Georgia O’Keeffe Inspired Flowers

This past week the elementary art students have been finishing up their Georgia O’Keeffe Flower paintings. I was feeling inspired by all of the greenery and flowers around the studio and wanted to use this inspiration in the art project for the week.


When the students arrived for class we learned a little bit about O’Keeffe’s life then the students went out into the yard and chose the flowers they wanted to paint and draw. The students practiced drawing their flowers with pencil, then traced their drawings with bright oil pastel colors before adding watercolor to finish them off.


The students were extremely creative and I loved the results! We encouraged them to draw their flowers from the perspective of a bee or butterfly up close to the flower.

I hope these “May flowers” bring you joy, happy Sunday!






Teen Landscape Watercolors

The teens completed their landscape watercolor paintings.


There were a lot of lessons wrapped up into this project.


We started with an introduction to watercolor painting and all of the different types of marks you can make with watercolor.


We learned about color mixing and painted our own colorwheels.


We also had an in depth lesson on one point perspective.


We then completed mini-sketches of our paintings to check the overall composition.


And then our larger landscapes.


Watercolor is a very hard medium and they did a great job; had fun and learned a lot.


Elementary Abstract Landscape Watercolors

All age groups have been studying perspective and learning about watercolor this month.  The youngest elementary art students applied their new knowledge and skills to complete Abstract Landscape Watercolors.


We started by looking at the work of Ted Harrison.  He is a Canadian artist who created beautiful colorful abstract landscape of the Yukon Territory.  Follow the link above to see some of his work.

We talked about one point perspective, foreground, middle ground and background.


Then we completed our own landscapes.  I encouraged them to use expressive colors in the style of Ted Harrison.


I love how they turned out.  Hope they brighten your homes during this gloomy Seattle winter. IMG_1160

Elementary Art Watercolor Landscapes

The Advanced Elementary Art class created winter watercolor landscapes.


First, they were introduced to how to use watercolor.


We practiced some basic watercolor strokes and learned how to set up our work area.


We also had a lesson one-point perspective.


And we incorporated what we have learned about value.


We put this all together to create watercolor landscapes.






They did such a great job!



Finishing our Henri Rousseau Watercolor Paintings

We finished our Henri Rousseau-styled jungle paintings in the Elementary Art Classes this week.  The students worked so hard and did such a great job.  While adding color, we reviewed warm and cool colors again and we talked about complimentary colors.  We made the gray for the elephant by mixing the complimentary colors of yellow and purple.

Thanks for sharing your student with me!  It is such a pleasure to have them in classes!


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As a reminder, The Studio will be closed Oct 26th to November 8thWe will reopen with all classes the weeks of November 9th and the 16th.  Thanksgiving is the week of November 23rd. We will have class on Tuesday that week but will not be holding classes on November 25th or November 26th.

The Studio will be open the first three weeks of December closing for Winter Break on December 18th.

As always, feel free to email me with any questions.

See you-all soon!

Henri Rousseau’s Jungle – Elementary Classes

We are learning about the artist Henri Rousseau at Picket Fence Art this week. In addition to being introduced to a new artist, we talked about how to use lines to create tone in a drawing, warm and cool colors and composition.

Henri Rousseau Paintings

Henri Rousseau Paintings

Hatching, cross hatching, and other line techniques:

Line can be used to apply tone (light and shadow) to a drawing. This can be done by altering the:

  • Gap between the lines
  • Lightness / darkness of the line
  • Thickness of the line

There are many line techniques that can be used to create tone. Common techniques include:

  • Small dashes
  • Hatching (long, parallel lines on an angle)
  • Cross-hatching (parallel lines at right angles)
  • Stippling (dots)
  • Scribbles
  • Small crosses
  • Small circles

The angle that these techniques are applied may remain constant within a drawing, or it may change in response to the angle and direction of the forms.


We read The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel.

Henri Rousseau did not start painting until he was 40 years old but he dreamed of becoming a famous artists. He worked during the day as a tollbooth operator and would paint in the evenings. He liked to paint the jungle even though he never visited one. Art critics did not like his self-taught style but other artist friends encouraged him to keep painting.   His paintings resemble storybook illustrations. His skills and art were not appreciated until after he died.

The students then drew their own jungles on watercolor paper.   Everyone was encouraged to start with one lion and to add as many other animals as they wanted. They then drew the dense jungle scene in the background. We filled in the jungle with various lines to create tone and texture.


Henri Rousseau Paintings

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Henri Rousseau Paintings

The drawings were outlined with Sharpie marker and painted with watercolor. The background is painted with cool colors to make it recede.



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Henri Rousseau’s Jungle

Next week we will paint the animals with warm colors to make them come forward.

Take It Home: Practice drawing by completing a mirror image of the lion and then draw in the jungle in the background. You can also check out this video about Henri Rousseau’s artwork on YouTube.

To celebrate fall, we will be making some leaf prints next week after we finish our Henri Rousseau’s Jungle paintings.  Feel free to send some leaves from your own yard and we will spend a few minutes collecting them around the studio as well.

As a reminder, there will be no classes the weeks of October 26th and November 2nd.

Thanks for sharing your student with me.