Art Journal

Dreamland

For this journal, I decided to create different artworks using different studio materials focusing on one single theme. When creating art, what better way to explore your imagination than by thinking of a world full of dreams and colors? I decided to focus on a “Dreamland” theme in which I would try and recapture vivid dreams I’ve had along with imagination. 

Exploring with all these materials has been a very exciting journey. Many of the following studio materials, are mediums I have little to no experience with. I have divided each medium experimentation in a different category.

Oil Pastels & CHARCOAL

Oil Pastels
For the following artworks, I experimented with some dry mediums such as black and white Cray-Pas Expressionist oil pastels and a blending tool. Something interesting about these oil pastels is that slightly look like charcoal but are not as messy!

Interesting discoveries: 

  • Lumpy feeling when applying 
  • Great for creating thick lines
  • Smooth blending
  • Not as messy compared to charcoal
  • Blending tool allows for a smoother surface
  • Applying white on top of black creates a smooth texture
  • Buildable 
  • Finger blending
  • Creamy

Safety/health considerations:

  • Hands can get dirty, if this is an issue for some children then gloves might be necessary
  • Non toxic

Appropriate age group:

Charcoal:
For the final work, I decided to combine oil pastels and along with charcoal to see what kind of textures we could create. Charcoal is very soft when applying, blends extremely easy, and it can be very messy. However, drawing with charcoal allows you to create shading witch results in a beautiful drawing. 

Materials used:

  • White Charcoal pencil
  • Black Charcoal pencil
  • Blending tool
  • Vine Charcoal

Interesting discoveries:

  • Blends easy
  • Can get very dark
  • Great results when applying white charcoal over black.
  • No blending tool necessary
  • Finger Blending

Safety/health considerations:

  • Be aware that charcoal is very messy
  • When drawing with charcoal, a mask might be necessary if bothered by the powder
  • Gloves might be necessary for children bothered by charcoal powder
  • Apron to avoid getting clothes dirty
  • Disposable table cloth

Appropriate age group:

  • Preschool and up

CHALK PASTELS & COLORED PENCILS

Chalk Pastels

  • High pigmentation
  • Easy to blend
  • Beautiful colors
  • Smooth
  • Soft

Safety Concerns:

  • Non-toxic
  • Messy; gloves might be necessary
  • Apron to avoid getting clothes dirty
  • Disposable table cloth
  • Face mask to avoid inhaling dust/ Working outdoors

Appropriate age group:

  • Ages 3 and up

Types of Chalk Pastels:

  • Soft
  • Hard
  • Pencil
  • Oil
  • PanPastels

Recommended for students:

Below you’ll find some additional work I’ve created using chalk pastels!

Colored Pencils

  • High Pigmentation
  • Smooth
  • Texture
  • Blends easy
  • Great for mixed media

Safety Concerns:

  • If used by smaller children, be aware of sharp tip
  • Non toxic

Appropriate age group:

  • Regular colored pencils can be safer for older children
  • For children 2 and up, jumbo colored pencils can be the best option.

PRINTMAKING

Different Types of Printmaking:

There are so many ways to create prints that kids will find enjoyable. For instance, printmaking using Gelli Pads, which can be placed in the monotype category, can be one of the easiest for children. For this artwork, I added paint onto the pad, then placed any textured object or stencil on it, and pressed it a few times. I then removed the stencil and placed it on a white sheet of paper. There are many cool designs and textures that you can accomplish using this technique.

Interesting discovery:

  • Add two different colors of paint on a separate plate and using a roller, blend them together to create a beautiful shade. Then add this color onto the Gelli Pad.
  • Can be used multiple times
  • Layering
  • Multiple Textures

Safety Concerns:

  • Ensure there is a place to wash hands and wash Gelli pad after activity
  • Do not use heavy coated papers or very fragile ones 

WATERCOLORS

Painting with watercolors can be fun and easy for children. The following work is called A Sunset in Wonderland, inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I wanted to think of a scenario in a dream where the trees are giant mushrooms, and the sky is shinny and colorful. 

For this project I used two types of watercolors: Regular and glitter.

  • Great for creating gradients
  • Smooth application
  • Dries fast
  • Color builds up by using less water
  • Use colors close to each other on the color wheel to avoid muddy tones. 
  • Best on watercolor paper to avoid absorption of pigment

Safety Concerns:

  • Clean brushes often
  • Keep water in a safe dish or container to prevent spilling 
  • Ages 3 and up

ACRYLIC PAINT

When experimenting with acrylic paint, I was amazed to see the the various types of paint and medium that is available. From acrylic markers to acrylic ink, Acrylic paint can be used on so many surfaces. For example, craft acrylic paint can be used on wood, metal, and even ceramics. Along with acrylic paint there are mediums that can be used to change the way the paint looks. This can be either giving the paint a certain texture or interesting effect.

Interesting Discoveries:

  • High Pigmentation
  • Smooth
  • Vibrant 
  • Dries fast
  • Water-based
  • Easy to clean with soap and water

Safety Concerns:

  • Most acrylic paint is non-toxic
  • Acrylic colors containing toxic chemicals will be labeled as such. 
  • Clean with soap and water before paint dries
  •  Safe for children over 3 years old

Crafts with acrylic paint

How to decorate your old mason jars:

  • Collect mason jars
  • Paint lid of mason jar using acrylic paint
  • Once paint has dried, using a hot glue gun, glue drawer knob onto lid
  • Decorate jars however you’d like!

Some other work I’ve created in the past using acrylic paint:

COLLAGE

Arranging different images to create something new, can be a great way to explore your imagination. Children love cutting and gluing things together, creating a collage can be a great way to work on their motor skills, discover colors, and textures.

For this collage I took different sheets of card-stock paper, I ripped it into little pieces, and then glued it on a sketchbook. I then found images from a magazine portraying hunters hunting for deer, and played around with the photographs to create a narrative. I wanted to create a fantasy world in which the roles were flipped; the hunters were dears, the humans were the prey, and the bullets were flowers.

Safety Concerns:

  • Age-appropriate scissors
  • Give students the choice of ripping paper instead of using cutting tools
  • Ensure magazines provided are appropriate 

PHOTOGRAPH

Photography can be a great way show aspects of our daily life, to tell a story or narrative, or to capture an important moment.

Safety Concerns:

  • Ensure students can bring a camera to class
  • Provide camera for students if they do not have the resources
  •  Ensure students ask for consent before photographing classmates

For this artwork I decided to create a collage using my previous taken photographs. Following my theme of “Dreamland”, I wanted to create a piece that compiled all the photographs into one, creating a landscape that could seem surreal or like a confusing dream. I ripped some bright card-stock paper and glued it on a white sheet, then cut parts of the photographs and collaged them onto the paper. To finish the artwork, I decided to draw some aspects of it to make it all come together as one.

DIGITAL MEDIA

Digital Collage

In the new world digital media has become an important tool in education. Using Procreate, I created a collage inspired by “Dreamland”, in which basic digital tools were used.

Safety Concerns and recommendations:

  • Recommended for children 13 and up
  • Smaller children can use it with adult supervision
  • iPad necessary
  • Apple Pencil recommended for better use

Price:

Available for $9.99 on App store

JUXTAPOSING

Juxtaposing or found objects, is an act of collecting different objects and purposely placing them in a certain way.

Juxtaposing can be a great way to tell a narrative by collecting objects that seem interesting or unique.

Safety Concerns:

  • Ensure that students are in a safe and supervised place when looking for objects
  • Ensure objects are appropriate and safe for school

Appropriate age group:

Students from all ages can engage on this activity.