Posts Tagged ‘Art & Craft’

How to Make Your Own Illustration from Children of the Sun

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Have you ever used salt in an art project? I have, and it was very fun. Read on, and you can make your own!

After I wrote Children of the Sun, my family and I thought it would be even better if we could get bold, colorful, vivid illustrations made for the book. We wanted these to be good illustrations, not just amateur drawings, but we also hoped it could be drawn by the hand of a child. Then, we were able to find the solution—our art teacher, Mrs. Vicki Farmer, would help us—that is, my younger brother Arjun and myself—make the illustrations. Thanks to her, this book has become enriched with these illustrations.

I had a lot fun making these illustrations. It was hard work sometimes, but the end results were very rewarding. Here, I’m going to describe how I made two of the illustrations in our book. You can easily make them, too, with common household items (except for the SpinArt machine, which you would have to find at a store).

My favorite illustrations were the Angry Sun and the Calm Sun. These were both made in a very similar manner. We had to make the sun and its background separately. I made the Angry Sun and my brother made its background, while he made the Calm Sun and I made its background. That way, both illustrations were a combined effort of both of us.

Here’s how:

1) In order to make the suns themselves, we each took a piece of 8.5x11 cardstock and placed it onto a SpinArt machine. When you turn on this machine, it spins in a circle around and around. You can adjust the speed, too. Once the paper was on the machine and it was spinning, we could take a paint bottle and just squeeze it onto the paper. Because the paper was spinning and our paint bottle squeezing paint down on top of it was stationary, the paint would end up on the paper in a circle. The design or color pattern that comes out cannot be predetermined, but since I used warm colors—oranges, reds, and yellows—in my spin art, the result is a blend that portrays a feeling of the hot sun.

2) Then, we waited for all the paint to dry before using scissors to cut the spin art into a sun shape, with pointed edges.

3) Next, we had to paint a face onto the spin art sun shape. First we sketched (with a pencil) a round face with eyebrows, eyes, a nose, and a mouth onto the sun, and then we went over it with metallic bronze paint. For the Angry Sun, we also colored in the iris (that is, all of the eye except the pupil, which was colored bronze already), nose, and wrinkles with silver paint.

4) Now that our suns were ready and the paint was drying, we set to work making the backgrounds. We each took an 8.5x11 sheet of watercolor paper and some shades of blue, black, and purple watercolor paints. We painted most of the edges of the sheets with these colors. We used much more of the black for the Angry Sun, and more light blues and purples for the Calm Sun. We didn’t have to paint in the center of the sheet, because we knew the suns would cover anything that was there once we glued them on. After we had finished painting the papers, we each took a pinch of salt and sprinkled it all over the freshly painted papers. Then we waited for the papers to dry.

The salt caused all the watercolor to spread and form a very pretty design that you may notice on the finished artwork, especially that of the Calm Sun. After everything had dried, we brushed all the remaining salt off so that only the design made by the watercolor paint stayed.

5) Finally, when both the suns and their backgrounds had dried, we used glue to paste each sun onto its background. Also, when we had cut our spin arts into sun shapes, we had saved the scraps that were left behind. We now glued those scraps onto the background papers, as well, to add to the effect of the suns.

I really hope you enjoy this illustration and everything else in our book. Maybe you could even try making a spin art with the salt effect yourself. And if you do, have fun!

— Kabir Blake Gupta, Author/Co-Illustrator

Avonlea Assisted Living

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

We have been visiting residents at Avonlea Assisted Living.  It’s an honor to visit them and spend some precious time with them.

Helping Residents decorate Easter Eggs in April 2018: It was messy but that’s what made it fun! Also, Arjun played piano again for the residents.

Helping Residents with Shamrock Crafts in March 2018: We enjoyed, cutting, gluing and decorating.  It’s so nice to see boys becoming so chatty with the residents.  Absolutely love it!!!

Helping Residents with dab painting in February 2018: This event was a huge success again.  It was so much fun for both kids and residents to create art on canvas or paper.

Helping Residents make Clay Letters in January 2018: This event was a huge success.  It was so much fun for both kids and residents to use alphabet cookie cutters to make clay alphabets.  One of the residents was going to try to taste the white clay and so we have to be careful to make sure that it doesn’t happen but all of them had lots of fun including us.

Helping Residents make Bead Bracelets or Necklaces in November 2017: This was such a fun activity and it was such a joy to see the beaming faces of the residents wearing bead bracelets or necklaces.

Talent Show for the Residents in October 2017: Arjun and Kabir played piano again.  One of the kids did the ventriloquism routine.  After that, homeschoolers and their mom sang few songs.

Music with the Residents in September 2017: Arjun and Kabir both played piano for the residents.  After that, homeschoolers and their moms sang 2-3 hymns.

Challenges 2017-2018

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

The challenge classes this academic year includes the following:

Rock Painting for Thunder Rock Campground: Boys painted rocks. One of the  homeschool families is going to spend their summer at Thunder Rock Campground in Tennessee and they are going to hide these rocks on trails so that the visitors can find them and take them as souvenirs.

Make Brush Bots: The instructions we followed are here. Kids had such a great time playing with the bots.  It was a big hit with everyone!  You may watch the video here: IMG_6404 (3)

Make Truss Bridge Using Craft Sticks:  The instructions we followed are here.  Kids worked in groups of 3.  There were 5 bridges that we tested for the strength by attaching a scale.

Bridge #1: 48 lb

Bridge #2: 39 lb

Bridge #3: 22 lb

Bridge #4: 19 lb

Bridge #5: 16 lb

Maker Challenge II: Kids were asked to create artwork on a flat surface.  Kabir chose an old photo frame and Arjun decided to do his artwork on a canvas.  They were allowed to use the junk items that were collected over time.

Maker Challenge I: Kids were allowed to make whatever they want using all the junk that were collected over time.

 

 

Challenge Activities – 2016-2017

Friday, September 16th, 2016

This school year we have focused on the following monthly challenges so far.  I will update this post as we have more challenging events during this school year.

Comic Book Challenge: Kids were asked to create comics either with paper and pencil or on computer.  They had a choice of original story or converting a book into comic.  My boys used  pixton.com to create comic and each of them chose a book to convert into a comic.  Arjun created comic version of the book Welcome to Silver Street Farm by Nicola Davies and Kabir chose to create a comic of The Apothecary by Maile Meloy.  Kabir actually mailed his comic with a nice letter to the author.  We haven’t received a reply from the author as yet.

Cardboard Challenge: Kids were given cardboards, boxcutters and tapes.  It amazes me to see their creativity.  I just love to see what these kids can come up with.

Mississippi Photo Book Challenge: Kids had to click photos of something that related to Mississippi as seen by their eyes and then write a paragraph about the photo.  We put it together in a book format: Life in Mississippi.

 

Engineering Challenge: Kids were given empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls, clothespins, craftsticks, paper cups, paper plates, glue, tape and scissors.  The challenge was to create a roller coaster for marble.  This was very hard to keep it stable and so we had to hold it.  Once we held it , it worked.  Hopefully, this challenge got them thinking.  It was fun!

Collaborative Art Challenge: This art project was inspired by creation of John Salvest.  He has a collage in Atlanta airport made out of business cards.  For this challenge, kids collected business cards from local businesses.  When they got together, they glued the business cards to the canvas spelling LOVE and created a heart shape.  This artwork is being displayed in the Lee County Library.

Poetry Challenge: Each kid chose 2 of their favorite poems.  Also, each kid wrote a poem.  So, now each kid had 3 poems to share with all their friends when we met.  Each one read 3 poems during our meeting (2 of their favorites and 1 original).  My boys added all of the collected poems in a folder and now they have a personal folder of great poems: favorite poems and the poems written by their friends.  They plan to keep adding more poems to this folder over time.

Arjun’s favorite poems were: “Queen of Hearts” and “The Twelve days of Christmas”.  Arjun wrote following poem.

The Thanksgiving Feast by Arjun Gupta

We started by making a feast:

It had stuff like turkey, corn, and stew at the very least.

Then lots of friends and familes gathered

For the big celebration waiting ahead.

Next we thank God as in the world people celebrate;

Our delicious meal was great.

After the feast we hung paper leaves in a Thanksgiving Tree.

In the paper we wrote our wish, minimum three.

Now we kids like John, Jackson, Aidan, and Jaffet play

Until no longer we have time to stay.

 

Kabir’s favorite poems were: “IF” by Rudyard Kipling and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.  Kabir wrote the following poem.

Amnesia By Kabir Gupta

In this poem, I have amnesia, a disease that makes it hard for you to remember things. I am asking you, in a riddle format, to help me remember the “event we just had.” Hope you enjoy it!

 

At the event we just had

(And now I’m definitely really glad),

We had a round, chocolatey, spongey thing.

It was big, with frosting on top,

Most everyone’d eat it rather than pork chops.

I wonder very much, what was this thing…

CAN YOU GUESS?

 

At the event we just had

(And now I’m really, really glad),

Atop the cake there was something else.

It had wax, and also a wick,

And to blow it out, was I quick!

I wonder, now, what could this be, this something else…

COULD YOU GUESS?

 

At the event we just had

(And now I’m really, really, really glad)

Beside the cake with candles, there was more!

Many of the more stuff, there were

And put in bags with/or wrapping paper

Again, I wonder quite a lot, what were these things…

CAN YOU GUESS?

 

At the event we just had

(And now I’m really, really, really, really glad)

For the cake, its candles and presents, someone must be there!

And they were—Zowie, Aiden, John, Jack,

Aunties, Uncles, Grandma, Gramps!

So what category of people were at the event there…
COULD YOU GUESS?

 

At the event we just had

(And now I’m really, really, really, really, really glad)

Why am I so happy?

It’s cause I got a value added to my age!

Time to start a new 365-day life’s page!

Then what was this event, it’s made me so happy…

CAN YOU GUESS?

 

 

 

(Answer: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!)

 

 

Sculpting Challenge: Kids were given clay and told to make whatever they want and just enjoy the process of working with clay.

Quilting by my Mother-in-law

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

My mother-in-law quilts only when she is in Tupelo, i.e., about four months.  I do not have photos for all her projects but here are few photos.

If interested, you may want to view her previous quilting projects.