Lana Flowers May 8, 2021 Dot to Dot
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
To get coloured spots on a white background you can use ring binder reinforcement ring stickers. Again these are also readily and cheaply available from stationers. Just stick the reinforcement rings all over your pot, but instead of painting the background carefully paint the hole in the middle of the ring binder stickers and then peel the rings off when the paint is dry before glazing and firing. Stamping your Spots and Dots Instead of using your fingers at a stamp for dots and spots, your could use other round objects by immersing them in paint and dabbing them on your pottery. At craft shops you can buy various sponge tools called dabbers and daubers which also make round spots. Other household items you could use to stamp spots on your pottery are cotton wool buds, the end of your paint brush or the flat end of a pencil. The object does need to be clean and free from grease for starting each colour. With the cotton wool buds it is best to use a new one for each colour.
When you draw something, you need to know about the technique used so you are able to give the sense of what you want. One of techniques in making pictures is pointillism; thats a technique using a series of dots to get the wanted image. As any other job, you need to be patient during this technique, because like the statement above it makes dots to arrange the image. As the preparation, you need some special pens especially tip pens with free flowing ink. I suggest not using ballpoint because it needs movement to get ink flowing well. Then the better is to use Staedtler pigment liners that are very useful because it is available in various sizes that you will need. To start with a good line drawing, outline the contours of your subjects rapidly include the place of shapes of the major shadows.
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Teapots, mugs, plates covered in spots and dots are extremely stylish and popular at the moment. Emma Bridgewater has her Polka Dot design and visit any household section of department stores you will see lots of spotty and dotty pottery designs. But did you know there are several very simple ways suitable for all ages and abilities to of paint your own pottery with a dotty or spotty design. Finger print spots Your fingers make some of the best dots on pottery and ceramics, plus it is something even the youngest child with a bit of help can do. The only thing you need to do before starting your finger print dots is to make sure is that your fingers are clean and free of any grease. When you change colours make sure you clean your fingers well. A damp sponge to wipe your fingers on works quite well. The spots created with your fingers may not be perfectly round but they are unique, stylish and completely personal.
I quickly put away the jar, vinegar, and baking soda and moved on to another exercise and another and another. At the end of each mindfulness class, I conclude with the same exercise: lying on your stomach and drawing your happy place. As soon as I announce that we are going to be doing the mindful drawing, they excitedly drop to their tummies and wiggle with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning. I pass out the fresh white paper and a can containing shards of crayons. The second their crayons hit the paper, you can hear a pin drop. There is no goofing around, there is no talking, but there is complete mindfulness. For fifteen minutes, they will draw, colour, and become immersed in their creation. Of course the real magic is not what is happening on the paper but rather what is happening in their mind. They are thinking about their happy place and then making it happen on paper - perfect mindfulness. It is the same as when we use guided visualization to enter into meditation.