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DIY watercolors

DIY Watercolors, Plus a New Art Magazine for Kids

Recently, a local mom emailed to ask if I would share with you guys a new venture she’s starting.  I was so enamored with her project – a new, high quality art magazine just for kids, ArTree – that I immediately jumped on board.  Here’s everything you need to know about the new magazine (including what you can do to make sure it gets published!) as well as fun art project for the littles.

With so many public schools not being able to offer art programs for the kids, art education can be challenging.  True, there are many options for parents: books, Internet resources, art classes… but these can be very time consuming or expensive.

ArTree is filling this gap. For only $25 a year, you get 6 issues of a magazine that is filled with pre-screened and heavily kid-tested projects – centered around one simple theme. It is easy to understand, the materials used in the magazine are things you probably already have at home, and there are no ads, just art.

Eva is an art director with a background in child education and psychology. She’s a lover of art who’s been trying to teach her own kids how to appreciate it and, of course, how to create it.  Eva’s created hundreds of projects and lesson plans and ultimately decided that a magazine is the best way to share them with families like yours. After all, what kid doesn’t like to get their own mail?

In Eva’s own words, “I do not try to teach kids to paint the same way Picasso did… I introduce the artists to talk about concepts and techniques and then show numerous variations to truly spark kids’ creativity and curiosity. I want them to be confident in their skills and have a lot of fun in the process. And if they create a stunning masterpiece in the process, all the better.”

In an effort to get the word out about her burgeoning publication, Eva kindly offered to share a project with us (of my choosing) from the first issue of ArTree.  I must say, when I saw the lesson on making your own watercolors – my eyes lit up.

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One thing I especially love about ArTree is the clean, easy-to-follow visual layout.  The projects are simple, beautiful, and inviting.

They’re also comprehensive and inspiring.  This one starts with instructions on creating your own watercolors from nature.  Then it evolves into a child-friendly introduction to Monet and Impressionism:

Claude Monet loved nature and was especially proud of his stunning garden. He loved painting it over and over again. To him, it never looked the same. The time of day, the weather, the season – it always made it unique.  He felt that nature does not know black or white and it does not know a line. His paintings were very colorful and energetic. Sometimes, they may seem unfinished but they always capture the feeling and the uniqueness of the moment in time.

Impressionism was named after Monet’s painting called “Impression Sunrise.”  It was showing sunlight dancing and shimmering on water. Impressionists used soft lines and short brushstrokes, they played with beautiful colors and light and always tried to capture the emotion rather than reality of what they saw.

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Finally, it concludes with instructions on how to create your own impressionist painting.  As someone who firmly believes in the kid art mantra “process, not product”, I really appreciate how the steps are detailed but still open-ended.  Plus, this is only a fraction of what’s included in an issue. This issue is 32 pages in all and other covered topics and activities include:

  • primary colors (and Mondrian)
  • mixing colors / cut-out spinners / secondary colors (Seurat and pointillism)
  • colorful collage (Matisse)
  • lines (Riley)
  • making a color wheel and go outside for a color scavenger hunt (with camera)

Want to try it out for yourself?  Eva is graciously giving away two additional PDFs from the first issue here and here.  Once you’ve enjoyed them, please take a moment to spread the word about this worthwhile new venture and to support it through her kickstart campaign here!

Thanks for listening friends, back with something fresh tomorrow.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Gannon February 26, 2013 at 1:19 am

Looks like an interesting magazine, but she might want to find a copy editor. I saw a couple of typos in the first image (“There is a lot of fruits…” should be “There are a lot of fruits…” and “turmenic” should be “turmeric”). That kind of thing tends to distract grammar nazis like me and make it feel like a less professional product.

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mpmk February 26, 2013 at 1:30 am

Hi Sarah,

By the video, I’m pretty sure Eva’s not a native english speaker. This is just a preview copy. Once she raises some start up funds she can use them to complete the final product.

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Sarah Gannon February 26, 2013 at 2:34 am

Oops, I didn’t realize that (didn’t watch the video). Sorry to be so critical. If I tried to publish a magazine in any other language than English (not that I ever would), my grammar would be far from perfect.

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Eva February 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Hi Sarah,
thank you for catching the mistakes. I will definitely ask some native speakers to proofread the magazine before it goes to print. I know I need it :)

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julie February 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I tried to sponsor at kickstarter, but it takes you to a new paying site called amazon payments. I am really not comfortable starting with a new payment site but would rather stick with what I know, Paypal. Is there any way to link kickstart to paypal or sponsor thru paypal? Thanks!

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Eva February 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Hi Julie, unfortunately Kickstarter does not allow me to add any other payment methods at this time. If I fund it, I will definitely offer credit card + Paypal payments… but it will not be any time soon. For now, this is the only way… sorry about that.

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Gina February 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Wow – those ae pretty cool project ideas – Great job Eva!!!

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Eva February 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Thank you, Gina. Glad you like them. If you try it out, send me the results (or post them on Facebook /artreekids)… I’d love to see it :)

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Sarah M February 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm

This looks like a fantastic magazine. My kids are lucky in that they have excellent art classes in school/day care, but I’m always looking for more ways to expose them to more. Plus, as an archaeologist, I was thrilled to see an ‘ancient art’ section in the video!

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