in complete black with an illuminated background this will give you a clue about where your light source is located and how that relates to shadows and colors.

Now you know the why, here is the what —->

STEP ONE: Think about your silhouette and come up with a sketch. Maybe it is something you can see in the room or something you have designed yourself. Sketch Sketch Sketch

STEP TWO: After you have your sketch complete you need to create a colorful background. Think about the silhouette you are making. What type of background would make sense? It is important that you pick a color scheme that makes sense and is appealing. *Use acrylic or watercolor paints for the background* LET DRY

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Above: Gracie being awesome 🙂

STEP THREE: Lightly sketch your silhouette over your dried background. Begin to use the black paint to color the silhouette image. Be sure to paint a ground and don’t be afraid of creative flare!

Your finished product should be colorful and make a cool illusion, just like Gracie’s.

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Cats Rule!

Visit our website at http://www.feelartistic.org

Art Therapy Benefits

Art Therapy Benefits For The Average Person

By expressing yourself through art, an art therapist can help you see things about yourself that you otherwise may not have comprehended. Art therapists can help you process emotions and feelings that you are struggling with, so you can begin healing. Since art therapists are trained in the arts and, obviously, in therapy, they are capable of guiding you through the process of creative expression. They are also quite capable of providing insight into your creations and helping you understand certain aspects of yourself that maybe you didn’t know existed, whether good or bad.

It is this idea of self-exploration that can often lead a person to some insightful conclusions about themselves. Don’t be surprised if the effects of art therapy lead to a general sense of relief and overall better mental health. Again, it’s therapy, but with a completely different ingredient than most people are used to, art.

It’s important to note that you don’t need an art therapist to reap the benefits of art therapy. If you go into art as therapy and learn about the basic concepts and ideas that it represents, then you can learn a lot about yourself through your own isolated creative expression. It’s something you can do on your own to just relieve stress, discover yourself in new ways, etc. It’s also something you can do with other people. It’s truly a beautiful thing when you’re sharing art in an open, friendly, loving environment with other people that are on the same wave.

For more information visit

Benefits of Art Therapy

The Importance of Art in Child Development:

In recent years, school curricula in the United States have shifted heavily toward common core subjects of reading and math, but what about the arts? Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up.

Developmental Benefits of Art

Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.

Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.” By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.

Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education.

Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than ever. Even toddlers know how to operate a smart phone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information. This information consists of cues that we get from pictures or three-dimensional objects from digital media, books and television.

“Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.” Knowledge about the visual arts, such as graphic symbolism, is especially important in helping kids become smart consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos.

Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. “The kind of people society needs to make it move forward are thinking, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements, not people who can only follow directions,” says Kohl. “Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!”

Cultural Awareness: As we live in an increasingly diverse society, the images of different groups in the media may also present mixed messages. “If a child is playing with a toy that suggests a racist or sexist meaning, part of that meaning develops because of the aesthetics of the toy—the color, shape, texture of the hair,” says Freedman. Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.

Improved Academic Performance: Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.

By Grace Hwang Lynch

For more information visit:  http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-importance-of-art-in-child-development