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Hi Patricia,

Here's an idea:

I've noticed that some of the most elegant designs come from negative space drawing exercises. 

Give participants a physical subject (such as sprigs of holly, branches with berries, etc.) and a cardboard frame to lay over the subject (of a size that allows the leaves/branches to touch and/or tuck under the frame in some places), and then have them draw only the negative spaces. The resulting designs are often beautifully-observed, unique, and pleasingly graphic. 

You could buy pre-made blank cards with envelopes, and cut your cardboard frames to fit just within the edges of the cards. Have folks use the cardboard frame to (lightly!) outline a box on their paper first, so that they are drawing shapes at the same size and proportions as they are seeing them. After they've gotten the basic shapes down, have them color in the negative spaces (with colors or patterns that fit the theme?), and finally, erase the parts of the box-outline that are not part of the negative shapes.

This project could combine a useful honing-one's-skills-at-drawing exercise with making a seasonal design, plus it's good for participants at any skill level -- just steer beginners to simpler subjects and experts to more complex ones, and make sure everyone's subject touches the edges of the box and divides the interior into some interesting negative shapes.

Jenny

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 1:37 PM, Patricia Savage <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi All,

The Director of the Naturalist Center at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences has requested for my December class that the students make Christmas cards. I have never in my life made Christmas cards (except maybe in kindergarten?). Help! Never in my life did I think I would be doing something like this.

Paper suggestions?

The class is only two hours so I'm really time limited. I am thinking about having them pull out specimens from the critter drawers and then then cut out paper in the basic shapes of their selected critter and glue them down. Or they could do a simple line drawing in pencil which is our only available medium. That's as far as my imagination has taken me.

Cheers,

Patricia Savage

 

Mayapple Studio

919-859-2789 (h), 919-438-6766 (m)

www.psavageart.com

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--
Jenny Keller
Program Coordinator and Instructor, Science Illustration Program
CSU Monterey Bay • 100 Campus Center • Seaside, CA 93955-8001
(831) 582-3480 • (831) 582-4502 fax • scienceillustration.org

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