Monday, 21 December 2015

Sunday, 20 December 2015

How to make a paper snowflake...

you need 
6 squares of paper, all the same size

with one of the squares...
1  fold corner to corner
2  fold corner to corner again
3  keeping the same orientation as 2, make 3 cuts to about 2cm from the vertical fold
carefully open out
4  stick the centre "square" together (This can be done over a pencil if necessary.)
turn piece over

5 & 6  repeat with next corners of paper 
7  continue turning over and sticking corners together
make five more in the same way

8  attached three of the finished pieces together using a stapler
repeat with final three
9  join the two halves of the snowflake with a stapler
glue mid sections to hold the snowflake together

Top Tips

  • decorate with glitter
  • coloured or patterned paper makes interesting effects
  • The height of the snowflake is twice the distance from corner to corner diagonally of the square size used.  
  • You could go really large or very small!

Have fun...

Art Circle Lytham:  a curtain of snowflakes made from pages from the Booths Christmas Catalogue (cut into squares first).

 Thank you to Jane who showed us how to do this. x

Friday, 18 December 2015

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils & a canvas bag

Our last sessions before Christmas; the first anniversary of Art Circle and a Christmas Party... another excellent week.  

Thank you to everyone who has joined me in a creative session this year; Lytham & St Annes Libraries and visitors to the blog.  I love your company!

We're back on 6th & 7th January 2016 - that's 11 - 12.30 at Lytham & St Annes Libraries respectively.

Have a fab Christmas and very best wishes for a wonderful New Year!


The starting point this time was to make a drawing of a canvas shopping bag then fill it / place it in a context or leave it as it is.

We used artist quality, colour pencils which are difficult to rub out so we had to be creative with "mistakes".  Lovely results everyone - well done!





Tommy experimented with different colours to add shadow and light - think French Impressionists:  we'll be coming back to this approach in the New Year.





demonstration of colour mixing to create form

Derwent, Coloursoft Pencils are lovely to use.  There not cheap but my set of 72 have lasted 11 years and have been used by approx. 4,500 people including children who probably use the colours the most vigorously!

Derwent: Coloursoft Pencils        A5 sketch book 140gsm

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

How to make Christmas Trees from a Christmas food catalogue...

Booths Christmas catalogue is excellent for this.

Top Tips
use card to make a firm base
chocolate logs make excellent tree trunks
canap├ęs are great for baubles 

The examples below are numbered in the image above.

1  cut shape from card to make a firm base; attached same shape in the main colour of the tree (These can be trimmed again when stuck together, if necessary.); decorate with strips of paper in contrasting colour; add circles and a star (mince pies are good!)

2  use a larger area of a dark colour; cut out shape; use metallic pencils to decorate

3 roll strips of paper (use a pencil to help); attach to card; cut into tree shape;  flatten three rolls at the base to make the pot; carefully make the tubes round again for the branches; add star (could be from a Christmas Cake picture!)

4  on to card, lay strips of paper in a colour of your choice (this time icy blues); draw on tree shape and cut out    

5  use triangular shaped food (maybe quiche or cake slices - pears are good too) cut out and add trunk; group together

6  make trunk (chocolate log works well); add Christmas cake decorations to make foliage

7  cut elongated triangle; fold like a concertina; using hole punch, make hole through all the folds whilst held together; roll more paper to make trunk; push trunk through punched holes; carefully open out the tree into a tree shape

Have a go... 
Have fun with it & make up your own tree.

glue stick       children's scissors     scissors     metallic pencils     

for inexpensive card, use the back of an old note book or A4 pad (These are useful things to keep for all sorts of things.)

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Art Circle Christmas at St Annes Library...

Snowballs and things caught up in them...

The work is on display in St Annes Library until 12th night.  
Pop in to see it next Thursday and join in our last session of the year (11 - 12.30pm).

Well done everyone!

Art Circle Christmas at Lytham Library...

A special thank you to Booths who unwittingly supplied the materials.  Their Christmas catalogues are beautifully produced and are printed on paper perfect for making an assortment of trees and snowflakes.

The work is on display in the backroom of Lytham Library until 12th night.  
Pop in to see it next Wed and join in our last session of the year (11 - 12.30pm).

Keep your catalogue after you've placed your order.  Instructions on how to make your own trees and snowflakes will be posted soon. 

Poem included in the work is below.


in progress
Ash Wood 
Beech wood fires are bright and clear if the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut's only good they say if for long it's lain away.
But Ash, new or old is fit for a queen with a crown of gold.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast, blaze up bright but do not last.
And by Ireland it is said Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould even the very flames are cold.
But Ash green or Ash brown is fit for a queen with a golden crown.

Poplar gives off bitter smoke, fills your eyes and makes you choke!
Apple wood will scent your room with an incense-like perfume.
Oaken logs if dry and old keep away the winter's cold.

But Ash wet or Ash dry - a king can warm his cockles by.

figure drawing with charcoal

Excellent session - well done everyone!

This is the last drawing session for this year.  

The last Art Circles for this year are next week.  
Lytham Library - Wed 11 - 12.30
St Annes Library - Thurs 11 - 12.30

We restart 6 & 7 January 2016.
All welcome     

Want to have a go?
follow the links below for materials; find a subject (maybe use a mirror and start with a self-portrait) and play 

Charcoal has a unique quality, different from pencil and can produce some interesting mark making.  It's worth trying.

charcoal set       charcoal paper - sheets       masking tape       drawing board

An inexpensive drawing board:  ask your local DIY shop to cut you a specific size of mdf (maybe for A3 paper - 35 x 50 cm or 15 x 20 ins) then sand the edges when you get it home.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Observational Drawing in Lytham...

Excellent!  One of the best ways to spend a wet afternoon.

We used 2B pencils, erasers, paper and probably most importantly, a straight edge to determine angles and curves, to help mark intersections and to measure.


We meet again next Wednesday, 1.30 - 3pm at Lytham Library.
Charcoal next time - bring your own or borrow mine.  No experience needed.

Expert?  Come and join us anyway - it's figure drawing (ish)!

the subject
pointers & "help as we go"





Christmas is coming...

to Lytham and St Annes Art Circles.
A cheeky peek at Art Circles' Christmas exhibitions.

"Booths . The Great Northern Christmas . 2015" catalogue is so beautifully presented and packed with wonderful local produce and Christmassy treats we decided to use the pages and images to create our "Christmas Card" for the Lytham library.

We're making more next Wednesday (11 - 12.30) if you would like to join us and we're setting up two more Christmassy things too!

work in progress

St Annes Art Circle is having a ball (sorry)...

rather it's an "oops, look what was collected on the way downhill by the snow-ball".

Come and join us next Thursday (11 - 12.30) to have a go.  Maybe bring a picture of who you would like to send flying, create a visual pun or just make snowballs... 

detail of Magi snowball featuring Alvin Hall; definitely a wise man