Objective: Experimenting with materials and working through problems. Allow yourself an authentic creative process.
Part 1: The Method I knew that I wanted to use a resist method for this piece. Resist is using “any material, usually wax or grease crayons, that repel paint or dyes” (see https://www.freeartdictionary.com/definition/resist/ for a complete definition). Most of us think of using a white crayon and watercolors. I find that crayons tend to be blunt and difficult to use, so I set out to explore with any other mediums I had on hand...and it was a fun journey! Part2: Materials: This is a list of what I already had on hand, but I encourage you to break out all of your art materials and play
white drawing paper (any white paper/canvas will do)
black acrylic paint
the finest point paint brushes you have
black fine point Sharpie
black extra fine point Sharpie
white colored pencil
white paint marker
glue pen (dollar store!)
something like a credit card (for tracing)
any blue paint - (I used Golden Prussian Blue acrylic because that’s what I could find!)
Part 3: Setting Up 1. Gather all of your materials. 2. Trace your credit card onto a piece of white paper. 3. To keep track, label each of them. I made two of these pages because I knew I was going to try two different mediums for the background.
Part 4: Get to work! Use whatever stuff you decided to use in order to create a dot pattern in its box. Make sure to let glues and paints dry! I didn’t have any water color paint, but I wanted that transparent effect. I made do with watered-down acrylic paint. I wasn’t happy with the unevenness of the color and thought the richness of the blue was lost, but I didn’t give up!
Next, I decided to try the blue acrylic paint straight from the tube. I liked the richness of the color this time, but the white kind of got lost. So, I tried again with a glue marker I happened upon at the dollar store the other day.
I used the same process as before, but tweaked a couple of things: I added a tiny bit of water to the acrylic paint to help it flow a bit better. If you have acrylic mediums, by all means try them! The other thing I did differently this time was to gently pat the surface with a paper towel after painting to help remove the blue from the white dots. Here’s how it turned out:
I really liked them both! I think the second one turned out a bit better because I had some practice with the glue marker. This reminded me of the all-so-important rule about doing anything: practice using a new tool! I knew this. I really did.
Now for the trees! I wanted this to look like a winter scene so I chose deciduous trees for the silhouettes. Because they lose their leaves, I thought it would convey the idea better. You can use any kind of tree silhouette you like! I did one with Sharpies and one with acrylic paint. It was easier to control the markers, but more fun to paint! You decide based on what you have and what you prefer.
Part 5: Putting it all Together First, I traced an old greeting card to give the composition a border. Then, I used painter’s tape to keep the edges clean. It can tear the paper when you remove it, but I usually take the risk.
Next came the glue dots. I placed them more densely towards the top because we see more stars higher up in the sky than we see close to the horizon.
When it came to the trees I decided on paint rather than draw. The first one went well, and then...smudge city. I got paint on my hand and transferred it where I did not want it. Did I get mad? Of course. Were there many possible fixes? Yes. I walked away for a while and came back to a solution—one that I liked better than my original idea.
There are so many times when the picture we have in our mind doesn’t work out, or doesn’t the first time. It’s easy to give up, but that doesn’t teach us anything! Sometimes it makes the most sense to start fresh, with new-found knowledge and experience. And sometimes we discover something wonderful down a path we didn’t even mean to follow.
I hope this lesson helps you approach art-making with freedom, with patience and humor, and with perseverance!
Now, go create! ~Charlotte
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