View Full Version : George's Homeschooling Journal

07-01-2014, 01:04 AM
As some of you know, my wife and I homeschool our 8 year old son. We are not the most educated of folks, but we do 'try' and our son understands far more about life than some teen-agers I know. To be honest, he's 'corrected' his mother and I on a few things, he's wise beyond his ears! ;)

For two days now we've doing our own 15 Minute Challenges (must draw or paint for at least 15 minutes but can continue after the buzzer goes off), done in three stages: sketch from imagination, sketch using a still life that we manipulated, and painting from life (hands off the subject) using oil pastels. Last night we did some seriously late grocery shopping, but we HAD to finish our art for the day -- don't be a quitter -- so some of the things we bought we'll be part of our art before we eat it. The last component we had to manipulate. Getting started on the art sooner in the day will allow us to get outside and use nature and the landscape as a subject.

This is what I hope will become the bulk of our 'art' component, but we'll be buying some books and videos, too, help us in our journey. I say 'us' because I'm learning right alongside my son, if not just a little ahead of him. I love my son enough to hope that he DOES become a better artist than me, yet I do have a competitive spirit about me, hehe.

Here's what we have so far.
Pic 1 (Ryan, Day 1)
Pic 2 (", " 2)
Pic 3 (George, Day 1)
Pic 4 (", " 2)

Given that a page in the sketchbook is divided into three sections, and we could do our sketches vertically or horizontally, is there a better way to go about photographing these so WC members don't have to pick up their monitors and rotate them to view them, or do handstands?

07-01-2014, 12:50 PM
This is awesome. Both sketchbooks are priceless seeing what the child sees and what the adult sees. Looking forward to seeing more.

07-04-2014, 07:15 AM
Last night's 15 Minute Challenge (sessions) Here is my work.
The first 15 minute session was from imagination or memory. I went with a tunnel, with a railroad running over top, near our house. It ended up looking like a frowning man with his hair dyed in two colors. Almost like a ticked off Bob Ross. (see the afro?). :D The second session, still life using graphite, is probably the best graphite I've ever done. The third session, working from life (we try not to touch the scene), this time using oil pastels. It's a church about a 15 minute (strange, huh?) walk from our house. It got took dark so we had to quit, and I had forgotten to take pictures of it beforehand. The rest of it I work on at home, from memory. I am pleased with the progress in making trees, and the tower section. If you do en plein airs, take pictures, everyone! When the sessions are up we can choose to keep working on them. I am working with my son (he's 8 years old) to learn how to stay focused and to push himself. As you will see in his work he tried to weasel out by doing the basketball court, but after fessing up he VOLUNTEERED to paint a scene of the house across the street from us. We were seated under a picnic shelter type building. I'm proud of him and I just enjoyed watching him tell these two children much younger than him all about oil pastels and how "these are not crayons", all in a serious tone.

07-04-2014, 07:25 AM
Here is his session.

07-04-2014, 02:53 PM
Wonderful learning experience for you and for him. Great sketches.

07-04-2014, 05:29 PM
Thank you Debby. Yesterday we did try to paint with oil pastels that we'd just put over a candle flame. I love what it produces, but it cools way too fast to really be able to work with it. The end of the stick remains warm but not pliable enough. I wonder if anyone's tried to heat up OP that's already been laid on the surface, or perhaps even melting the stick and mixing it with linseed oil to create 'paint'?

07-05-2014, 02:42 PM
You could try the "Icarus Board (http://icarusart.net/)". It's a heated board for under wax based art mediums. I am not affiliated with them, nor do I use one. I've just heard about them.

07-05-2014, 10:09 PM
That is interesting. I haven't looked at the costs of it. It might be cheaper to just heat up a large plate or warm the stove up, open the door all the way, and work from that.

Joan T
07-05-2014, 11:04 PM
Congratulations to both of you for starting to sketch together. It is a great activity to share. There are so many art activities and materials to try. I've enjoyed seeing the work that both of you have done. I have a difficult time with ops...maybe because I never learned how to use them. Have fun!

07-06-2014, 12:28 AM
Joan, I have been doing a lot of finger blending. In pastels that is probably not a good idea, but in oil pastels the pigment load is so heavy (especially when they heat up) that it can be spread out. If I don't blend I end up with the color of the support showing and with how thick the strokes are it can get real messy real quick. I have been reading Timeless Techniques For Better Oil Paintings. Some things are beginning to click. It is a WONDERFUL book. He is easy to 'listen' to.

07-09-2014, 08:20 AM
Since art that we do as a family is part of our 'homeschooling' I think I'll just post the work in here. It will likely be drawings or paintings, but it might even be crafts or perhaps something my wife is doing in knitting or crocheting (if that's okay to post here). Last night we all sat down and used cheap Daler Rowney acrylics to paint a ..... still life! There were WAY too many wildflowers, picked from our nightly walk, stuffed in that vase, and we were all tired. It didn't help that one of the cats thought it would be cool to walk across the palettes. The sound of his claws tapping against the aluminum foil used to cover the palettes caused us to panic and grab him. Thank goodness the paint hadn't been put out yet. :lol: The first picture is where we paint in the kitchen. We're kind of cluttered (not AT ALL how I grew up, lol). On the wall you can see where we tape up each person's art work. The cats' food and water bowls are close to the wall. There is a malfunctioning air conditioning unit on the floor as well, and color wheels and a clip-on lamp for lighting on the kitchen table. I found an easy tutorial online for creating home-made easels, but since we don't have the table space for them nor the money to buy two more easels, I just turned the cardboard easels upside down, taped them to a cheap office desk and they became palette/easel combos. The canvas paper or even boards can be taped up in front of the artist, and the palette, whether it's aluminum foil, wax paper or even glass can be layed down and secured. The last three pics are mine, my wife's and our son's, respectively. I keep telling my wife that I'm going to have drop the 30 minutes of required 'quiet painting time' down to 15 minutes so her artwork won't be better than mine. Thirty minutes is a long time for a child to sit and focus, but I am calmly encourage him to be still and focus and look for things like light and shadows in the subject.

07-09-2014, 01:48 PM
Awesome that the whole family is involved. Each is unique and very cool paintings.

07-10-2014, 06:41 AM
We painted again last night. It's a lot of fun taking a walk, picking flowers and then setting the flowers up for a painting. This time we set the timer to 45 minutes. My son got lost from the get-go. I showed him how to create a wash and he ended up turning the whole palette into soup. He was really tired, too, got up to early. He and I will draw today and maybe even play around with seeing what kinds of strokes brushes can do. It's interesting how each of us interprets the scene and how we approach painting it. My wife seems very 'careful' in what she does, not venturing too far. Yeap, that sounds like her. :lol:

EDIT: I forgot to mention that we used Daler Rowney Acrylics.

07-10-2014, 05:44 PM
Try again when the boy isn't so tired. More lovely paintings.

07-10-2014, 10:09 PM
doing good.

07-13-2014, 02:01 AM
I have a home schooled high schooler. He isn't interested in art, but computers...get out of his way. He never even enjoyed coloring or drawing as a little kid. He did one self portrait when he was 3, and I had it laminated and treasure it.

The family art project is wonderful! The talentn and skl in one medium over another is interesting as you explore. Do you plan on letting him find his favorite medium and style and letting him focus his passion into that?

Joan T
07-13-2014, 09:30 PM
I think these are great! I love the idea of picking the flowers for the still life.