Saturday, March 5, 2011

How Eric Carle and Vincent van Gogh teach recycling

I was going to save this till Monday, but I just couldn't wait!

Friday was a busy day! I'm finally feeling pretty much better from my earlier hernia surgery. So to celebrate in typical Emily fashion I took on entirely too much at once.

I saw a "Make art like Eric Carle" blog somewhere in the vastness of the web, but I don't remember where I saw it so my apologies. But since I don't remember where I found it other than the inspiration to do the project and to use an Exacto to cut the shapes out the ideas are entirely my own so that's something I suppose. (If you've done an Eric Carle project feel free to link it up.) First, I took down the reigning space painting from Jack's room and decided to reuse the canvas. I do this ALL THE TIME. 1. because artists have been reusing canvas for centuries and 2. because a good canvas is not cheap! You should sand down excess paint and rough the surface before 'clearing' the canvas. (Photo credit, Jack)
Second, you recruit some slave labor... I mean... a helper to paint over the original work in Gesso.
Then you celebrate your artistic victory.
Streak some paper (Eric Carle uses high quality tissue paper but you should really see how he does it- trust me, you WANT to click that link!) Construction paper with acrylic paint was what I chose because it's sturdy, easy to cut and easy for my pint-sized assistant to work with.
Then take a breather while you watch 'the boys' work together to saw off the legs of your bar stools. (Because I asked, not because they're trying to destroy my barstools or anything).
Then you watch Jack finish painting his dragon and help him glue the fire in its mouth. This was a great project- but if you don't want to do some of the mache yourself don't try it with a 3 year old! Hah! We had a blast with this one! Jack asked me to make Night Fury from How to Train Your Dragon. He loved this project from start to finish.
After putting the kids to bed I busted out my brand new Exacto and new fangled cutting board thingy and got to work. I free-handed my cuts but what makes this brilliant is you could pretty easily print a coloring book page and cut the shapes and then trace them on your painted paper.
After a great debate on facebook about the color the background should be, a Starry Night inspired background won over the white and black options I had thrown out there. So I got to work with some watered down blues, greys and a black.
I 'glued' the shapes on to the canvas using a matte medium, which is basically paint that is clear so it was the perfect glue and top coat for this project. Then I added some crayon to create atmosphere around the planets. The final photo is the best we could do but really does not do the thing justice at all.
I need a better camera... I think I'm one of the last hold-outs to get a D-SLR. Tell me I'm not alone!!
And If you're thinking to yourself "She never added Henry's 11 month picture, you're right! But it was not for lack of trying. Every. Single. Photo. I took was total crap, bad light, out of focus, so frustrating! (See my earlier comment about a new camera.)


emk said...

You're even inspiring ME to be crafty, so you gotta know it was a successful project! Nice job!

And, yes, a D-SLR is pretty sweet. As is a smartphone....!! ;-) I'm not gonna lie-- I'm not sure how I got through life without my iphone!

Brenna said...

lookin' good! I love to open up a new xacto knife. ;)

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alba sofia said...

all of that is SOO awesome!! When I get back I am coming over for some arts and craft play dates! Glad to hear you are back to your normal overachieving self ;D

(Mandy had logged into her gmail on my phone, so it posted the comment as her, hence the deleted comment and my reposting! ooops!)

Mrs. 2nd Lieutenant said...

oh WOW!! firstly, this turned out SO awesome - i LOVE eric carle and now would love to try this...

2ndly, we dont have one of those fancy pants cameras either - have you seen the price tag? :-p

hope surgery recovery is going well!

Kate said...

I think it looks great; definitely the best background choice.

We don't have a D-SLR either because of the price tag. Field really wanst one (and a new computer/gaming system) but we have a few loans to pay back before we can justify that sort of a purchase.

Gail said...

You are so talented, daughter of mine! Love the picture and can't wait to see it in person! (I think I need to talk to you about a few walls that need art at my house!)

melaniet42 said...

Looks fabulous! And you are not alone. Alas, the DLSR has just not been in our budget. I'm hoping this is the year, though!