Unique Perspective

In this drawing and painting studio, Little Artists learned about foreground, middle ground and background and how to draw foreshortened angles. To begin, artists met at the Mission playground on Valencia & 19th street on the first day of class to take self-portraits on the swings, upside down on the monkey bars and hanging off the climbers.  These photographs were then taken back and used for reference and measurement while drawing the portraits. Portraits were drawn in ink on thick watercolor paper and painted with watercolor paint. img_1786 img_1787 img_1788   img_1791     img_1797 img_1798      img_1804   img_1809  img_1811

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See You at the Next Studio!

Shaded Sunglass Portraits

Little Artists learned about portrait shading in this painting and drawing studio from our teaching artists, Nora B.  Artists chose a pair of vintage sunglasses from the collection we have here in the studio to take their photo in, the photo was then used for reference in drawing their self-portrait.  Artists will learn gradation, highlight and shading techniques using graphite and colored pencils and chalk pastels. img_1840 img_1896  img_1901 img_1902  img_1983 img_1989

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See You at the Next Studio!

Embossed Metal Mask

Little Artists made a 26 gauge aluminum mask with embossing tools. The artists used symmetrical designs, exaggerated stylized features, elongated noses, use of geometric shapes and repeated pattern. Looking at examples of African masks artists pulled details such as coiled wire, yarn, raffia, and clay beads. Final masks were painted with acrylic wash rubbed with a bristle brush to give the masks a patina look.  

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See You at the Next Studio!

When I Was Young Portrait

Little Artists in this Drawing and Painting class learned techniques on how to draw their self-portrait.   Using an 18 x 24 piece of quality paper they referenced a photo of themselves taken when they were young (infant- 4 years). Drawing with pen and ink first then watercolor.  Finished work was framed in glass.        IMG_0448 IMG_0451 IMG_0452 IMG_0453

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We took some time to talk about our work at the end of our session.


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See You at the Next Studio!

Unique Perspective Portraits

In this drawing and painting studio, Little Artists learned  about foreground, middle ground and background and how to draw foreshortening angles. To begin we met at the playground to take self-portraits, either on the swings, upside down on the monkey bars or hanging of the climbers. IMG_8053 IMG_8059 IMG_8064 IMG_8068 IMG_8069 IMG_8074 IMG_8084

This photograph of a foreshortening pose was used for reference and measurement while drawing our portraits.


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Portraits were drawn in ink and painted with watercolor paint. Final work was  framed in glass frames.


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So Cool!

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See You at the Next Studio!

February Spring Break Art Camp

In this studio, Little Artists were inspired by Jenny Murphy and her mixed media work. Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 5.12.46 PM

With a square wood plank for their canvas artists drew a simple shape and then wrap a black string  around the primed wood creating a checkered pattern. Looking at the positive and negative  they will painted the checkered patterns in warm and cool colors of choice. Final pieces were given a lacquer finish by teachers.

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In this studio, Little Artists will be inspired by the artist, Tracey Ann Finley.

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Starting with a primed square wood plank and a crushed can for their canvas artists created an animal of choice from the shape they saw in the crushed can. -The possibilities were endless!  Artists used acrylic paint and learned about layering and using complimentary colors and patterns to give their final work all the attention it needed to stand out! The final pieces were lacquered by teachers.

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We Love sharing and talking about our final art!!

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In this studio, Little Artists learned how fun it is making everything mini! Just like the artist, Margaret McGuire artists created their very own mini monsters, mini clothes and mini matchbox bed.   Artists used their plans to draw patterns for their monsters.


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See You at the Next Studio!


Painted Family Portrait

Historically, family portrait paintings have primarily memorialized the rich and powerful kings and queens. But NOT ANYMORE! We commissioned Little Artist to paint a portrait of their families in this drawing and painting studio. IMG_6870 IMG_6871   IMG_6867 IMG_6866 IMG_6865  IMG_6863    IMG_6796

Using a fine tip black ink pen each family member was drawn from the waist up and painted with a palette of colorful watercolor paints  on fine quality paper.

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We will discussed placement of facial features, how to draw clothing with patterns and body overlap as well as how to use highlights and shadows in our paintings.

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Final work was framed in glass :)







See You at the Next Studio!

Funky Flower Still Life

In this Drawing and Painting Studio, Little Artists put a spin on the every day still life. We focused on line and detail. The first day of class we reviewed how to block in all of the shapes of the objects in the still life.  Measuring and comparing the size, space and direction of the objects in relation to one another. In the next class we drew in the foliage and textural details.

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The completed drawing was traced with permanent black ink.   Little Artists then used a compass to draw circles of varying sizes throughout the drawing.  These circles were the only sections colored to keep the detail and boldness of our still life strong.

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Magazine Portraits

In this Mixed Media Studio, Little Artists drew their  portrait from a photo taken in studio. The portrait was then collaged  with magazine cut outs. IMG_9232 IMG_9234

Little Artists shaped each magazine piece to create rhythm, texture and blended color.


Final portraits were framed in glass.


See You at the Next Studio!

Birds in a Garden

In this painting studio, Little Artists learned about proportion, repetition and overlap. IMG_2942 IMG_2943


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Drawing from a perspective of a bird walking through a flower garden artists had to think about what its like to be the size of a bird.  What would it look like if I was a bird standing in a garden?  Is the ground flat or bumpy in a garden?  What objects are bigger than a bird? What objects are smaller than a bird?



Artists drew a family of birds and insects in the foreground and grass and flowers in the background while learning how objects can overlap one another.


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Our ink drawings were then painted with vibrant watercolor and acrylic paint. Practicing to use the right size of brush  for small spaces and cutting large object in with our brush was tricky but we did it!





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See You at the Next Studio!

In the Warhol Zone

Little Artists in this painting studio, learned about the Famous Pop Artist, Andy Warhol.  Warhol's art encompassed many forms of media, we focused on Warhol’s famous brightly colored screen-printed images to make a similar painting of our own using their favorite animals as their subject. IMG_2989


To start, children drew their favorite animal with pencil on paper.  Some of us use photographs for shape reference. These drawings were then photocopied to make 4 identical images. These four images were then painted with gel medium to dissolve the paper and make them into gel ‘skins’.



While the gel dried artists divided their canvas into four equal squares and painted each corner of their canvas’ with acrylic paint.  Learning about primary colors and complimentary colors children pre-planed which colors they wanted their animals to be and painted each square the complimentary color to their animal.  Yellow Animal-purple square, orange animal- blue square, green animal- red square ect.

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Next we decoupaged the gel skins onto the canvas and painted our animals.

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Our finished work would surely make Andy Warhol proud!

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See You at the Next Studio!


Splatter, Soak and Sprinkle

In this painting studio, little artists learn drawing strategies to make a cool chameleon, inspired from the book, Cool Chameleon by Martin Jenkins. Outlining their drawings of the chameleon’s tapering spiral tail and cone eyes made their creatures stand out.

Children then developed the chameleons textured skin using variety of watercolor techniques such as wet on wet, wet on dry, rubbing alcohol, salt and splatter. Making each chameleon stand out against its jungle of leaves.

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See You at the Next Studio!

City and Country Perspective

In this drawing studio, little artist learned about one-point perspective and two-point perspective. Perspective,  in drawing,  is an approximate representation on a flat surface of our paper of an image as the eye sees it. Little artists drew a one-point city street perspective, which has one single vanishing point, drawn directly on the horizon line.

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Then little artists drew a two-point country perspective which had two vanishing points drawn on the horizon line so the object rotated, making one side of the country barn recedes towards one vanishing point, the other side of the barn recede towards the opposite vanishing point.

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Through both of these perspective studios little artists learned more about the term horizon line and vanishing point and how objects appear smaller as they are closer to the vanishing point; clouds, people, cars, farm animals, buildings and trees. Little artists also learned more about how to use the edge of a ruler to line up the vanishing points to correctly depict an the objects size.

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The end result City and Country perfection! See you at the Next Studio!

Dragons and Castles

In this Drawing studio we celebrated the Chinese New Year learning how to draw a fierce dragon and castle landscape. Our castle lesson focused on how shading techniques can create shadow and light in our drawings, which is an important step in making them appear 3- dimensional.  Shading a drawing can add texture, feeling and depth and can be done in different ways. Little Artists played with different pencils that have hard and soft graphite as well as paper blending pencils to experiment with smudging and blending the towers, drawbridges and moats.  Since drawing buildings also requires an artist to use a ruler we worked from a 1- point perspective to keep our lesson manageable. A few of our Little Artists dabbled in cross-hatching, which with practice can add shading with a more textured look.




The dragon lesson focused on how to draw animal through a two-step process; gesture drawing the basic form of the animal first and then adding the detail.  Learning to draw lightly and to quick gesture draw (sketching an object with out lifting your pencil) allows you to look more at the object than at the paper to block in an objects form correctly before adding in the remaining details and shadows needed to make and object look real to the eye.  Little artists gave their dragon’s life with large wings, horns, a toothy jaw all the way down to its fierce tail and scales.




The end result, two framed pieces that compliment one another.  A dark mysterious castle and its mystical dragon



See You at the Next Studio!

Expressive Portraits

In this Studio, we looked at Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits that she painted throughout her life.  And learned fun facts about her life as an artist here in San Francisco, CA.   

Learning that a portrait could be drawn from different perspectives such as straight on, ¾ angle and profile.  We took expressive photographs of ourselves to use as a reference for own self-portraits. We learned about the standard measurements and alignment in drawing a face, which we then put into practice in our own self-portraits.

Learning to lightly sketch our faces in can be the trickiest part, for we all want our pictures to look perfect right off the bat.  The secret is to slowly layer the details on looking at shapes, proportion and color until we see a realistic portrait of ourselves.




We used watercolor pencils to shade and blend our colors of our face and hair.  Smoothing the textures for our skin and using a rougher pencil texture for our hair. Lastly choosing a hue for the background that would make our portrait stand out.  Many of us choosing warm or complimentary colors to make the final piece pop!


See you at the next Studio!

The Stuffy is ALIVE

This seasons Drawing Series Little Artists are introduced to simple tricks and techniques to make their favorite stuffed animal from home come to life through graphite, watercolor pencils, oil pastels and ink drawing on various surfaces.

Little Artists spent a few days learning about shadows....  We looked at examples illustrations by Mark Buehner from the story Snowmen at Night written by Caralyn Buehner.



Little Artists learned about line and how shape of an object can change from different perspectives.  And how adding various textures can give a drawing life.  We also tried other mediums for fun, exploring shapes...


Background, foreground, horizon line....overlap....blending...



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Taking the opposite approach with the cartoon drawing we exaggerated the stuffed animals features and facial expressions.  Making up a story for our character through a storyboard of squares.  We gave the stuffed animals human-traits such as clothes and the ability to talk or think with speech bubbles and thought bubbles.

See You At The Next Studio!

Vanishing Point

In this drawing studio, Little Artists learned the steps of how to draw three-dimensional images on a two-dimensional plane. The first step was to draw an eye level horizon line where the land and the sky meet.

Since we are drawing a one-point perspective drawing, Little Artists drew one vanishing point in the center of their horizon line where everything in their drawing will vanish out of sight. Drawings with one vanishing point are typically roads, railway tracks, hallways, or buildings so that the front is directly facing the viewer.

Next, Little Artists drew lines from the center vanishing point to the bottom corners of their paper.

On one side, they drew buildings and on the other side they drew trees and fences.  To further understand three-dimensional imagery, they learned the concept that when an object is closer, it’s larger and has more detail and when an object is further away, it is small and blurry.

Reflection on glass frames has blurred the photos :(

We looked at photos of the city of San Francisco and used these ideas in our perspective drawings: clouds, trolleys, people, cars, lap posts, and birds. When the drawings were completed, we traced over our pencil lines with permanent marker and added color, using water colored pencils for a finishing touch.

See you at the next Studio!


Show Me Your Funny Face!

This week we focused on drawing expressive portraits.  We learned a portrait could be drawn from different perspectives such as straight on, ¾ angle and profile.  If you sit directly in front of the subject you can see everything including the eyes and ears.  If you study the subject from an angle you only see one ear or one eye. We learned about the standard measurements and alignment in drawing a face, which we then put into practice in our own self-portraits. We used expressive photographs of ourselves to use as a reference for own self-portraits.

We also looked at Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits that she painted throughout her life.  And learned fun facts about her life as an artist.

"Silly Me"

"Fish Face"

"My Lost Tooth"