Month: August 2014

Art Education: Principles of Design Poster Pack

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After creating my set of Elements of Art posters, I was addicted. I loved laying them out, creating the patterns, and playing with fonts. As soon as I wrapped up one project, I started on another, my Principles of Design poster set. I felt like it would be even more of a challenge to visually represent terms such as movement and rhythm, especially compared to the simpler line, shape, and color posters I had just completed. As I finished each one I proudly added them to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. I’m excited that I have already sold a few copies, and I hope my momentum continues!


My general principles of design poster visually represents each principle using different colors and fonts. The principles unity, proportion, pattern, balance, rhythm, variety, movement, repetition, and emphasis, are included. I love how this poster mirrors my elements of art poster.


The first poster I completed was the balance poster. I showed different types of balance in the poster, including radial, crystollagraphic, asymmetrical, and symmetrical. Like my elements of art posters, I was drawn to triangular shapes to create patterns. In an attempt to include a little variety in this poster I used circular shapes to show radial balance.


Next, I tackled the emphasis poster. I started with triangle shapes once again, but ended up converting them into tie like forms. I copied, pasted, resized, and recolored the shapes to create more interest in the poster. I knew from the start I wanted the points of the “ties” to point to one area and emphasize the focal point. I was very happy with the end result.


The movement poster was the most challenging of all the posters I created. I had an idea of how to show movement, but I struggled to get it on paper. I ended up showing different techniques to show movement such as diagonal lines, change in direction, change in value, and overlapping. Using these techniques I was able to capture a sense of movement, however I am still not 100% satisfied with the end result.


After working on the movement poster for an extended period of time, I was excited to move onto pattern. I already had an idea of reusing my triangle shapes to create a variety of patterns. To balance the triangles I also used circles and a spiral. This poster shows spiral, meander, symmetrical, fractal, and ripple patterns.


Proportion came next, and was just as fun as pattern. I started with a triangle pattern and repeated it through the poster. By simply copying, pasting, rotating, and stretching this shape I was able to represent different methods of using proportion. Standard, monumental, miniature, and altered proportion are shown.


The next poster I tackled was repetition. I used repeating circles on a line to decorate the top, and triangles and rectangles at the bottom. Rhythm and pattern are used to represent the concept of repetition.


After showing the use of rhythm to create pattern in the previous poster, I was ready to take it on as it’s own concept. I mixed organic and geometric shapes to create a sense of rhythm in my poster. I represented flowing, random, regular, and alternating rhythm through the various shapes and lines.


By the time the unity poster came along I was ready to create a nice simple, unified design. I use a solid red background and layered purple and green arrow shapes on top. The arrows are arranged in a way that creates a sense of unity through the use of continuation, proximity, color, repetition and alignment. I was very happy with the bright, but clean feel this poster has.


Last out not least came variety. It was a struggle at first to create a poster that represented variety, without looking cluttered. I was very happy with the rain-like scene I created, and the variety of shapes and colors I used. The concept of using color, shape, texture, line, and value to create variety are shown through the poster. 


Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and my newest Teachers Pay Teachers addition. Check out my TPT shop here. Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by!



T.G.I. Friday’s Summer of Fridays Tour: Artists and Crafters Feature

summer of fridays 1

I am so excited to share a recent feature of mine in T.G.I. Friday’s new campaign, local and handmade.

In an effort to rebrand their company, T.G.I. Friday’s has been busy meeting artists, crafters, musicians, and all people artsy across the US. To keep with the theme they recruited photographers from Instagram to document these “makers of America.”

Through the Atlanta based, all things handmade shop, Crafted Westside, I was brought to the attention of the tour and photographer, Daniel Davis. I meet with him one morning at Crafted, and enjoyed talking about his last 3 month adventure traveling down the East Coast, meeting a variety of crafters. He took amazing photographs of my work, and included a wonderful write up on the TGIF, “Summer of Fridays,” blog. Check it out here.

mug TGIF




Thank you to Daniel Davis and TGIF for giving me this amazing opportunity! Be sure to check out their blog posts on the other artists here. The stories and photographs are art in themselves. Thanks for checking out my blog. Help me spread the word about it by sharing with others! I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by.


Art Education Tools: Elements of Art Printable Poster Set

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As an art educator the elements of art and principles of design are something that is naturally incorporated into almost every lesson. They are the basics of strong, interesting, and successful works of art. From the moment kindergarteners step into their first art class until an art major in college leaves their final studio course, the elements and principles should be an underlying theme. As I sat around enjoying my time over the summer, my mind continuously drifted to thoughts of the upcoming year. I had a goal, to add some decor to my classroom, to help make it my own space and brighten it. After some brainstorming, I decided what better way than to make my own poster set. I got to work and created a poster to represent all elements of art and principles of design. Not only was it a great addition to my classroom, but it was also a nice addition to my Teachers Pay Teachers store (which I am now addicted to).

Elements-of-Art-Poster-2 copy

Although this was the very last poster I made, it is the poster I like to start off with. It showcases all the elements of art, including line, shape, value, form, texture, space, and color. I waited to the very end to make this poster because, first I wanted to determine which fonts would represent each element. Using Adobe Illustrator I added a rectangular, filled box in the middle, then laid out my text around it.  There was a lot of adjusting and re-configuring as I tried to fit the lettering in just right.


The color poster was my first creation, and I am very happy with the way it turned out. I love the current triangle trend, and decided it was a great shape to use in my posters. Using the line tool in Illustrator I constructed my arrowhead, triangle shape, repeated, resized, and recolored to to represent the various color groups. Primary, secondary, tertiary, analagous, and complimentary color examples are included.


PrintI was excited to work on the form poster, because it was a challenge to create the illusion of a three dimensional form on a two dimensional space. Once again I used the line tool to construct my block shapes, then filled them with color. I had fun using the circle and oval tool to create the clouds in the background.  Examples of organic and geometric form are shown in this poster.




Because I am so into triangle and arrow shapes, I was very inspired by the idea of line. I  used different variations of these shapes to represent horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and curved lines. I used straight lines behind the title to shape hatched and cross hatched lines, which added an interesting texture. I love the way the colors look on this poster. It is a nice contrast to the first two I completed.



Shape-Poster-PreviewAt first I was stumped by what to do for the shape poster. I decided to continue the triangle theme, to show geometric shape, but I was unsure what I could do for organic shape. After playing around with a few ideas I decided to use the brush tool in Illustrator and create a spiral shape. The geometric shapes fit nicely between the sections of spiral, which in turn made a very cohesive design.




Space was another difficult concept to put on paper. I knew I needed to show perspective, in order to create a sense of space, so I began adding diagonal lines and playing with shades of colors. After I create the hallway looking area I decided to add more triangles to show foreground, middle, and background. I was able to create a send of space by making the shapes smaller as they moved back. In the foreground I also include an example of positive and negative space.



Texture-Poster-PreviewI had a lot of fun making the texture worksheet. I loved playing around with the various shapes in illustrator, creating my own Mario-esque world. I used dagger shapes to represent sharp, circles for smooth, and overlapping circles for rough. The bright colors are fun and youthful. The pop of yellow works nicely with the other posters.




Finally, I was on my last element of art. It was time to visually represent value. Since I used triangles in so many of the other posters, I decided to do something different. I created block shapes using thick lines, and varied the color from light to dark with each block. Value scale, highlight, tint, shadow, and shade are represented in this poster.



I hope other teachers find this resource useful in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop (check it out here!). I have already printed out a set to hang in my classroom, and I love how they look.



Thanks for taking the time to check out my elements of art posters! I hope they help inspire new ideas for your classroom. Help me spread the word about this post and my blog by sharing with others on your social networking site of choice. Thanks for stopping by!


Visual Journal Page 73: It Was Worth It

Visual-Journal-Page-73-It-Was-Worth-It Visual-Journal-Page-73-It-Was-Worth-It

We were wrapping up another week at the wonderful, Hilton Head Island, beach. I enjoyed quality time with my family and the sun, while I worked on my tan, played on the beach, and consumed book after book. Overall I was well relaxed.

My relaxation ended the second to last day of our trip. My parents decided it was time to shake things up a bit, and do something different. They rented two jet skis, I couldn’t wait to try them out.

My parents doubled up on one, while my brother and I doubled up on the second one. As we began climbing on, getting ourselves settled in, my nerves began to take hold. I decided I wasn’t ready to drive first, Ramsey should be the first to go. I climbed on the jet ski behind him, and readied myself for an adventure. I felt less nervous knowing I could sit back and relax in the beginning stages. What I didn’t know was by being my brothers passenger, rather than the driver, my nerves were about to go into overdrive.

All went well at first. We slowly pulled out of the marina, and putt-putted our way to open water. The no wake rule, until we hit the larger area, kept my brother at bay for the first leg of the trip. However, as soon as we hit the open seas he went full throttle. My laid back posture, hands resting on the back of the jet ski, was immediately replaced by squeezing around my brother for dear life, feet slipping off the bottom, my butt bouncing on the seat, threatening to fly right off.

I tried yelling, screaming, saying his name, trying to get him to slow down. The swishing, rushing wind took every word with it, as I came to terms with my situation.

By the time he slowed down my entire body was exhausted, less from fear, and more from every muscle in me tensing up, trying to stay on the jet ski. I was ready for my turn, and my revenge. I did a nice slow loop at first, then hit the throttle, sending my brother into the same situation he placed me. I felt more secure in the driver’s seat. Knowing I had full control. I had the handlebars to hold onto, and my brother anchoring me on the back. Unfortunately, my speedy ride didn’t faze him on bit, he had the time of his life.

We continued to switch off, every time he took control I prepared myself for another, possibly life threatening ride. In no time it was time to head back to the marine. I was incredibly tired and sore the next day, just from trying to stay onto the jet ski while my brother drove like a crazy person. Despite the fear he placed in me I still had an amazing time, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I’m pretty sure you almost killed me once or twice… but it was worth it…


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Bleeding tissue paper
  • Water
  • Colored pencils
  • Sharpie


To create this visual journal page I wanted to make a very nautical feeling page. I decided the best way to accomplish this was to use water based materials, something along the lines of watercolor or bleeding tissue paper. Eventually, I decided bleeding tissue paper would work best. However, rather than simply squeeze the pigment out of the paper, I decided to use the actual tissue paper in my book.

To do this I took a stack of different shades of blue and green bleeding tissue paper, and splattered water all over them. I set it out on my counter until it dried. Once dry I carefully separated the layers and fell in love with the results. The dark and light blues bled colors into each other, creating pops of color, areas of white and gray. The green sheet had a beautiful pop of white and yellow among the tie dye sections of green.

I took the paper and cut them into strips. I glued the green strip, using rubber cement, 3/4 of the way up the page. I left a small space, then began gluing the layers of blue paper. I overlapped the blue, and varied the amount of space I left before adding another layer. The result was a wave like, tie dyed ocean. It was just what I envisioned.

Next, I began working on the jet ski. I looked up a picture to reference, and began sketching it out on a white sheet of paper. I then added color, shadows, and highlights, using colored pencils. I glued the completed jet ski drawing the the right side page. I added some ripped up book pages, to look like foam on a wave, and overlapped a strip of tissue paper, to make it look like it is sitting in the water.

Last but not least I added sharpie words to the space between the green and blue tissue paper.


Create a visual journal page using bleeding tissue paper. Try stacking the paper, wetting it, letting it dry, and gluing the actual tissue paper in your book. Have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my blog and visual journals by sharing on your social networking site of choice. Thanks for stopping by!


Fused Glass Paint: Birch Tree Dinner Plates

Birch Tree Plates

For the last two years I have been experimenting with fused glass with my high school students, and for personal use. I immediately fell in love with the puzzle like method to piecing together my designs. My high schoolers always claim this assignment as one of their favorites. The forgiving nature of glass creates a very predictable outcome (to read more about my fused glass lesson check it out here).

After I got a handle on fused glass basics, I decided to branch out and see what else glass making had to offer. In my pursuit of fusing knowledge, I discovered glass paint. It opened a whole new world of adding design to my pieces, and I have loved every minute of experimenting with it.

Birch Tree Plate Small

Glass paint enables you to easily add organic shapes and designs to your pieces. I now use glass paint to scribbles bird nests, write words, and add the thin lines to my birch tree plates.

To create my birch tree plates I begin with white glass, black and white or blue glass, and a sheet of clear glass. I cut the clear glass to a 10″ circle, then cut strips of white and black glass. I lay them on top of the clear, then cut the edges to curve along the edge of the circular, clear sheet. I alternate the white, for the birch trees, and the other color, for the background. A couple drops of Elmer’s glue helps keep the glass in place as I work.

Birch Tree Plate Back Small


Once the clear sheet is filled with the stripes, I flip it over, leaving the clear on top of the striped pattern. I use black glass paint to paint thin lines on the white glass stripes, to add detail to the trees. Every now and then I scribble a tree knot before moving onto the next set of thin lines.

Birch Tree Plate Large

After the details are added I place the glass piece in the kiln, stripes on the bottom, clear sheet in the middle, and glass paint details on top. I fire the kiln up once, to fuse the glass to one layer, then set it in a mold and fire the glass a second time. The glass melts just enough to take the shape of the plate mold.

To read more about the necessary supplies to start glass fusing and get my firing schedules go here. Check out these plates in my Etsy shop here.

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