Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Jousting Knight

Here's the jousting knight for Bubba, the biker.  He's a first-grader.  I think it's interesting that he wanted to color a knight.  It has been tons of fun for me to learn what sorts of things my customers want to color.  I would never have come up with such great ideas myself.  I'm going to add these custom drawings as free downloads, to help visitors to my site think more about what it might be fun for their kids to color.

Here are a few things I think would be interesting to do:

     1)  A "buddy book."  The opposite pages are designed to be taped together after they are colored, to form one large picture.
     2)  And how about a mosaic for parties?  A ginormous picture, after all the individual parts are taped together.  I think that might be fun even for the adults to participate in.
     3)  Christmas Fairies and Christmas Princesses.  Think of the great images of parties, decorations and fabulous dresses!
     4)  I still want to follow up on Corine's idea:  A calendar for children to color as a gift.  I would leave strategic blank areas on each page for kids to personalize each month with a special message for the recipient.  I would love to get one from a grandchild or student, and I think it would make an awesome project.  (Corine is so smart!!)

These musings are making me wish Kat Green Store were my day job! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The guys are chiming in!

Here's a phenomenon I did not expect.  Recently two young boys have left messages on my site, asking for guy stuff.  One is a competitive biker, all boy, nicknamed "Bubba."  He wanted a knight; so I drew him the toughest knight I could think of, with a dirt bike as a coat of arms and a tire as his token.  (And, for good measure, I added a jousting knight on a horse, which I'll post later.) 

Then, within days, a ten year old left me a message asking for a drawing of himself driving a sports car.  He'd like either a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.   I'll definitely draw him both pictures.

I found this interesting, because I did not think boys would particularly want to color.  I asked my Face Book friends if their sons, grandsons, nephews or male students liked to color. They said, "Mine do."

I took a class in Entrepreneurism as part of my degree in Business Administration, although it was not required, because it was taught by one of my favorite teachers.  Even her outstanding instruction did not prepare me for the interesting discovery process of actually being in business, making every effort to deliver what the customers want.  So, guys, here come the pix.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fairies peak from the roses

Here's our rose garden, from the post below.  Just a whimsical cascade of roses in the sunshine, right?  But if you are looking at the negative shapes....

The fairies begin to emerge. 

A Positive Spin on Negative Shapes

You don't have to look very long or hard at these roses to spot the fairies in their midst.  Are you seeing both of them?  All drawings, photos, and in fact everything in nature, architecture or design has both positive and negative shapes.  A negative shape is just the space shaped by the objects that surround it.  Children sense this intuitively, but we adults sometimes have to look a little closer to appreciate that a shape can be defined in almost infinite ways.  For example, when we arrange our furniture, we are usually thinking about how the placement of the pieces will influence the space between and around the pieces.

Drawing and coloring can create a bridge for your child between their abstract ability to design beautiful things and the way those designs can enhance our lives.  Winston Churchill said, "We shape our homes and then our homes shape us."  I think kids "get" this connection naturally.  Expressing themselves on paper is one way they learn to make their mark on the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Coloring Fairies in the Fall

If you flip through the thumbnails of the pictures in the Fairies or Jumbo Book for Girls coloring books, you will see this picture of fairies riding falling leaves down from the trees.  For girls who are a little older, it could be a great experiment to collect real autumn leaves and try to match their colors with crayon or another medium.  This is just good ol' Crayola crayons, using a pack of 24 colors.  Even very young kids can blend colors to get interesting effects.  The great thing about art is that it awakens all of us to an appreciation of the sights around us.  Those of you who live near deciduous trees that turn dazzling colors this time of year can help your children capture the magic by studying and recreating the leaves.

One comment:  I found quite a crew of tiny creatures clinging to the undersides of the leaves I gathered for this coloring project, and they were definitely NOT fairies.  You might want to make sure you wash your leaves before your kids start to color.