Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Great Santa

Look at this tin Santa that was painted by Connie Bartch.  This is her beautifully painted rendition of the First Star of Christmas pattern that I have been demonstrating during the past month. She was nice enough to allow me to post her painted project and I hope that you will enjoy her lovely work and leave nice comments for her.   Thanks again Connie. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Card

This cute guy was painted by Bev Atkins and she was kind enough to allow me to share him with all of you.  Isn't he fantastic!  I cheated and used my Cricut to make my letters and candy cane but Bev painted hers on and used a lovely green background.  I love it.  Thank you so much for sharing him with me and for letting me post him on the blog. 

Completed Santa

Whew!  I wouldn't have thought that this project would have taken quite this amount of time because it was an easy process.  It was an easy project but as we all know life gets in the way, but I finished this project up last night and can post the finished copy.  I used scrapbook papers for the background and used my Cricut Cartridge Christmas Cheer to cut out the lettering and trees.  I love putting projects together, it always seems like such a great way to finish up something that you've been working on and such satisfaction in the completed project.  Obviously you can completely paint the background if you prefer, use a variety to materials to decorate the cards such as sequins, brads, or found objects.  How about instead of using scrapbook papers using wrapping paper instead?  If you do something with this Santa face I would love to see the finished project, in spite of the length of time that it took me to complete it was very quick and easy.  I actually did four of these cards but am only posting the two that I liked the best.  This guy would look lovely done with either watercolor pencils, or even regular colored pencils. 

I'm not sure what the next series of blog posts will be about but check back often to see what I do in the New Year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Face 2nd in the Series

I know that this has taken me all week to post the second in the series.  Believe me it has been a busy week.  But here is the second in the series and as I was painting Santa's face to post today it occurred to me that I hadn't posted the line art so you could paint right along with me.  Here it is!  I will post additional instructions as I paint.  Remember these painting instructions are only suggestions, you should feel free to change the colors to suit your style and mood.  Remember that you are painting on white paper so you won't need to base the areas that will remain white. 

Instructions for painting Santa's Face: 
1.  Base the face with Deco Art Americana Hi-Lite Flesh, float shade with Shading Flesh, highlight with Light Buttermilk.  Base the pupil of the eye with Lamp Black, dip dot with Snow White and float a light highlight float onto the eye.  Float the cheek with Spice Pink and deepen the float over the mustache with Antique Maroon. Base the inside of the mouth with Antique Maroon.  Dip dot the cheek with Snow White. 
2.  Base the hat with Santa Red, float shade with Napa Red, highlight with Light Buttermilk. 
3.  Using a rake brush thin Asphaltum down and wash it into the beard and hat trim areas and then float shade Asphaltum under the hat brim, around the face and under the mustache.
4.  Using a SL line the hair on Santa's forehead with Snow White. 

If you are painting along with me I'd love to see the result.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Else Can I Do With this Santa Pattern? Santa Card Step by Step

In my last post I mentioned that I was planning to do a step by step demonstration using one of the Santa faces from the First Star Of Christmas Pattern.  I used the face from the tin santa and changed the hat slightly and painting this on 140lb hot pressed watercolor paper.  I've painted only the face adding the shading and highlighting and painted in the base color of the hat.  The next step will be to add the shading and highlighting to the hat as well as beginning the process of developing the beard, mustache, hair, and hat trim.  Check back soon to see this project develop into a Christmas Card for family and friends.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Else Can I Do With this Santa Pattern?

I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  I know that I did, we had a very nice day although we ate too much.  LOL.  I'm sure that you didn't have that problem.  "Grin, grin."  We spent the day with family and friends and it was a terrific day eating a wonderful meal and awesome company.  After we had cleaned up the Thanksgiving dinner dishes my thoughts turned to Christmas shopping and we began planning our shopping day on Friday.  I had actually done some shopping prior to Black Friday so I was in good shape but still needed to pick up some specific items.  Honestly I am not a Black Friday shopper at unbelievable times in the morning, the thought of being out that early in the morning just horrifies me, however I did go to town later in the day and did some shopping and then finished up the remainder of it on Saturday.  I have a few more items to purchase prior to Christmas but am in really good shape.   What a great feeling!

My thoughts are now on getting ready to decorate for Christmas, the tree needs to be put up and the house transformed.  I started thinking about my patterns and thought which patterns could be adapted, I have numerous Christmas patterns that could easily be adapted to different surfaces but this Santa pattern appears to be the most difficult because of looking like it is so surface specific.  With a little creativity you could definitely adapt this to different surfaces and with my next few posts look for me to offer you ideas how to adapt one of these Santa's to be used on a card.  It can be done with just a few minor changes.  I'm going to do a simple step by step project that you can use to make your own Christmas cards and who knows I may even use the Cricut to add some interesting detail. 

Take a look at this project and think about the other options for surfaces for it.  As I stated above cards are an obvious choice but what about candlesticks.  Why not use this pattern to make beautiful candlesticks for your holiday table?  How about putting one of the Santa faces on the center of a plate to serve cookies or homemade goodies on and give the plate and goodies to your friends as a gift.  There are numerous great small wooden or tin plates that can be used that are relatively inexpensive and anyone would be delighted to receive a wonderful gift like that.  How about using one of those fantastic battery operated candles to adapt the pattern to.  I think that one of the round candles would be a fantastic small chunky Santa. 

Anyone out there have any other ideas?  Look for my next post starting the step by step Santa adapted to a card. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Else Can I Do With This Love Bug Boogie Pattern?

As I write this we are in the midst of one of the worst snow storms that we've had at this time of year for a long time, it is hard to think about spring being right around the corner when it is Thanksgiving.  LOL. We have a long winter ahead of us if this initial blast is any indication.  It seems ironic that I would choose to write about Spring when we have blizzard and driving condition warnings, but somehow it seems oddly appropriate.  I must be a glutton for punishment when I know that I am going to have a terrible drive to work in the morning.  LOL. 

That being the case, what might possibly be some ideas for other uses for this pattern since I am obviously wishing for nice weather?  Lets think about the obvious ones to start with, cards always come to mind and you can view the free pattern that I did as a companion to this pattern on this blog the "Night Light Bug".  Since completing that free project I've purchased a Cricut Die Cut Machine and could certainly use many of the different cartridges to add to and enhance this design.  You could add borders, change the painted lettering to one  using the Cricut fonts, and enhance the background.  How about finding an interesting poem to use on the inside of the card, print it out on your computer, use a great scrapbooking paper as a background thus personalizing the card for someone special.  Of course you could do the same thing for any of the bugs that are on this pattern and make an interesting card design to showcase the individual bugs either on the clips or on the candle holder design.  How about making a long thin card where the bugs flow down the front of the card similiar to the clips on the pattern.  Keeping that theme going why not cut out tags on the Cricut and paint the bugs onto the tags and add them to your Christmas packages?  Wouldn't your friends and family think that was fun and just a little quirky???  Imagine the fun they will have when they open their packages Christmas morning?

If you look carefully at the candleholder design you will see that it tells a story of a bug's night out dancing in the moonlight. Why not use that idea to paint a series of paintings as a storyboard on watercolor paper or cardstock, mount them either individually or as a series using matte board and an interesting frame.  This would be darling in a child's room or as a seasonal accent in your home.   Years ago when I first became interested in decorative painting it was all the rage to cut out individual pieces and hang them on your walls as plaques. Wouldn't these bugs look darling cut out as individual pieces to hang as accent pieces for the storyboard idea that I mentioned above?  Here's another thought paint the bugs onto the edges of the picture matte board to enhance the storyboard!  That would continue the design on out to the outer edges of the piece.  Some of my favorite pictures that I've hung in my home are those where the painting incorporates the matte extending the painted surface. 

Have you been listening to the news media and the concern over the body scans that airport security is using?  I'm not going to expound on the whole issue of body privacy in this blog but it certainly made me start thinking about my travel concerns for 2011 and one is certainly how to recognize my luggage.  Why not paint a luggage tag with bugs on it to help identify your luggage? 

How about painting a fun pin to wear with one or more bugs on it?  I love to wear pins especially my vintage pins that are family heirlooms.  As a teacher my students look at my jewelry  and comment on it and a bug pin would be a fun addition to my spring clothing wardrobe.  Ok, now I know that I've gone over the deep end if I am thinking about wearing cooler clothing when I decided to take a space heater with me in the morning because my classroom was so chilly yesterday.  I'll leave you with those ideas to mull over while we weather through the remainder of winter and think thoughts of snowmen and winter driving.  Like me it will give you something to think about instead of cold winter weather and concerns about driving, shoveling snow, and cold weather.  Have a wonderful winter season while you dream of nice weather to come.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Important change to the website!

I have made some changes to the Pattern Categories on my website that you will need to know to purchase your favorite patterns.  If the pattern is only available as an E-Pattern it is still under the E-Pattern Category.   However if the pattern is also available as a Paper Pattern Packet, that you will receive through the mail, the patterns are organized according to the pattern theme in the Menu.  To find the patterns that are available as both E-Patterns and Pattern Packets you will need to look through each pattern category.  I have placed a drop down menu to purchase either pattern type under the pattern description.  Simply click on either the Paper Pattern or E-Pattern and the red cart button and the pattern will be added to your shopping cart with the accurate price. I hope that this makes your shopping experience simple. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Else Can I Do With this Wildflower Pattern?

This is one of my very favorite patterns, I spent a great deal of time developing my techniques to paint this piece.  I have to say that hours went into using a variety of brushes in a variety of ways to try to come up with something that looked very much like the original wildflowers.  Needless to say I've done a careful study of these wildflowers to try to be as scientifically acurate as possible.  These are two of my favorite wildflowers, the Lupine and the Scarlet Paintbrush and they are fairly prolific during the summer months. They can even last into August if we have a decent amount of moisture.  Not only do we see these in the mountains but they are also found in the prairie regions of the US from Montana all the way down into Texas. 

I began to wonder what else could I do with this project to make it more versatile, which we all know that painters and crafters are so good at doing.  My daughter, who loves hiking and camping in the back country, wanted a photo album painted with wild flowers for her birthday.  I used the flowers in this piece as the border and painted a young lady with her backpack holding a map as the centerpiece.  It was truly lovely and unfortunately didn't have a chance to get a photo of it prior to giving it to her.  I just used a larger sized album that I purchased from Creative Memories, I think that it was 12"X15", and this size gave me a nice sized canvas area to paint on.  Now my daughter can save all of her backpacking memories in this album. 

I also thought that maybe it would be nice to have summer even in the cold winter months and painted these flowers on glass ornaments to give for Christmas gifts.  I personally love nontraditional ornaments on my tree and thought that these were a great idea.  I sat down one afternoon and within 2 hours had painted 2 dozen ornaments.  I've also painted these on my old standby of cards that I've given to friends on their birthdays. 

So often we look at a design and are put off by it because we don't own the brush that the artist used to paint it.  I used two of the Dynasty Butterfly brushes to paint these but have found that you can easily substitute the Dagger brush to paint the Scarlet Paintbrush with outstanding results and a small flat brush to paint the Lupine.  I've painted both of these flowers with a variety of brushes and had a great deal of success in fact I used a 1/8" Lettering brush to paint the Lupine recently and loved the result.

When I was demonstrating this project at the Hoot Show in Ohio this year I had a number of ladies mention that "of course I could do these wildflowers I designed them" which made me laugh because they are truly so simple to do if you follow my instructions and look at the color worksheet which I am posting for your information here. 

Let me know your thoughts on this project?  Does it scare you off because you feel it is too scary or do you feel comfortable giving it a try? 

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Else Can I do with this Tooth Fairy Pillow Pattern?

How many of you paint or craft with children in mind? I know that I certainly do. I painted for my children when they were small and painted gifts for nieces, nephews, and eventually my children's friends. I have a number of projects that were designed specifically for children and one of my favorites is the pattern "Even Monster's love the Tooth Fairy". I think that it is darling as a tooth fairy pillow but can't you just picture it as a card or a wood cutout for some adorable child.

This project was inspired by one of my own children's favorite books Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I can't tell you how many times I've ready that book over the years and it remains one of my favorites to read aloud even now. In fact I just read it last month to my kindergarten classes. Both I and children alike love a good monster story and if you've been a follower you know that this is a project that I've done over the years with some of my students.

As I was thinking about what else could be done with this pattern I immediately thought about cards, but why not think in terms of enlarging the monsters faces, cut them out of 1/2" pieces of pine and hanging them in a nursery or a toddler's room. How about painting them on a larger pillow or in the center of a quilt for a lovely bedding set? How about on a glass block to use as a child's nightlight?

I think that the possibilities are endless and would love to hear your ideas. I hope that many of you will take the plunge and share your ideas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What Else Can I do with that Pattern? Second in the series.

With the economy the way that it is I don't know about all of you but I certainly want to be able to find creative ways to use the things that I already have. I think that the word that I am looking for is repurposing. Not a particularly good post when I am in the business of selling new patterns. In spite of that thought thriftiness is exactly what prompted this set of blog posts. I've been taking a look at many of the patterns that I've designed and thought what else could my customers do with that pattern that would be fun and creative. Cards are one thing that comes readily to mind. Don't we all love to get handmade cards in the mail. I know that for me handmade cards are the ones that touch my heart and tend to get saved and pinned up onto my bulletin board or hung up on that popular repostitory of all things important in my life, the refrigerator. If I can't find something that I "thought" that I had filed I look up on the refrigerator. LOL. Often I find it there. Sad but true.

I like to send cards to friends when they are having a rough week for one reason or another and find that a cute card brightens up their day. I've recently had a number of friends and family who have fought a battle with cancer and later each one of them reminded me of how much it brightened a rough patch when they received a card in the mail. A handmade card that I had made for a friend in a similiar situation brought her to tears, not exactly my plan, but it certainly showed me how much any handmade item touches the hearts of those we love.

Keeping that in mind I took a look at the patterns on my website and thought which ones might be fun to redesign into cards. Since I've been thinking about friends who have been having challenges in their lives I immediately thought of the pattern "Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil" under the Miscellaneous Pattern Category. Since friends have been on my mind I thought what a perfect pattern to develop as a card because it already shows three friends out on a night on the town having a great time. A little bread, a little cheese, some yummy wine and good friends, what more could we want? There would be minimal work to adapt it to a card surface painted on watercolor paper and layered over a lovely scrapbooking paper would be fantastic.

How about ideas from all of you?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What Else can I do with this Project?

How many times have you purchased a pattern or a book and painted every project on a different surface than the artist did? Probably a lot would be the answer, we as painters and crafters are a terribly creative group otherwise we wouldn't be interested in this hobby. In this economy we have to be very frugal and if we are going to purchase a pattern or a book we want to make sure that we get the most out of our money. I'm no different, as I complete any project I often like to come up with another use for the project for myself and for all of you who purchase my patterns. If you look at the pattern "Falling Leaves" under the Fall Pattern Sub-Category you will see that for the money you get three different projects that you can complete: 3 Fall Cards, the Fall Lazy Susan, and the battery operated Ornament Candleholders. The cards would be lovely to take in conjunction with a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, the ornaments can either be placed on a tree for the fall/winter holidays or can be used as battery operated candleholders, and the lazy susan could be switched out with charger plates or candle plates. How about instead of plates you use the pattern to design a table cloth or a table runner. I think that these leaves would be gorgeous painted around the edge of a table cloth and used for Thanksgiving dinner with a beautiful centerpiece. I love fall and love the look of fall leaves but keeping them intact is often a challenge why not paint them and enjoy the look without the dust that so many of us are allergic to.

Often when I design a project I like to come up with an alternative to the surface that I've used and in the next few blog posts I'll use my creativity to come up with new surface ideas for my patterns. Post your ideas as well and lets see if we can get a running dialogue going.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Loss of Painting Magazines

It has been a sad day in the painting industry to hear of yet again another painting magazine being eliminated. I was in the process of developing two new projects that the editor and I were discussing, this morning I received an email answering an inquiry that I had sent concerning one project and then this evening finding out that the company had chosen to eliminate this magazine as well as their other craft magazines. After receiving this email that I know many of you also received I could hear the sadness and shock that the editor must have felt. I know that this was probably an economy based decision but it makes me feel so sad for the jobs that were lost due to this decision as well as the loss for the artists/designers that developed such lovely designs for the industry.

We as painters need to band together to keep the industry alive and we can do that by communicating with each other on the painting forums, frequenting the blogs that we enjoy, and communicating with the editors and owners of the magazine companies not only our complaints about the magazine issues but also what we like and appreciate about the job that they are doing. I know many of you already interact with online painting groups, I personally belong to a number of them and post as often as my schedule allows.

I've heard talk that online magazines may be the wave of the future with subscribers downloading their magazines to home computers or personal devices. Currently I receive an educational magazine in a digital copy and must say that I miss the smell and feel of holding the magazine in my hands. To keep this from happening we need to speak up and help the industry by being proactive to keep an artform that we love alive.

On the front page of my website I've suggested that you leave comments and interact with the blogs that you enjoy, I know that I would like to have that type of feedback to provide my customers with the best quality service that I can.

Friday, October 29, 2010

JB Weld Kwik Wood Ornament Pattern Available

I finally finished the ornament patterns and have them available on my website, all four pattern photos are currently on the website. You can purchase the patterns as E-Patterns to make as Christmas gifts for friends or for your craft shows. Kwik Wood is so easy to use and made quick work of the sculpting process. I owned a set of sculpting tools because I have been interested in sculpting for some time now but if you do not have the tools there is no need to invest in a set as you can use household items and even can make a few of your own. I give you sculpting instructions, illustration templates, hints and tips for making your own sculpting tools or household items to use in each of the patterns as well as numerous photos for reference. I purchased my first tube of Kwik Wood at Home Depot but later found it at a local hardware store. If you like these patterns please leave comments so I can get the feedback on this set for future reference.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

JB Weld Kwik Wood Ornaments

My last post mentioned that I was using JB Weld Kwik Wood to sculpt with, adding it to wooden shapes to develop something new and different. I really love the process as well as the product. It paints up beautifully and even though you have a fairly small window to work with it is relatively easy to use. Here is one example of an ornament that I made using it. This pattern is soon to be released on my website for purchase. I hope that you like this.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kwik Wood

Have you tried working with JB Weld Kwik Wood. I've been working on ornaments with it that I am sculpting and then attaching to some wooden ornaments by Cupboard Distributing. I'm planning to have the pattern ready to go prior to the Christmas painting season. It is amazing and so versatile. It is an epoxy putty that you knead with your fingers prior to using then just sculpt away and you literally just set it on the wood piece and it adheres within seconds. It eliminates the need for any type of adhesive. I've finished two so far and am working on three more for this set and then have plans for four more to add to the set. I can't wait to share these as they are soooo much fun to do. Hopefully I will be able to get them finished up and on my website soon. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 13, 2010

30 % Off Stock Up Brush Sale

All the paint brushes on my website www.chartmandesigns.com are currently on sale for 30% off the retail prices. Are you someone who likes to start Christmas shopping early? I am and I know that I love a good sale. What could be better for that special painter in your life than a brush and pattern combination.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Creativity Research

There seems to be information all over the news and internet about creativity and the lack of it in our young people. I recently read a Newsweek article on this very subject. Researchers blamed the current video game craze as one factor and that may be part of the problem however as a teacher and veteran educator my thoughts are that another factor is the insistence of the government and society to see our test scores raised continually higher and higher and basing school funding on those test scores. I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing but when it inhibits the amount of time that classroom teachers have to spend encouraging and planning creative thinking activities then it becomes a problem. Teachers are under a huge amount of pressure to continually raise test scores often to the detriment of something else. Due to this continued pressure teachers spend additional time drilling and practicing basic skills as well as test taking strategies in addition to dealing with added curriculum, behavior and social issues. Naturally something has to give and that is often creative activities. We’ve always been a nation of creative thinkers, that is how our nation became such a force to be reckoned with and I hate to see the creative process removed from the curriculum. I’ve always been fascinated with creativity and how it impacts our lives and learning and have spent my career being heavily involved with promoting creative thinking and creative activities for children in both the art room, classroom, and promoting higher level thinking skills for gifted and talented children. I like to stay on top of the current reserch that is being put out on the brain and creativivity and recently read a study done by John's Hopkins on brain research and the need for creative activities and how these stimulate areas of the brain. It is fascinating reading and I'd encourage any of you who are interested to take a look at the research coming out, not only does it have implications for the educational community but also for the artistic community. The research is suggesting that creativity can be inheriant to the individual but also can be a learned process through artistic and creative activities which suggests that we can learn to draw, paint, sculpt at any age. Think about it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Demonstration at HOOT

I will be giving a free demonstration at the Dove/FM Dynasty Booth at HOOT on Wednesday evening August 11. For those of you who aren't familiar with the show it is in Ohio and is a wonderful opportunity to regenerate and reinvigorate yourself as an artist and painter. I'm planning to demo the use of the new Butterfly Brush that I used on the Scarlet Paintbrush article in August Quick and Easy. You can see a sample of the project that I will be demonstrating here. Stop by and see me if you are going to be in the area.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Night Light Bug

I'm getting ready to post a new free pattern on my website but am planning to archive my free patterns on my blog. This one was a successful pattern that I've had a great response from. If you liked it then it will be on this blog for a while yet and will try to get the new free pattern on as quickly as possible. I just recently purchased a Cricut and have been trying to familiarize myself with it by making cards for family and friends. My new free pattern will incorporate some of the Cricut features into the card. It has been a learning process learning to make good looking designs on my cards that don't take hours to make. I'm still in the learning process but am enjoying myself tremendously.

Night Light Bug

Christy Hartman
C. Hartman Designs

All patterns and designs Copyright © belong to Christy Hartman. All rights reserved. These projects may be painted for personal use/personal profit but may not be reproduced for graphic or scrapbook use for resale. Photocopying and all other types of mechanical reproduction are prohibited. Patterns may not be republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast, or reproduced for any business/commercial purposes without written permission from the artist.

Palette: Deco Art Americana
Spice Pink DA030
Melon DA251
Antique Rose DA156
Tomato Red DA160
Ocean Blue DA270
Navy Blue DA035
Snow White DA01
Indian Turquoise DA087
Tangerine DA228
Bright Orange DA228
Moon Yellow DA07
Black DA067
Light Buttermilk DA164
Hauser Medium Green DA132
Hauser Dark Green DA133
Olive Green DA056

Brushes: Dynasty Black Gold®
Series # 206FW: ¾”
Series # 206A: 3/8”, ½”
Series #206SL: #5/0, 20/0
Series # 206R: #1, 2, 4
Series #206WVFil: #4
Series #300 Deerfoot: ¼”
Series 206 BSS: Small Butterfly Angle Brush
Small Stencil Brush
Use the brush that best fits the area to be painted.

Load your ¾” FW brush with Snow White dip one corner of your brush into Indian Turquoise, and the other corner into Ocean Blue, take that brush directly to your piece and blend the colors using a slip slap technique directly on the card, blending your paint back and forth in a random manner. Using a stencil brush dry brush Ocean Blue around the outside of the card. Using the small angle butterfly brush load the brush with Hauser Medium Green, dip the point of the brush into Olive Green and the heel of the brush into Hauser Dark Green. Stroke the grass onto the card. Transfer the design to the card and float shade Navy Blue around the design elements.

Bug: Base the bug’s body with Spice Pink, float shade with Antique Rose, deepen with Tomato Red. Using the #4 Wave Filbert wash additional shadows into the shaded areas with Tomato Red. Float highlight with Melon and deepen the highlight with Light Buttermilk, using the #4 Wave Filbert wash additional highlights onto the body using Light Buttermilk. Base the underbelly with Melon, shade with Spice Pink, deepen with Antique Rose, and highlight with Light Buttermilk. Wash additional highlights onto the belly with Light Buttermilk using the #4 Wave Filbert.

Wings: The wings remain the color of the background, float highlight the upper portion of the wings with White and using the #4 Wave Filbert wash additional highlights onto the wing making sure to round your lines as you paint. Float shade with Navy Blue washing additional shadows onto the wing with the #4 Wave Filbert. Using a SL line the wings with White.

Nose: Base the nose with Tangerine, highlight with Moon Yellow, float shade with Bright Orange.

Tail: Base with Moon Yellow, float shade around the inner portion next to the pink tail with Bright Orange, float highlight with Light Buttermilk. Stipple with Moon Yellow, Bright Orange, and White around the outer edge of the tail.

Eyes: Base the eyes with White and the pupil with Black, dip dot the pupil with White and float a White highlight onto the pupil.

Hair: Using a SL line the hair with Tangerine, Bright Orange, and Moon Yellow.

Lettering: Transfer the lettering and base with Moon Yellow, using a SL line shade with Bright Orange, and line highlight with White.

Finishing: Line with a 01 Micron Permanent Black Marker.

© Christy Hartman


Elements and Principles of Design
Christy Hartman

Begin your color investigation with your youngest students by allowing them a controlled free exploration time mixing the color combinations that can be made using the Primary Colors. Put on some fun music, if you can find music about colors even better, read a good children’s book to the students about color, there are a wide variety of titles one of my favorites is Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Place the combinations of colors that you want the students to experience in front of them, I only place two primary colors in front of them at a time; otherwise they tend to want to mix all together and get muddy colors. Save that lesson for another time. As a part of this lesson introduce the color wheel so that while the students are experiencing color as they are learning about color theory. Have the students use yellow and red to mix combinations of orange and then allow them to paint using red, yellow, and orange giving the students the opportunity to free paint any picture of their choice. The next class period give them yellow and blue and allow them to experience mixing shades of green, and the final class period mix red and blue to form shades of purple. By the time that the students have completed this lesson they have begun the process of understanding the Primary Colors and have had that “aha” moment while “making” a new color and you as the teacher have had the opportunity to observe and enjoy the process.

The following year I like to repeat this lesson changing it slightly so that my students experience the concept of Primary Colors in a new and different way. Using the same idea of controlling their use of color by only allowing them to have two primary colors at a time I instruct my students to paint patterns of color by forming vertical or horizontal color patterns adding polka dots and crisscrossing line patterns to form a free flowing design on their paper. We will repeat this process three times using the various color combinations that can be formed using the Primary Colors, my students found this to be a fun and liberating activity because they could be creative and inventive in their designs. I wondered if this would become boring as we continued through the colors but it didn’t. After each class period I collected the designs and saved them for the culmination project, at the end of this color investigation I passed out their paintings and we began a lesson on collage. I had determined that we would begin building an imaginary bird by cutting the body and head out of one piece of the painted patterns that we had just completed and glued it onto a colored piece of construction paper and drew a wing shape onto the paper. We cut smaller pieces of the patterned paper out in an oval shape and glued each piece onto the wings overlapping them so that it appeared that our birds had feathers, this was a painstaking process that took one full class period to complete. The bulk of my students enjoyed the process and the project completely although some whose fine motor skills are not quite as developed struggled a bit but still enjoyed the process. Once the birds were finished we added wiggle eyes and a construction paper beak. The students were delighted with the finished product and they were a darling addition to the bulletin boards in the hallway.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Elements and Principles of Design

Elements and Principles of Design
Line, Shape, Form
Christy Hartman

To become fluent in any language one needs to learn the vocabulary. The same can be said for art vocabulary, a child needs to become familiar with the terms that their teacher will use throughout their art education. The Elements and Principles of Design are the components of any art form whether it is two dimensional or three dimensional. Color, value, line, shape, form, texture, balance and space. These principles are taught so that they spiral throughout the curriculum with concepts becoming increasingly more complex as we build on prior knowledge.

When a child learns something as a "hands on" lesson it has a better chance of becoming a part of their regular repertoire.

I teach Kindergarten through 5th Grade students, I introduce or reinforce these art principles throughout the year so that by the time my students have completed 5th Grade they are prepared for the Middle School curriculum and are well versed in all the vocabulary and skills. I always begin each year with a project that incorporates the use of line, shape, and form at each grade level. A large part of any quality curriculum is basing the lessons on a predetermined set of standards. A standards based curriculum ensures that each child acquires a similar set of skills and knowledge no matter where they live. The National Visual Art Standards define what students should know and accomplish at any level K-12.

Kindergarten begins the year becoming comfortable and familiar with the rules and procedures. Kindergarten students tend to be nervous and are certain they cannot complete the project until I reassure them that I will walk them through the project step by step thus giving them a safety net. I introduced them to a character from the book Splat the Cat by Rob Scotten. I often incorporate literature into my lessons for my primary students; it sets the stage for the project and allows the students to focus in on the job at hand. Splat the Cat is a charming tale about a young cat that goes to school for the first time and how he works through his fears. After reading the story we draw Splat the Cat using basic shapes and a variety of lines making sure that this project is age appropriate and fine motor skill appropriate. When designing lessons for each grade level I take into account the fine motor skills that each age level is capable of doing. Nothing is more frustrating for a child than to be expected to do something that they are not developmentally ready for. By the time that we have completed this project the children are comfortable in the art room and have begun their art journey.

Second Graders begin their review of line, shape, and form by drawing monsters. What child doesn’t love a monster? The wealth of literature that is available to be used with this project is incredible including Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. After a quick review of the design elements we draw a charming monster’s face using basic shapes and a variety of lines. Because each child is different each monster will begin to develop its own personality as well. After the monsters are completed we add a series of line and shape patterns to the face and fringe of the monster. The children typically want these monsters to be brightly colored and because of that we use oil pastels to color the monster’s faces adding a color pattern to the line and shape patterns that have been incorporated into the design. This is a perfect opportunity to include a quick color review by encouraging the students to use complimentary colors somewhere in the design.

At the elementary level art production is an integral part of the process, during the production process the student develops fine motor skills, higher level thinking skills, and problem solving skills. This encourages individual creativity and self expression that they will use throughout their school career as well as in their lives. As teachers we need to teach the continuum of skills, expose our students to a variety of materials while still allowing for opportunities for self expression.
Art Camps
Christy Hartman

I was listening to a popular morning news program the other day and heard that because of the economy families are looking for alternatives to sending their kids to summer camps. I had to laugh because I was that “alternative to summer camp” for years providing summer art classes and programs for my students and my own children over the years. I have taught countless students over the years in my summer art classes’ enhancing their art education and providing fun meaningful activities for students who were interested and motivated. Little did I know that my attempt to make a little extra vacation money would become the new in thing to do, if you are interested in providing quality children’s programs for “children” of any age let me help with a few suggestions.

Over the years I’ve developed projects that I’ve used in my classroom at school as well as in my summer programs that are engaging as well as age and fine motor skill appropriate. I’ve listed some of the criteria that I’ve developed that I feel make a successful program work and run efficiently.

A Few Suggestions to Ensure a Successful Program
1. Design projects that have a high level of interest but allow for individuality. Nothing stifles a child’s natural creativity than doing a cookie cutter one size fits all project, include project requirement that describe materials used, techniques to accomplish the project, proper use and care of materials, and safety. Each child should be aware of these in advance of beginning the project. Integrate a wide variety of materials and art forms to keep the interest level high always making sure that you respect the child’s right to be creative within the project requirements/guidelines.
2. Projects can be developed around a theme or a general idea.
a. Pirate Theme: treasure maps, treasure chests, masks, pirate faces.
b. Nautical Theme: design sailing ships based on historical facts or can be whimsical as well, sea monsters, animals of the deep.
c. Fairy Theme: more appropriate for girls but can include characters from popular books and movies, environment that they live in.
d. African Theme: design African Tribal Masks, musical instruments, animals from the different regions, puppets and toys.
e. Caribbean/Tropical Theme: palm trees, dances from the region, tropical fruits, animals, clothing.
f. Nature Inspired: Trace around a variety of leaf shapes found on trees or plants repeatedly to form an abstract design or a leaf character. Use actual leaves and plants in the design.
3. Bring in anything that can motivate and inspire children’s creativity, books, art
prints, stuffed animals, movies.
4. Design projects using the National Art Standards as your guide. These are designed to aide teachers in developing projects and accessing achievement and progress but would also be beneficial to anyone interested in developing a well balanced program and can be found online at http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/teach/standards.cfm.
5. Supply good quality materials, as you can afford, such as paints and brushes. Children are no different than adults, they appreciate good quality materials. The job of being an artist can be frustrating if they lack the appropriate materials.
a. Prang makes Metallic and Glitter Watercolor Paint sets that are fun for kids to experience and experiment with.
b. Watercolor Pencils. As I stated in my previous column watercolor pencils are an inexpensive way for kids to easily paint on site.
c. Digital Cameral to record images for later reference and there are many inexpensive options.
d. Field Guides to identify plants and any animals/birds that you might see on a nature walk. Identifying native plants is a fun educational opportunity.
e. Dynasty Brush carries a wide variety of brushes that are kid tested and teacher approved. I’ve tested many of these brush sets with my students at school and I know that they are teacher approved.
6. Have a behavior plan decided upon before a student sets foot in your space. Discipline should be minimal but having a well thought out plan alleviates the stress of “what if” for both you and the student. This should be discussed with the students in advance and follow through is necessary to be successful.
7. Be well organized. Nothing creates chaos quicker than spending too much time looking for your materials.

If you are a parent/teacher and are looking for activities for your child/students over the summer look online at any educational supply company, many of them have a variety of quality activities designed by teachers using a wide variety of materials that meet the criteria listed above or go to http://www.dynasty-brush.com/christy_hartman.htm to find projects that I have designed for children of all ages. Have a wonderful summer.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


By Christy Hartman

I’ve always loved the whimsical world, don’t get me wrong I love realism as well but for some reason I truly enjoy the whimsical side of life. Who couldn’t resist the work of Walt Disney. The imagination and originality that it takes to bring a cartoon to life, whether it is animated in the traditional sense or done via computer, has always just fascinated me. To be able to bring something that is obviously not real in our adult minds to life and give it a personality takes someone who understands the intricacies of non verbal communication and human dynamics. Then to be able to portray that personality through facial expression, gestures, as well as the spoken word is a master of their craft.

Maybe that is why I chose to be a teacher in my professional life; children truly live in the whimsical world. Recently one of my Kindergarten students told me that the minute cut on his hand came from a shark bite. He had the entire story with all of the detail added to it; including when his mother told him to get out the water otherwise he was going to get bit by that shark. He told me this story as he entered the Art Room for his twice weekly art class and in a matter of literally seconds he drew me in, had me as a captive audience for the few moments that it took to relay that story. I now ask him every time that he comes to the Art Room how his day is going because he always has an incredible story for me. Is he lying? It depends on how you define a lie; I choose to wonder at the incredibly creative mind that this child has. Someday he might be the next great author or illustrator of his generation. I’d say that most animators and book illustrators have only lost a portion of that childlike creativity that exists when we are young. As we age and the demands of life take over we tend to lose that childlike wonder and creativity that children possess. As I so often discover, isn’t it fun to escape back into that creative world, if even just for a few minutes as a child relays some fantastic story to me as he walks into my classroom.

When I begin to design a project that is going to be based on a whimsical theme I immediately begin to imagine the story that could be told. Sometimes they start as a doodle as I am sitting in a meeting, watching TV in the evening, or even talking on the phone. More often than not they remain a doodle and go into the trash but occasionally something appears that I like and I file it away for future reference. That recently happened to me as I was beginning a plan for a new pattern that was to have a spring theme. That “Aha” moment occurred when I remembered the bugs that had started out as doodles. Could they possibly work into something for spring? As I began to envision this project I remembered a Burl Ives song from years ago called the “the Ugly Bug Ball” and thanks to the wonder of Google I was able to find that song and an animated version of it. The clip was short and the animation was obviously from years ago but from that I began to imagine bugs out for an evening with their special someone. You can now see that pattern on my website www.chartmandesigns.com

Sometime things have a life of their own and the ideas for these bugs began to multiply. I thought why not design cards using the buggy characters to send out to friends throughout the year. I’ve included a simple plan for the “Night Light Bug” that I’ve put on a card for you to enjoy as a free download on my website.
I've decided to use this blog as a way to not tell you all about my daily life because that is pretty mundane. LOL. Instead to publish information that is pertinent to painting and my design work in particular. I hope that the information that I will share with you will help you paint my projects as well as understand my design philosophy. Education is the key to success for most of us in our painting lives as well as practicing, take the time to practice the techniques that I will share with you and ask questions if necessary. You can always reach me through my website if you have any questions.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This color worksheet is a portion of a free project that I did for the SDP Treasure Box Program called Fishing Boy and Girl. They were designed to be used specifically for the Treasure Box Program.
I'm often asked how I do my faces and this worksheet should help show the step by step process how a face is slowly built using layering techniques.
The filbert wave brush is invaluable in helping to layer paint to further enhance shading and highlighting. I use this brush in all of my design work when I want to quickly add a shadow or a highlight, it is quicker and easier than "walking" paint out into an area when floating. It can either be used prior to shading or highlighting or after. I thin the paint to a "washy" consistancy, thinned down so that when applied the paint very lightly washes into the area. This is a thinner application than the paint consistancy used when loading a script liner. Using crosshatching slowly build the color allowing each layer to dry prior to applying the next. In this way you can slowly add paint color until you have reached your desired intensity level either building the same paint color or changing your paint color to aid in the process. This is very similiar to glazing techniques. If any of you have done watercolor you are familiar with washing color into an area slowly building each layer prior to adding the next layer and this process is very similar. You do not necessarily need to just do crosshatching in fact I often just literally wash paint into an area and if the application is too dark I use the mop brush to soften the paint applicaton.
Remember that if you want to make a curved area look round you have to curve the line when applying paint. That gives the appearance of a rounded surface, your line application of paint can either round a surface or flatten it out depending on how you develop your line.

Getting Your Design Work out to the Public

Getting Your Work out to the Public
Christy Hartman

I was asked that question recently by a designer interested in promoting their patterns and I recall asking fellow designers that same exact question not too long ago. What a wonderful question to hear, for too long we’ve been concerned about the decline of Decorative Painting and now it seems to have had a slight resurgence. I for one think that is a bonus. So I started asking myself if I were to give someone ideas for getting published or getting their work out to the public what would be the steps that I would suggest. Then it came to me, in the shower of all places, I seem to have inspiration come to me in the most unlikely places, write a step by step quick guide to help prospective designers get their work out to the public. I keep hearing that the public is clamoring for new designs so why not encourage prospective designers. Keep in mind that these are the steps that I used; they may or may not work for you.

Draw, draw, and draw some more. Paint, paint and paint some more. It sounds repetitive I know but practice your drawing skills; you practice when you are going to try to learn a new skill why not practice when you are trying to learn to paint or draw. You need to activate that creative area in your brain that we as adults tend to lose as we age. Learn as much about basic drawing skills, perspective, color theory, composition and design that you can. Go online, to your local library, or to your local book seller and find the books that will help you understand the concepts that will make your designs stronger.

Once you’ve gotten to the point where you are feeling comfortable with your designing ability test the waters by giving the designs as gifts or selling them at craft and art shows. I found that designs that I thought were darling were not always well received by the public and what I discovered was that I was designing for myself. I needed to think about what was popular at the time and I needed to learn about the trends in home d├ęcor as well as the current color trends. Folks who work in retail understand that perfectly, go to furniture stores, clothing stores, fabric stores and see what is out there that is selling, we may hope that we can design what we like but the truth is that if your goal is to design for the general public you have to keep what they want in the back of your mind. Look at magazines and see what they are forecasting for the upcoming season. A great resource is the online fabric companies as they spend thousands of dollars keeping up with the newest hottest trends.

Find your visual voice. That means find your own style. This is how folks can identify your work immediately. I know that when I see designers work I can immediately tell whose work it is without even seeing a name. You want your work to be easily recognized, find something that you always include or a technique that you use frequently that is something that defines your work.

Protect yourself by copyrighting your work. You can go to http://www.copyright.gov/ to find out how to copyright your work. Talk to designers who have submitted for copyrights to find out how they submit. Once you submit a work until it has been either accepted or rejected you are considered to be protected under copyright law. Remember that copyright infringement exists and we all need to be vigilant to make sure that we as well as our friends are protected. Fighting a copyright infringement case can be expensive and lengthy.

So you’ve done your homework and you have a set of patterns that you think that the public will enjoy, start making the rounds of the online or local craft stores that sell surfaces, books, and patterns and find out their policies for taking your patterns. They may offer to buy them outright at a wholesale price or they may take them on consignment and pay as they are sold. Businesses are often interested in taking on new artists if there is some guarantee that they won’t be stuck with patterns that haven’t sold for them. Only send your work to a company that has a good reputation and has been in business for a lengthy time period. Try to be as proactive about your patterns as you can be. Call the companies, without making a nuisance of yourself, to inquire as to how the patterns are doing and to find out if they have any suggestions that might make your patterns more marketable.

We live in the age of information due to the computer and the internet; take advantage of those opportunities to network with painters at online painting groups. There are so many of them available you should be able to find a few that you feel comfortable participating in. Many of them have requirements for promoting your designs consequently look at those rules before you market your patterns.

Go to national conventions; take your portfolio around to the various surface and pattern companies that are at the show. Have color copies of a sampling of your pattern photos to leave with the companies with your company letterhead and business card attached. Have a plan for wholesale sales ready to present to them and discuss the opportunities. Find out their policy for surface samples, some companies will just give you the piece with no questions asked but others will want to sell to you wholesale. Never take more surfaces than you can actually paint on, it lowers your credibility to not complete and publish a project. Many conventions do not allow attendees to sell on the trade show floor but you can promote yourself and then follow up with a phone call a week or two later. Apply to both paint and brush companies to participate in their artist support program, understand their requirements for receiving payment for both patterns and magazine articles. It is so frustrating to be waiting on a payment to only find out that you didn’t fill out the paperwork correctly. Make sure that when you apply to either of these two that you love the product and can live with the payment format that they have established. Don’t think you can afford to go to a national convention ask for money for birthdays and holidays instead of gifts and save your money to go. You will never regret going to one. You will come home with a renewed creative spirit.

Network!!! I can’t stress that enough, meet fellow designers that are working, teaching, and publishing in the field. Don’t be shy about asking questions of them, I can say that I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many talented designers who are ready, willing, and able to share their experiences with you. This is a very generous industry. I was recently at a convention and was asking a fellow designer questions about promotions on her website. She mentioned to me that the key was to keep trying until you found something that worked for you personally. There is no one size fits all in this industry, what might be working for me might not work for you depending on your situation, but to keep trying new things.

Submit to magazine editors, they also love to publish new artists. Many designers get published on their first try but many of us submit repeatedly until the editors find something that they feel is magazine worthy. Don’t be disappointed if you aren’t accepted on your first try. I can’t tell you how many rejections I’ve had over the years, more than I can count. As I was told many years ago you need to develop a thick skin if you want to participate in the industry.

Develop a website. There are so many “do it yourself” sites that are now available that are an inexpensive way to promote your artwork. If you don’t want to do a full blown website offer your patterns on some of the free photo hosting sites. Your customers will need to contact you directly to purchase your patterns but it would be an inexpensive way to start developing a customer base. Keep track of your customers and develop a newsletter through one of the companies that offer inexpensive or free newsletter opportunities. Or collect the addresses of your customers and send out your newsletters via your email address. You can have promotions on your website such as BOGO, purchase 5 patterns get one free, or even dollar days.

Freebies are an excellent source of self promotion, offer to demonstrate for your paint or brush company if they encourage their artists to do so at a national convention or even at your local SDP group. Do free projects for either your own website or for the companies that give you free surfaces, it is a great way to thank a company for supporting your artwork and is an excellent way to get your name out to the public, who can’t resist a freebie.

Submit to teach at national conventions, your local SDP group, or even through a local Adult Ed course. Teaching is a great way to promote yourself as a designer and get yourself known as well as giving you the confidence to speak to a large group. It is also a wonderful opportunity to promote an art form that you love.

Occasionally you might be an overnight sensation, which has not happened to me. I’ve found that it takes hard work, determination, and jumping through some hoops to get to the point where you want to be. I’ve not reached that point yet so there is still work to be done, contacts to be made, painting friends to learn from, and opportunities to be discovered. Who knows where this endeavor might take you but I’m sure that you will enjoy the ride as much as I have. Happy Painting.