Art Journal

Visual Culture Production 

Animating using Procreate

Why is the term “Alien” derogatory?

Federal law uses the term “alien”, to refer to a person who was born outside of the US. However, this term can be considered derogatory because it can literary make a person feel alienated. This term emphasizes that an “alien” immigrant is different, that they’ll never be like everyone else. On the other hand, the term immigrant by itself can still make someone feel like they can assimilate to their new life but “alien” fundamentally means you’re an outsider and will never be like them.

How to animate using Procreate


Written by Matthew A. Cherry and Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Classroom Activity

Draw yourself in your happy, most comfortable place. Then using tracing paper, draw the same image but this time change your face expression, arm movement, or anything in the environment. Trace this image again and repeat the process. Work on a minimum of 5 images, then we will photograph the photos and using a program such as Stop Motion Studio, we will animate and present everyone’s story.

3D Printing 


Materials used:

  • Laptop
  • PLA Plastic
  • TPU

Material Information:

Software Required:

  • Ultimaker Cura

Software to create STLs:

  • Autodesk
  • Inventor
  • Fusion 360

Free options for 3D modeling:

  • Tinker CAD
  • Google Sketchup
  • Blender
  • Maya
  • Tiltbrush

Using Tinker CAD:

Sites to find STLs:

  • Thingiverse
  • Thangs

Safety Information:

  • There are many parts, and the nozzle gets extremely hot.
  • Do not touch the machine while printing
  • Inform someone if you get hurt
  • Inform someone if you think you might have damaged the machine
  • If while printing something gets stuck, you may use clippers but NOT your fingers.
Mr. Ice Cream Cone at the beach

Kate Blacklock

 “One thing that surprised me was how much the actual pieces looked like the renderings. It’s different when you make things out of clay and you fire them and there are often surprises with the clay doing things that you don’t expect.”

3D printing is something that should definitely be introduced to children. Although traditional art is beautiful and very important, our future is heading in the direction of technology as one of the main mediums of art. Some of these 3D modeling websites are fairly easy to use and with adult supervision, children can create amazing things with this technology.

For an art project, I would introduce one of these 3D modeling websites and have children create a small vase that can hold something inside. After printing the vases, children will have the choice to paint these with acrylic paint and create fun designs.

Dysfunctional Wearable Objects

For my dysfunctional wearable object, I decided to create a ring that only keeps one of your fingers warm. The fussy texture of the pipe cleaners are great for serving this purpose however, the rest of your fingers will still suffer in the cold!

Materials used:

  • Colorful pipe cleaners
  • Hot glue
  • Artificial miniature plant
  • Recycled materials

Safety Information:

Creating dysfunctional wearable objects can be a fun and easy activity to do with children. It allows for them to use their imagination and have many materials to choose from. It is important to ensure that the recycled materials provided in class, can be safe for children to maneuver. In order to create something with recycled materials, it is required to cut, glue, bend, or even paint the material. It is important to keep in mind that cutting certain materials can be hard for children or even dangerous, such as cutting a pipe cleaner or hard plastic.  In addition to this, some materials can only stick together while using a hot glue gun. Supervise older children when using one and help small children if they need to use one. 


Pipe cleaners are a great choice to create these fun projects. Pipe cleaners can be easily maneuvered, and you can create just about any shape. Children love to create things out of pipe cleaners, and it is a safe material to use.

Fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren Viktor & Rolf create dresses inspired by famous paintings.

In 2015, they presented their new collection during Paris Haute Couture Week. This collection consisted of paintings that could hang on the wall and could also be worn.

Classroom Activity:

Students will collaborate with each other to organize a fashion show in which one will focus on creating a painting that can hang, and the other will turn this painting into something they can wear. I think that this activity can be a great way to learn how to work as a team, to learn how to problem solve, and to work on other cognitive social-emotional skills.

Cute & Creepy

Materials used:

  • Crayola Air Dry White Clay
  • Plastic bowl
  • Clay Tools
  • Water

Safety Information:

Not for children under 3 years old due to small pieces being a choking hazard if swallowed.


  • Store unused clay in airtight container to preserve.
  • If water has been added to clay, do not store. 


  • To ensure smooth finish, use a bit of water and some tools or even your fingers!
  • Ensure children wash their hands afterwards
  • Wear apron to prevent clothes from getting dirty

Similar artists and websites:

Susan Gibbs


Blushing Beauty Reborns

Reborn Doll Shop


Create a portrait of your alter ego using air dry clay. Experimenting with different types of medium, change the color of the clay to better suit your portrait.

Types of materials to be considered:

  • Tempera
  • Markers
  • Fabric Dye
  • Watercolors
  • Food Coloring

Digital Drawing

Digital Drawing using Procreate®

Let me begin by saying that the Procreate app can be one of the easiest yet most complex ways to digitally draw and the app cost $9.99. However, you are required to have an iPad and to make matters easier for you, an apple pencil. This does not mean that you cannot use the app without an Apple Pencil, you can also use your finger! In the Procreate app, you can draw anything from simple pictures such as clipart images, to more complex artwork such as paintings. The different brush options allow you to choose anywhere from a finished acrylic brush stroke, to a watercolor brush stroke. 

There are definitely more complex drawings Procreate allows you to make, the brush selection goes beyond painting brushes. The brush library allows you to choose anything from sketching pencils, to inking, to charcoal, and even abstract textures. 

For the Narwhal drawing we have been coloring on previous experiments, I decided to first play around with different brushes for the background. The color wheel allows you to pick just about any hue of color you want, and you can even play around with the opacity and brush thickness. 

The next step I suggest you do, is open up a new layer to create your first drawing. I wanted to add some corals to my drawing so in order to avoid ruining the background, I decided to work on my corals one layer at a time. This helps in case you have to erase something without ruining whatever is around the object or background. The fun thing is, once you are done with the drawing however you like it, you can simply click on the layer and select “Merge Down”. This allows the drawing to become a unified picture. 

Here I’m selecting layer by layer, you can decide what layers will show or which ones to keep hidden. This can be really helpful when trying to organize each individual drawing you have created. It also allows you to move stuff around without ruining anything!
Once you start merging all your layer, you will have one unified and final image!

-Age Appropriateness:

As stated on Procreate® Minors over the age of 13 can register for and use the Site, but are restricted from viewing any content marked as Mature according to section 4.

Lets take a look at how I made the sketch of our Narwhal Drawing

Now, lets take a look at the creative process!

Creative Process for Narwhal Drawing

Click here for more information about the Procreate® app!

Crayola Colored Pencils vs. Derwent—Coloursoft Colored Pencils

  • Crayola Colored Pencils 

What can I say about Crayola colored pencils; they are affordable, come with a great selection of colors, are perfect for children, and allow for a smooth transition between dark and lighter colors. The box of colored pencils I bought was about $2.49 and came with 12 different colors. The colors are vibrant and beautiful. When drawing on white paper, the pigment of each color comes out very bright. However, when drawing on a different colored paper, the tones look much dimmer than before. 

Crayola Colored Pencils on Strathmore Toned Gray Paper

Safety Concerns:

These Crayola Colored pencils are safe and non-toxic!

For ages 4+

Mixed-media drawing made with Prismacolor markers and Crayola colored pencils on Strathmore Toned paper

  • Derwent–Coloursoft Colored Pencils

I am not going to lie, the Derwent-Coloursoft Colored Pencils can be much pricier but are so worth it! The box of 12 cost $32.99 and the downside is that the selection of colors isn’t as vibrant and diverse as the Crayola ones. However, when drawing with these you can feel the difference of how smooth and creamy they feel. The colors blend amazingly, and the pigment stays in every colored paper you decide to use. Spending this much on colored pencils is not worth it for smaller children, however, older kids who are passionate about art will find these a lot more useful than the Crayola ones.

Derwent-Coloursoft Colored Pencils on Strathmore Toned Gray Paper

Safety Concerns:

Acid Free

No age specified in product

Safety Data Sheet

Anchor drawing made a few years ago with Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils mixed with Prismacolor markers on Strathmore Toned Gray Paper

Whale drawing made a few years ago with Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils mixed with Prismacolor black marker on Strathmore Toned Gray Paper

Mixed-media quilled piece made with strips of colorful paper, watercolor background and Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils for characters and some water details

Inspired by The Little Mermaid

Lets take a look at our Narwhal Whale drawings using these colored pencils!


So, which one is your favorite?

Creatology Jumbo Crayons vs. Crayola Jumbo Crayons

  • Creatology Jumbo Crayons 

Let me begin by saying that there is nothing better for small children, than jumbo crayons. When drawing, small children tend to break thinner crayons very easily since they put a lot of pressure on each crayon when drawing. These crayons are very sturdy and rich in color. The package comes with 8 crayons for children ages 3 and up. The cost is $3.99 and you can also find these at Michaels! When experimenting with these, I found that they don’t blend as easily as the Crayola ones. However, they still have a very nice pigmentation which makes your drawings still look beautiful even on colorful paper!

Safety Concerns:

-These crayons are recommended for the use of children ages 3 and up.
-Contains paraffin wax, stearic acid and pigments

  • Crayola Jumbo Crayons

As opposed to the Creatology Jumbo Crayons, the Crayola Crayons cost $4.99. The box also comes with 8 different colored crayons and it also works perfectly for small children. What I loved about the Crayola crayons, is that the blending is a lot smoother than the Creatology ones. The texture feels a lot creamier and it allows your finished drawing to look much nicer.

Safety Concerns:

-Recommended for ages 3 years and up
-Non toxic

Let’s compare our two brands and see how these look when blending different colors.



-Beautiful Pigmentation
-Clean finish


-Not as creamy
-Blending is not as good



-Best blending
-Creamier texture


-Leaves messy residue

How do these brands work with mixed media?


Although both of these work very well when creating artwork using mixed media, Creatology Crayons have a much nicer finished when incorporating materials such as a white-uni-ball pen over black colored crayons.


Crayola blends smoothly over the purple marker we chose for this experiment. However, it is very hard to use other materials over the Crayola Crayons.

How do these brands do over colorful paper? Lets compare the pigmentation of these crayons over some colorful cardstock paper.


Surprisingly, these crayons feel very smooth over cardstock paper. On all of our previous experiments, we used regular white paper in which they fell a bit more rough. These crayons keep a higher pigmentation level when drawing on colorful cardstock paper.


I’m not a fan of how much residue these crayons leave. It is harder to have a cleaner finish to your artwork. These crayons work much better on a regular white sheet of paper as opposed to colorful cardstock.

Now, lets see how our Narwhal Whale drawings look!



Faber-Castell Oil Pastels vs. Crayola Oil Pastels

  • Faber-Castell Oil Pastels 

Something I loved about Faber-Castell Oil Pastels, is how vibrant the colors are. The package comes with 24 different colors and it costs about $17.99 at Michaels. These pastel colors have a very creamy consistency which allows for a nice and easy blend. These oil pastels allow for each color to be mixed together properly and you can even work over it with oil. 

These Oil Pastels definitely require a bit of experience when using them. In order to create a glossy and smooth finished on your piece, it is better to work with oil over it. For instance, look at the image bellow and see how much better the blending looks once applying the oil with a brush. Note that for this experiment I used linseed oil, but you can use baby oil as well!

It is recommended that you draw with oil pastels over an oil pastel pad. There are different brands that can work well and give your drawing a beautiful finish. However, For this experiment I drew over a regular sheet of white paper and the colors were still very easy to work with. As I mentioned on the introduction page of this blog, I created a narwhal whale drawing to color in with the different materials we are experimenting with. See how the colors blend on this drawing and how vibrant they are.

Safety Concerns:

These Oil Pastels are acid free. However, they are recommended for children ages 12+

  • Crayola Oil Pastels

If I had to choose a winner, I would say the Crayola Oil Pastels won my heart over. First of all, the packaging comes with 28 different colors including 2 beautiful metallic silver and gold. In addition to this, it only costs $6.99 at Michaels and the box comes with color mixing and tints & shades chart which makes it a lot easier for younger children to use. The Crayola oil pastels blends much better than the Faber-Castel oil pastels, which allows your piece to have a more aesthetically pleasing look. 

Remember the little experiment with oil we did above? If you see the image below, you will barely see a difference in quality. These oil pastels blend beautifully so no need to work over it with oil. Take a look at our finished narwhal whale drawing!

Safety Concerns:

These oil pastels are recommended for children ages 4+, they are safe and non-toxic.

Now, lets compare our Narwhal Whale drawing!

Faber-Castell vs. Crayola

Though at first glance they look fairly similar, if we observe carefully, we will see a difference in how these mediums blend. Can you see how much more vibrant the pigments are on the left drawing? Can you also see the smoothness between all the different colors? Oil Pastels can definitely be challenging to use, especially with little to no experience. This is why I recommend going with the Crayola if you are a beginner, or if you are trying to find new mediums for your kids to learn!

Do you wanna try and color the narwhal whale? Click here and download this image for free!

Felt Ball Garland

Ok so lately I’ve been trying to redecorate my crafting area and decided to make a super cute and colorful garland with felt balls! This garland is very easy to make and it probably would’ve only taken me about 10-20 minutes if it wasn’t for my one year old trying to grab and play with all my crafting tools! 

Materials used

For this garland, you will only need: 
felt balls (the ones I got were 2.5” and used about 60. 
-bakers twine or string (length depends on how long you want your garland to be. For my garland, I used about 8 ft.)
-needle (make sure the needle has a pretty large hub so that it’s easy to attach the string)

First things first, collect the colors of your choosing. For my garland, I wanted to go with a super cute and festive color scheme. Lately I’ve been obsessed with rainbow and pastel colors so for this project I decided to go with rainbow. 

Secondly, you’ll want to attach the string to the needle. Then, simply insert the needle into your first felt ball. These felt balls won’t slide easily or fall out of the string unless you push them out but I still made a knot at the other end of the string just to be safe. 

Continue adding balls until you reach your desired length. Make a little knot to secure both ends and cut the remaining string and voila! This is the easiest craft ever and it makes such cute decor to accent any furniture in your home!