Unschooling Resources: Art

Real art supplies are a must for any budding artist. Cheap markers, watercolors and crayons can be fun, but they don't offer the possibilities that professional art supplies do.


The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang
Okay, so it's not specifically about art, but this stunningly gorgeous picture book shows how a story can be told in pictures. This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever come across. Highly recommended.

Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook by Alison Inches
What an incredible book for Muppet fans! Designs and Doodles collects Henson’s drawings, beginning with a selection from his teenage years. Readers are able to get a glimpse of the evolution of some of the most renowned children’s characters ever created. Designs and Doodles is a fabulous way to learn about one artist’s creative process. The sketches and paintings showcased in the book are phenomenal – early depictions of familiar Muppets (did you know that Oscar the Grouch began life as a rather pinkish-purple furry blob?), fantastical creatures that never made it to the big (or small) screen, cartoons, set design sketches, even dynamic posters and flyers. You can read our review of Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles in its entirety in LFLF Issue 14.

Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
Interested in creating comics? Understanding Comics "explains the inner workings of the medium and examines many aspects of visual communication along the way." Great for a general audience, and written in comic-style. Very engaging! Reinventing Comics "advocates 12 different revolutions in the way comics are created, distributed and perceived with special emphasis on the potential of Online Comics." The website can be seen here.


Prismacolor Pencils
Generally regarded as the best colored pencils around. They put other pencils to shame! (Check eBay for good deals on Prismacolor.)

Rapidograph Pens
Great technical pens!


A. Pintura: Art Detective
The Case of Grandpa's Painting. Learn about subject, color, style, and composition from this art-loving gumshoe.

Art and Architecture from The Rudiments Of Wisdom Encyclopaedia by Tim Hunkin
A collection of thousands of strange, categorized facts in cartoon form. Amazing! In this section, you'll find cartoons on artists, mosaics, photography and more. (post #217)

The Art of the Brick (Lego designs by Nathan Sawaya)

Free animated online cartooning tutorials.

Comic Creator
Create your own comics online!  

Eric Carle's Website
If you're a fan of Eric Carle's colorful artwork (The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; etc.), check out his website. There, you'll find slideshows and videos detailing how he creates his artwork (and how you can create your own!), photographs of his studio, a FAQ (including questions like "Who are your favorite artists?" and "Many of you ask why the butterfly in The Very Hungry Caterpillar comes from a cocoon, not a chrysalis"), archives of The Caterpillar Express newsletter, a short biography, and more. You can get lost in this site for quite a while.
And when you're done, head over to this recent NPR interview with Mr. Carle.

Google SketchUp
Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program whose few simple tools enable you to create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships. You can add details, textures and glass to your models,and design with dimensional accuracy. (Post #797)

Mr. Picassohead

Paint it Like Pollock
Move your curser arount the page. Click to change colors. Very cool!


CastleWorks paper models
With models of castles, caves, bridges, ships, characters and more, these print-outs make for hours of cutting and folding fun. The finished designs are amazing and beautifully detailed. Seige equipment actually works (with rubber bands and such). Website is somewhat overwhelming, but check out all the photos of the different models!

New Unschooling Resource Wizards' Wands
Make your own wizard's wand with paper, glue and paint. A very cool project for those in love with Harry Potter or other wizarding books.
These wands are simple to make and look absolutely amazing! (Post #2123)

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