Art Appreciation, Arts & Crafts

The Art Zone

The National Gallery of Art has a great interactive art  site called THE ART ZONE – an amazing array of art project activities for kids to create their  own works of art online.  Create portraits, animated scenes and landscape paintings in the style of American primitive artists… and much, much more! Loads of mind-boggling computer art fun here.

Download the Art Zone or NGAkids App applications to your Macintosh or Windows-based computer, or order the free CDs. There is also an iOS version of the NGAkids App for iPad. These interactives are not available for online play.

Click here to go to the site!

Arts & Crafts

Advanced Animation by Preston Blair

If you have a student who is interested in animation, here’s a wonderful resource that they will love:

“Advanced Animation” by Preston Blair remains one the a all-time greatest cartooning books ever…and every page has been lovingly scanned and posted by the wonderful folks at AnimationResources.org

From the website:

Preston Blair was one of the finest draftsmen to have ever worked in the field of animation. He animated Mickey Mouse in “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, and he was one of the top animators at MGM, where he animated the legendary Red Hot Riding Hood. His book, titled simply “Animation” crystalized the basic principles of cartoon animation, and profoundly influenced a whole generation of young animators. He passed away in 1995.

Preston Blair’s book “Advanced Animation” is one of the best books on the subject. It is the text Animation Resources’ drawing course is based upon. When Blair put the book together in 1947, he used the characters he had animated at Disney and MGM to illustrate the various basic principles of animation. Apparently, the rights to use some of the characters were revoked after the book was already in the stores. Publication was halted for a time, and he was forced to redraw most of the MGM characters, replacing them with generic characters of his own design. The revised edition went on to become a classic, and the first edition was forgotten.

You can go to THIS PAGE on AnimationResources.org and read more about this classic book and the online course they offer based on the book…

Or for a direct link to the PDF download itself, you can RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save file to your Mac.

Arts & Crafts, Language Arts, Literature, Nature Studies, Reading

A Beatrix Potter Treasury

Today we feature a wonderful treasure chest of books, audios, videos and lessons about the stories of Beatrix Potter. Her classic artwork and stories are utterly delightful and should be known by every child. What better stories than these to share with your littles?

CLICK HERE to read almost all Beatrix Potter’s original picture books online or download them in kindle and mobi format at Project Gutenberg.

CLICK HERE to listen to almost all Beatrix Potter’s books online or to download them in mp3 format or to iTunes. There are three massive collections on this Librivox page, and you’ll just have to pick and choose which narrators you enjoy best. You can follow along the readings using the picture books from the Project Gutenberg link above.

CLICK HERE to go to a youtube page which offers up a couple dozen Beatrix Potter stories and related videos, including all the episodes of “The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends”. (As always with youtube, parental oversight is recommended.)

Resources from PeterRabbit.com:  CLICK HERE to go to the download page — and don’t miss the 39 page PDF of Beatrix Potter Teaching Resources!

Arts & Crafts, Just for Fun, Nature Studies, Physics, Science

Projects, Experiments & Hands-On Fun

TheHappyHousewife.com has a great collection of almost 100 hands-on projects, crafts and experiments especially for homeschoolers, on all sorts of interesting topics, including:

Turkey Feather Science
Testing for Starch
Milk Fireworks
The Physics of the Trapeze
Fun Ways to Improve Writing Skills
Buoyancy Experiments
…and dozens more.

CLICK HERE Take a look and browse through the collection yourself!

Arts & Crafts

Art for Teens Who Say They Can’t Draw

StartsAtEight.com has a great post on how to help your tween and teen-aged student dramatically improve their drawing skills, utilizing “right brain / left brain” exercises as popularized in the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. Included are links to five downloadable lessons to help guide your student into putting this into practice.

PS. This really works.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts

Origami Airplanes, Whirly-Gigs, Boats and more

ORIGAMI AIRPLANES, WHIRLY-GIGS & BOATS!

Here’s a great site with dozens of animated tutorials on how to fold high-performance paper airplanes, whirly-gigs, boats and more. We could say this is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination and pick up some practical examples of physics & geometry in action, but naaaah —  the plain fact is these are great fun and a neat way for your kids to occupy themselves after study time is over, and create  some great playthings.

The site has a lot of ads, so just pay attention where you click. The How-to videos are at the bottom of each page.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts

Tracing Great Art

Here’s a simple, short lesson plan from the terrific Practical Pages website that is full of neat ideas to make great works of art come alive for your kids — by tracing them!

Why would you want to have your student trace some famous artwork? Nadene shares a few ideas:

 

  • Create a reference to a famous work and add it to written biographies and narrations.
  • Apply techniques famous artists use
  • Learn to mix colours, do colour washes and paint in layers with details last
  • Make the art work “your own”
  • Focus on the original for clues and details
  • Use the original for some more contemporary art techniques (like a collage/ a mural/ coasters/place mats/ quilt designs/ build a 3D landscape, etc.)
  • Although many adults consider this just “colouring in”,  I encourage them to give it a try!  It is MUCH more difficult than it seems!

This is a great idea… give it a try.  CLICK HERE to go to the website!

 

Arts & Crafts

Larry’s TOON Institute

If your kids are interested in animation and learing how to animate their own cartoons, here’s a great collection of beginner lessons for them from professional animator Larry Lauria.

The Toon Institute’s free animation course offers a baker’s dozen lesson on the basics of animation, including the basics of animating a bouncing ball, squashing and stretching animated objects, character and face construction, timing, how to “thumbnail” a scene, and much more. These are a lot of fun, and explain the fundamentals of animation very well.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Arts & Crafts

Housing a Forest

Tammy Dube loves being creative and encouraging kids to be creative as well.  Her website Housing A Forest is packed full of fun experiments, art tutorials, educational activities and good old fashioned fun your kids will love.

40+ experiments, including how to make a barometer & how to make a frozen bubble, are here

Over 200 crafts projects, including straw rockets & licence plate rubbings, are here

Over 100 kid art projects, including compass painting & marble painted rainbows, are here

Take some time to browse the site and check out the different project categories too. Highly recommended!

Arts & Crafts, Math

Printable Graph Paper & More

Have you ever needed a very specific type of graph paper or grid paper for a project or lesson? If so, you’ll understand the value of this very helpful freebie.

Incompetech.com has a great online graph paper generator, that lets you customize pages to your specifications and then download as PDFs so you can print copies as needed. There’s a wonderful variety of designs: Squares, circles, hexagons, brick patterns, etc. — even specialty pages (music notation, accounting ledgers, perspective & more). You’ll find these PDFs extremely useful. Bookmark for use when you need it!

CLICK HERE to go to the site!