Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

KIDS! Make a 3D Hand!

3D art is so cool.

Just a quick post to show you how to do a really cool and quick drawing of your hand--in 3D~!!

You'll need:

~ Paper

~ A ruler

~ Several markers (thicker is better for colors, and one thin black) Colored pencils will work fine too.

Watch the vid and have fun!!

It really does look like a hand is under the paper. Feel free to send me pix of your artwork.

Another version:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Scary Books and KIDS!

When I was in grammar school I loved Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Middle school had me interested in a book called The Active Enzyme, Lemon-Freshened, Junior High School Witch, and high school found me sleeping at the foot of my parent's bed after reading The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror.

My son had a fascination with the Bone series, and my friend's daughter insisted on reading more Neil Gaiman even after Coraline rendered her an insomniac for months.

What is it in horror and the paranormal that intrigues us, even as children?

I am not implying that everyone loves to be scared, but there is surely an attraction.

Another friend's son, at six, filled up her queue at Blockbuster Video with enough Frankenstein and Dracula films to keep them viewing for months. This kid couldn't figure out how to unlock the front door, but he could figure out the computer AND the DVR when he wanted to watch a scary film.

My son read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when he was in middle school. He told me it was silly, until he read The Wendigo, then it was nightlights on for a few weeks. 

We were terrified reading shivery, scary stuff as kids, and our kids want those same delightful chills now.

Of course they will read the same things we did like The Witches by Roald  Dahl, all the Goosebumps books, The House With a Clock in its Walls, and Bunnicula, but I've also heard of a few new thrillers. 

For there youngest set there is The Monster at the End of this Book, featuring a Sesame Street favorite, Grover. There is nothing there that will really scare even the smallest of kids, but the idea is exciting to them. 

Middle-grade kids will like The Last Apprentice, a creepy tale of  ghost and witch hunting. Monstrumologist, a Gothic, Dickens-like book about a scientist and his apprentice who find and identify, (and kill if necessary) a variety of monsters, will appeal to the slightly older horror reading aficionados. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is also very popular with high school kids. In fact that book was popular with everyone last year. 

We know kids love horror, and I think I might know why. Kids are relatively powerless. They are told what to do and when to do it, and are afraid of many things--the dark, their closets, mean kids, and even school.

When they read a horror book they meet monsters, crazy teachers, witches, ghosts, and goblins. They get involved in tales about getting lost, eaten, and haunted. Sure they get scared--but they all survive. Every time a kid finishes a scary book they come out the other end, maybe a bit frazzled and scared, but basically unscathed. AND they have slayed a dragon, faced the monster in the closet, and come face to face with their fears, and WON.

Of course we want to protect our kids and keep them safe, but these dark books help our kids meet their own personal monsters--and be the victor! 

So turn down the lights, open your books, and get ready for a night of shivery and spooky fun. There is more to horror than meets the eye!

Quick How To lesson for the kids who love Where the Wild Things Are!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Favorite Children's Books

This isn' going to be a long post, just wanted to share that I recently took a poll and asked what people loved to read when they were children.

They told me about their favorite books, series, and comics.

Although I was not surprised by the likes of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, or Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, I did get some answers that threw me for a loop. 

For instance, many people said they loved Edgar Allen Poe, even as a child. Now I was raised watching Frankenstein and Dracula so that was not a big deal for ME, but I had no idea that it was so commonplace across the board. 

A few other faves were Winnie the Pooh, The Giving Tree, anything by Roald Dahl, and the Bunnicula series. 

Here are some other's that were mentioned:

~ Nate the Great
~ Babar
~ The Diary of Anne Frank
~ Harold and the Purple Crayon
~ Pat the Bunny
~ Narnia
~ Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys
~ Stuart Little

There were plenty more, but rather than list them all, I'd rather hear what YOU loved as a child, and why.

Looking forward to hearing!! xo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Spicy Cinnamon Corn Art

Everyone loves pumpkin picking and the smell of fresh cinnamon cider in the fall.

Here is a fun craft for the kids--they get to show off their amazing artistic skills and make the picture smell delicious!

What you'll need:

A set of watercolor paints

6 Q-tips

1 paintbrush

Elmer's or other white glue

1 sheet of thick white paper

Your choice of spices (I used cinnamon and nutmeg)

First dip a Q-tip in water and yellow paint. Using dots, draw the shape of an ear of corn, then fill in the individual kernels with some yellow spots here and there, leaving room for the autumn colors of corn--orange, red, brown and black.

Use the next Q-tip dipped in orange, and make some more kernels, again, leaving room for the next color. I did red next, then brown, and lastly, black.

Then take your paintbrush and draw the corn husk around the ear in fall colors like brown, rust, gold or yellow, and a little bit of green since it is the end of harvest season. You can paint the sky and a bit of the cornfield if you like--or just leave it as is.

When the paint dries, take another Q-tip and dip it in glue. Touch the darker kernels with the glue. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle your spices on the glue and tap them around the paper until all the glue is covered.

Tap the excess into the trash.

Voila! You have a beautiful piece of harvest corn that smells like cinnamon cider.

I hope you have fun with this craft. Please send me any pics your kids make--I'd love to post them here and in the Out Of This World art group. Click for ART GROUP

Enjoy!! xo

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Art for Kids

We all remember drawing turkeys when we were kids by tracing our hands on paper.

This Thanksgiving lets do it a little differently! Instead of tracing our hands onto paper, lets draw turkeys on our hands. :)

It's simple: You will need--

1 non-toxic marker~this is used for the outline (I do not recommend Sharpies--although they are a favorite for drawing on paper, even the Sharpie website does not recommend using them to draw on the skin.) Read about Sharpies HERE. 

OR a liquid or pencil eyeliner in a dark color. 

If you like,  you can trace your hand first first and figure out what your turkey will look like before you transfer it onto your hand. (Remember, if you are right handed you will be drawing the turkey onto your left hand, so your RIGHT hand will have to be traced onto the paper--palm DOWN.) But if you decide to just WING it (no pun intended--wink) don't worry if you make a mistake, you can wash with soap and water and start over!

Your fingers will be the tail feathers, your thumb will be the neck and head, and your palm will be the body and wing of the turkey, just like our turkey pics from back in the day.

When you are done with the outline, you can color it with non-toxic markers or even watercolor paint. 

Please send me pictures of your artwork--I love to post it on my ART BY YOU page. Kids love to see their art there, too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S. I do not eat turkey~I would be more likely to be found giving one a big HUG. 

Here's a more intricate for the older kids:

Five fat turkeys are we--
We slept all night in a tree--
When the cooks came around, we couldn't be found--
So that's why we're here you see.