ArtistMum: Art Club- Day 3

The art club is progressing very nicely. I am trying to teach the kids some aspect of painting or art each time we meet. Today’s lesson was on portrait drawing/painting.

Believe it or not, there are some simple ‘rules’ when drawing/painting a face! Proportion is an important aspect to keeping the facial features somewhat realistic. I had the students draw an oval around their hand on a blank piece of paper. The human hand is approximately the size of your face. Notice I used the word ‘approximately’ because there are always slight differences. But at least they had a start and the heads didn’t start out the size of grapes!

We then divided that oval in half and place the eyes at that halfway mark. The bottom of the nose falls between the eyes and chin. And the mouth is placed between the bottom of the nose and the chin. It’s as simple as that!





We also learned how to make our own watercolor paints from simple ingredients. The master painters from many years ago had to make their own paints from ground up minerals and a binding agent such as egg yolk, or oils. Picking up some paints at the local art supply store just wasn’t an option for them! Imagine having to mix enough of one color to paint St. Peter’s robe, or worse……not mixing enough and having to start all over. The kids seemed to like using the homemade watercolor paints as we can see from the photos below.

We used our Pre-made colors as well!




Here’s the ‘recipe’ for the watercolors:

3 Tablespoons baking soda
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Mix the first three ingredients together in a container that will allow for some fizzing!
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
Food coloring

Add vinegar and mix well. You can divide this mixture up into smaller containers and then add your food coloring for each color you make. About 10-14 drops of food coloring per color is a good start. Pour colored mixtures into plastic lids and allow to dry for a day or so. Humidity will determine how slowly or quickly the colors will dry.
( I found this recipe for watercolors at

Here are some of our finished portraits using the handmade watercolors!





About artistmum

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