Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Sketchbook Art (aka Art For Me): Trying Watercolor Pencils and Camper Gallery Wall

Usually when I'm camping, I am a voracious reader. This time, I wanted to make art instead. My motivation was to do some self-care, get my creative juices flowing and try out my travel art set I'm making (hopefully details on that in a future post).

I wasn't too strict about the art-making. I'm just having fun and seeing where it goes. It rained quite a bit the two weeks we were there, so I had plenty of opportunities to create. And I read three books--I still had to read!

One of the days, I just couldn't stop looking at this interesting leaf that had fallen into our campsite. The patterning on it was so cool. I had a good idea how I would paint it if I had brought traditional watercolors with me, which I had not. So, out came the watercolor pencils and I did my best to adapt to those. It has been fun trying a new medium. I'm going to try to "review" the watercolor pencils in a future post. 

Anyway...a side effect of doing art more is that my children see me creating. I've always encouraged making of all sorts and have multiple spaces in our house set up for that (the art center downstairs, mom's art area upstairs, the dining room table and all four of my kids have desks/work areas in their rooms). I've packed a bin of art supplies since the early days of camping, but I noticed that as they've become teens, the art bin isn't used. This time, they saw me using the watercolor pencils and decided they wanted to have an art competition. So, twice, they created art.

The competition wasn't an actual competition since I'm not judging anything on vacation AND certainly not an art competition between my kids!! But they had fun, used some new (to them) art supplies and passed a couple of rainy hours.

I created a super easy gallery wall in our camper to showcase their work.

Later in the week, I got the idea to "bottle up" some of the camping vibe and created two pieces inspired by the work of illustrator Jen Aranyi. Her work is AMAZING and so beautiful! I teach this lesson to my grade 5 students and it's always a hit. My older students usually see the work drying on the drying racks and want to do it too. 

Again, I experimented with the watercolor pencils I had with me, pushing one to be more watercolor-like and leaving the other a bit more sketchy and colored pencil-like. Usually, my favorite way to do a Jen Aranyi-inspired landscape is using Crayola markers for the color and then using water to turn them into watercolors. But I didn't have Crayola markers with me and I'm not sure I'd pack those in my travel art kit. I'll have to keep thinking about it!

What do YOU want to "bottle up" about the summer?


Supplies used: Cotman cold press watercolor paper, Sharpie markers, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, Reeves watercolor pencils, Craftsmart acrylic paint pens (white and gold) 

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