Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tutorial "Children make art" - Present for the teacher

Need an idea what to offer to your children's teacher to complete any other present and bring some personal touch (I mean something relevant to her to thank her/him, something handmade with children and memorize some class/children related moments? 

Today I'm gonna show you how to make a fun cute present for a school teacher with some scraps, paint and a couple of children works. Starting point was that the children write their names themselves (we're speaking here about children of 3-4 years old), make a little fun drawing and tell me about "I love my teacher because....". So please ask their parents to bring all the works drawn/written/answered and noted by adults, get a cheap deco canvas and find a couple of calm hours for work.

Here's what I had got this morning. Examine them to decide how to work your background to hold it all together. All the works were different, so it may take time to find some neutral solution for what to put to your canvas.

Take your canvas - here's mine - 50 x 50 cm.

After you got some basic idea what colours your might need for background, grab some decorative papers, other scraps and some assorted fabrics. I've chosen a neutral yellowy shade of Eierlik├Âr to mix as paint, and taken some orange-rose-greeny-browny low key papers.  Many of children drawings were very subtle, so my background couldn't be louder than that.

Don't have the temptation of taking some very textured papers like corrugated cardboards - reserve it for later. I knew I might have not that much space left, after all the children works are fixed, so I decided to only use some plane materials first. 

Start tearing some scraps and fix them with gesso onto the canvas. Work fast. Don't think much. Leave space inbetween, we do not need the entire surface covered with paper - only some bites here and there to get started quickly and warm up.

Mix some paint - mine was shade of Eierlik├Âr -  white, a bit of yellow and a drop of burnt sienna. I worked with a brush and covered the most of surface with irregular strokes. Don't forget the side boards.

Here's a detail photo. Let it dry - in the meantime we're gonna prepare all the other elements.

One more time going through this pile of drawings and figuring out how to bring them all together - quite a difficult and challenging part - not without some fear about miscutting and ruining something. 

But I had no choice - the final work had to be small (50 x 50 cm) and compact, and saturated, so all the white blanc spaces had to leave/cut off.

Journaling - initially I wanted only to take the answer about "I love my teacher because...." noted by the parents and simply gesso them inbetween. 

But the space was limited - first. Second - I needed some sort of repetitive element to hold the whole piece together. So I took silk paper and hand wrote each answer onto little scrap. 

Silk paper has the advantage of becoming transparent after gesso is dried. So I can work compact, overlap some pieces of drawings and create some binding between all the different elements that I had.

Now the final step - the most intimidating and "how the heck can I ever put it all together in a pleasing and funny way"-part of the whole project. 

Arrange everything on your dried collaged and painted canvas. It may take time, you may need to cut and re-ajust some drawn elements. Each child has to have his corner and they have to somehow all work together - challenging and time consuming, if your working space is limited. 

I've then pinned some elements here and there, before I started to put gesso to fix them.  Some drawings parts were overlapped or got under the silk paper journaling, but do not care, they're gonna shimmer through once gesso is dried. We're done. Let it stay over night and maybe add some tiny little things here and there the next morning. Some parts may need a bit more outlining or some embellishments. You need to step back for some time and take a fresh look at it later. Congrats! I hope your children's teacher will appreciate it!

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