Category Archives: Art

Perfect Sand Sculpting and Sand Art

Sand art and sculpting have become very popular in recent times. It remains to be an activity that has caught the fancy of children and adults alike. Take a stroll down any sandy shore, and you can see people reveling in festivities and celebrating sand sculpture and art festivals. This is where we can see budding talent all geared up to go beyond the ordinary in crafting their creations. This art has gone beyond magnificent castles with soaring towers. Today, the mere combinations of sand and water have gone complex with the various creative forms of sand sculptures being constructed by people for their sheer love of this art form. Myrtle Beach proudly showcases the world’s tallest and longest sand castle ever constructed. People have created masterpieces through sand sculpting. From prominent figures to cars, castles with moats, and fantasy lands, the themes are endless.
Tips to Build the Perfect Sand Sculpture/Castle
Before you begin the sculpture, you must first ensure you have the right tools. Ensure you have packed a long-handled shovel and a bucket. Try to include chisels, spatulas, apple corers, spoons, ice cream sticks, knives, and pastry brushes. The main idea is to improvise on the items used for sculpting. (Use a fork with the prongs broken off in the middle. This will make it easier to form columns in the sand castle). Next, you will need to include a spray bottle, as the sculpture needs to be kept moist to keep the surface firm whilst you construct the castle.
Once you have gathered all the tools, it’s time you hunt for the right location on the beach. First, keep a look out for the high tide line. You can test the formation of the sand before you begin. Pick up some sand and compress it in your hands and roll it into a ball. If the ball does not remain firm, it clearly shows that it is not meant for any such art. You also need to look for a place that is moderately away from the sea.

After you have found the ideal location, start digging. You need to keep digging till you reach wet sand. This would be your initial tough task. It needs to be done, as it is this wet sand that will give a firm foundation to your sculpture.
Now, you need to accumulate enough wet sand to start with the building and carving. This is known as the process of tamping. A form is basically used for tamping. This is what results in building towering structures. Use the form (box or plastic can sans the base) to begin your construction. Place the form on the spot. Now, add the sand and water into it. As you proceed further with the process, remember to tamp it firmly.

Kids’ Art Activities Winter Activities

Teach your kids how to make an igloo with sugar cubes and watch them squeal in delight every time they get one step closer to building it up. This winter activity not only will keep your kids engaged during their holidays, but will also lend and set the Christmas spirit right in the house.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, there are many winter crafts which are fun and interesting to make. Don’t let the holidays get in the way of the kids exploring their creativity. Make crafts more interesting for them by introducing them to an edible craft activity. That’s right! Teach them how to make an igloo with sugar cubes. It’s simple, inexpensive and, when flavored, tastes yummy! It can also be treated as a group activity at the science fair project in school with a number of children working on it.

As a kid, you might have made an igloo out of cardboard, but, making it out of sugar cubes makes it look more realistic. Get ready with a few materials and follow the steps mentioned below to create this masterpiece.

Materials Required
Cardboard sheet
Sugar cubes
3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
2 egg whites
On the cardboard sheet, draw a circle of 7 inch diameter. Make sure you leave some place for the opening of the igloo in one area of the cardboard.
In a mixing bowl, add the egg whites and the sugar, mix them well so that a thick paste is formed. You can use this as the mortar to build the igloo.
On the circle, lay the base of the igloo with one layer of sugar cubes, but leave the space where you want to have the entrance.
Now, on this base, apply the white icing, or mortar, to each upper face of the cube and place the other layers subsequently in the form of rows. Make sure you keep reducing the number of cubes as you graduate upwards, since you want to make a dome, i.e, keep decreasing the circumference as you move upwards on the igloo.
Once the main igloo body is built, start working on the entrance which will have to be built vertically. So, keep about one layer of ice cubes and then build an arch as the entrance.
You can either build the igloo and the arch separately and then glue them together or build them simultaneously, but make sure they are symmetrical and uniform.
Allow it to dry for sometime and when it dries up completely, sprinkle some sugar to make it look like snow.
If you are preparing the igloo as an edible Christmas decoration, you can add candy and chocolates around it, to make it look attractive and delicious.

Scottish Tattoo Designs

Scots chose the hard way out as they suffered massively and struggled hard for victory over the continuous infliction, banishment and killing. Undoubtedly, the Scottish men have a reputation of being brave warriors, loyal lovers and true gentlemen. Ever since ancient times, the people of Scotland have always had a keen interest in body art and body painting. Scottish people felt proud of having tattoos on their body and the Scottish tattoos are symbols of their rich historic culture.
The Picts
You might have heard of the Scottish heroes – The Picts. These warriors had their bodies painted from head to toe. This was the time when body art and tattooing was gradually gaining a foothhold in Scottish culture, and today Scottish people have come up with their own unique Scottish tattoo designs.

Scottish Tattoo Designs and What They Mean
The cross used in the flag of Scotland is the oldest known cross in the world. No wonder this cross is one of the most prominently made Scottish tattoo design. Other vernacular Scottish tattoo designs include the Scottish highlanders, the saltire and the Scottish family tattoos that feature the place in Scotland where a person hails from. Clan tattoos are also one of the most popular tattoo designs.
The Scottish Highlanders Tattoo
Scottish highlanders were the warriors of Scotland who lived in Scottish Highlands. Getting a tattoo or a picture of a Scottish highlander is one of the most authentic Scottish tattoo design idea.

The Scottish Saltire Tattoo
Saltire Tattoo
Scottish Saltire is the cross that Scots use in their national flag. It is also known as Saint Andrew’s Cross and it is white in color with a blue background. Legend had it that Saint Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras. He was a Christian apostle and a patron saint of Scotland. This is why the Scots have the Saltire cross in their national flag. Getting a tattoo of the Saltire, represents the nationality and sheer patriotism of the people.
Scottish Clan Tattoos or Scottish Family Name Tattoos
family tattoos
Scottish clan tattoos represent the Scottish family you belong to. In the foregone days of struggle against the Romans and the Englishmen, the Scots used to get the name of a specific clan tattooed, so that their name and family details can be identified.

Clans are Scottish units consisting of many families having a common ancestor in the Scottish highlands. Before going to war, a Scottish warrior would wear a badge of his clan with a feeling of pride. Clan tattoos consist of plaid designs that indicate a particular glen of Scotland. Getting a Scottish clan tattoo represents your connection with the deep roots of Scotland.

How to Make a 3D Paper Snowflake

Snowflakes are delicate and beautiful, nature’s way of illustrating its work. Many families, during winters, decorate their homes and offices with hanging paper snowflakes, and welcome the coming season. Perhaps you love to decorate your home with six points snowflakes that resemble just like the real ones.

Hanging snowflake decorations are a great way to enhance the entire decor. You can choose colorful papers instead of just plain white ones and drizzle glitter on top, and liven up a dull corner of any room.
Making the Snowflake
The instructions mentioned below will help you create a snowflake which has 6 points, and will look like a real snowflake. You can also ask your kids to join you into helping and learning this new art.

Materials Needed
3D Snowflake Step 1

3D Snowflake Step 2
3D Snowflake Step 3

3D Snowflake Step 4
3D Snowflake Step 5

3D Snowflake Step 6
3D Snowflake Step 7
3D Snowflake Step 8

3D Snowflake Step 9
3D Snowflake Final Step
Step #1
First of all, clear a workstation and place all the materials in front of you. To make the pattern, you can either tape and staple all the parts together. However, you can also use glue to stick them with each other. It may take longer for the glue to dry and hold itself, but the snowflake won’t fall apart easily.

Step #2
First thing we do is measure the paper as it will help give you 6 equal squares. So for the measurements, you can use 5 inches, 6 inches, and 8 inches. For the purpose of this article, let’s stick to just one measurement and choose 6 inches for all the 6 squares. Now fold all 6 pieces of paper diagonally in half. Don’t match up these squares, just trim any of the excess sides.

Step #3
Take the scissors and cut the 3 lines on each side of all the triangles starting from the folded edges. Make sure that you don’t cut through the other paper edges, the unfolded ones; otherwise it will only mess up the entire 3D illusion. If any of the unfolded edge does get cut, don’t glue or tape it back together. Start over and be careful this time. And as you cut the folded edges, make sure that the lines are parallel to one another with the space between them as well.

Step #4
Now unfold the paper and turn it around so that the diamond-shaped side is facing you while you’re working with it. First roll the first 2 paper lines which are inside. Roll them together and form a small tube. Apply little bit of glue here and hold the tube properly so that it sets. Move your fingers only after the tube is set.

Step #5
Now turn the diamond around again to face the other side. Again take 2 more paper lines and roll them on the opposite side of the tube. Apply glue on the new tube again and hold it till it sets properly. Follow the instructions of turning the paper and gluing the paper lines together. All the sides should be glued together.

Step #6
Once the inner paper lines are done, repeat with the same steps 4 and 5 with the outer paper lines as well. Bring the 3 completely rolled pieces together from one end (use one hand’s fingertips to do this) and glue it properly with your other hand. Similarly, bring the 3 other pieces to glue them as well. Now you have the two halves of your snowflake’s arms.

Step #7
You again need to apply glue to the two new pieces we just got by gluing the first 3 and the second 3 pieces together. Bring the pieces together and glue in the middle. As you can see, you will have an almost shape of your 3D snowflake right about now. Apply glue where all the 6 arms meet together.

Make Your Own Amazing Graffiti Letters

While we support the artform known as graffiti, we do not condone any act or form of vandalism or any illegal activity relating to such whether it be to private, commercial, or public property.

The alphabets typically overlap one another to make the illusion.
The fonts are basically drawn in a 3D fashion.
The entire picture is one big drawing which attracts attention.
How to Get Started
To improve and keep excelling in creating innovative designs and/or writings, all you have to do is keep your mind open for anything. This art finds inspiration from basically anything around us and you can incorporate that into your art.
Black Graffiti Letters

Blue Gold Graffiti Letters
White Graffiti Letters

Colorful Graffiti Letters
White Black Graffiti Letters

Golden Graffiti Letters
Step 1: Understand the different types of letters and styles. If you live in an area where graffiti is not very common, then visit a city or downtown for inspiration. The more styles you come across, the more you can visualize the entire picture and characteristics.

Step 2: Get a piece of paper and write down some name, place, or any word for that matter. You can also start with your own name (it works best with beginners). By learning to write your own name can provide you with a unique signature for yourself. Take a pencil and print each letters in capital. Don’t press down too hard as you might have to erase a couple of times before perfecting it. Keep some space between each letters as the space will be utilized once you start filling them.

Step 3: You can choose any style of writing as you want. It can be bubble letters, sharp edged letters, rounded edges, equal sized letters, or mismatched letters. Start with one style, perfect it and then you can learn various shapes and sizes. As there are no rules, the possibilities are endless. Who knows, you might just create a unique style in the process.

Step 4: Once you’re done writing, you will make outline on each of the letters. This outline will depend on the type of style (bubble, sharp, round) you want to obtain. Mark the outline with the pencil and don’t press down too hard. Gently make almost visible lines. You might make some errors here, but that’s alright. It will definitely take some time and practice to get it right. As you’re drawing and outlining, there can be changes made in the middle as well (remember, no rules).

Step 5: The secret that enhances any writing are the lines and its proportions. Depending on how thick or thin they might be, you can create the illusion of a 3D art. Fill in the shades between each letters with the pencil just as you would in normal sketching. Then with a marker, you can darken the empty spaces which will look like shadows of each letter on the page.

Step 6: As each letters form their own designs with the pencil, you can start adding the details as you like. Take a light pencil and make the illusion part of your art. What I mean is, let’s say you have an “i” in the name you chose. You can draw a star, lightning bolt, or something else instead of the regular dot on the letter. Same goes for other letters as well. You can draw a bubble around the entire drawing or imitate the drawings from the comic books.

Step 7: After you finish the detailing on your drawing, make another copy. If, at any given point, you make a mistake that can’t be rectified, the backup drawing can save all your work. Make a couple of copies so you can fill them in with different colors. Take the original drawing now and darken the lines with the pencil or a marker. These lines will be permanent, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s perfectly fine to make mistakes. You can start over again with the copies. If the lines are too thick or too thin, you can just make the entire drawing in that way to look even.

Step 8: Now it’s time to add some vibrant colors to your drawing. You can use color pencils or markers to fill in the colors. However, before you begin, take a look at some color combination and ideas. Comic books can be of great help or you can click pictures of some graffiti that you find in the city. Mix and match colors on the letters or keep the entire word in one color, the possibilities are endless. Follow your imagination and you can create a unique drawing on your own.

How to Make a Paper Hat

Hats have been a part of European fashion and culture since before the 16th century, they have since become a fashionable accessory that fades in and out of style with the changing fashion trends. There are way cooler ways to make and wear hats that you can create at home or seek the help of your parents. To make paper hats out of scrap cardboard boxes and newspaper has its own charm and thrill. It could help keep your kid from getting bored and who knows he might actually enjoy making them. They are great for arts and craft projects, as the children do not find the task too difficult and they have an amazing time, decorating their hats with ribbons and coloring their paper hats and boats with paints and glitter. Here are some simple instructions on making a paper hat and how to fold a paper hat.

Step by Step Instructions for Making a Paper Hat

Newspaper hats are easy and quick to make. Let us learn to make paper hats out of newspaper.

Method 1
In this method, you will firstly need to take a normal household newspaper with two sheets attached, for example the center or middle sheet. This is done to have two layers.
Fold it into an exact half so that the top margin of the newspaper is touching the bottom margin.
Now begin to fold the two layered sheets from the folded top margin.
Now fold each corner of the top of the folded newspaper, while keeping some of the bottom newspaper unfolded, the bottom margin should look like a long rectangle or the shape of a scale. The two folded corners or the two triangles should meet at the center of the newspaper. This will create the pointed apex or pointed tip of the hat.
Now take the lower band with the layers of newspaper still visible and divide them into equal number of paper sheets, so that you can put your heat between them when you wear the hat.
Then fold one batch of sheets upwards on side so that it covers the lower bottom margin of the newly made triangular fold.
Repeat this with the other side of the sheet and your newspaper hat begins to take shape.
Now stick the left and right edges of the newly folded lower margin and your hat is ready OR fold the right and the left edges of the paper again on the backside of the hat and stick it, thought his methods will make the hat smaller in shape.
Now you can wear your newspaper hat!
Method 2
This method is also simple, what you need to do is to take two sheets of newspaper with two sheets each therefore you’ll need to use 4 sheets in total.
Fold and stick the two newspapers to make them look like a pipe that fits your head.
Now once it fits, stick the newspaper to maintain the circumference of your head.
Cut a circle which is a bit bigger than the circle or hole on the top of the hat, and stick the circle on top of the hat to cover the hole.
You got yourself a long rectangular hat, just like the ‘Hatter’ from Alice in Wonderland.
Method 3
The third method is to firstly use a printed sheet of paper
Now cut it into a big square, so that it should fit your head.
Now make a cone out of it
Stick the corner of the sheets from both outside and inside the hat.
Your birthday hat is ready and now you can decorate it any way you like.
The use of paper crafts has unlimited possibilities and is an extremely interesting activity. The above three methods can be used to make colorful paper hat patterns, that you can wear and look attractive in.

Gothic Architecture

Embroidery is an exquisite art form that reflects tradition of versatile ethnic groups. The handicrafts containing elaborate designs are still considered to be masterpieces and this skill is indeed God-gifted. Although handmade embroidery works are still valued utmost, use of machines to craft the designs have made the work much easier. A regular sewing machine can also be used for etching those beautiful designs on fabrics if you do not have an embroidery sewing machine at home. Here, we shall confine ourselves only to embroidering letters with a regular sewing machine.

Embroidering letters, quotes and scripts is comparatively tough due to their shapes and sizes. You can sew in the name or the initial of the person in one corner of the handkerchief for the purpose of gifting. The same idea can be used for creating a monogram on your favorite T-shirt or imprinting your name on your Christmas socks. These are some of the trendy ways to uplift your fashion by blending tradition with contemporary. A woolen scarf, jacket or a pullover can also be customized this way. Embroidery works with letters are also found in stationery goods, like bookmarks, zipper bags, pouches, etc. So these were some common materials where even a simple embroidery can accentuate the overall appeal.
Trace the Letters
Use a pencil or a marker pen to trace the letters on the piece of fabric. You can browse different types of fonts over the Internet and select a font that would make it look prominent. Try with block or big letters first and then move on to complex fonts, once you get a grip on the sewing machine. Sketch the letters first on tracing paper if you are incorporating multiple designs and complex sentences and then transfer the design on the fabric.
Thread the Needle
A regular sewing machine is always equipped with a needle and you need to pass the thread through its eye. The choice of thread depends on the background of the embroidery design. Make sure that the thread you are using for practice is strong, or else it will tend to break in between. The instructions for using the sewing machine will be provided in the manual and you must read it before handling the machine.
Adjust the Needle
For the first time, you might find the arrangement of the needle with other equipment a little tricky. Adjustment of the feed dog is important as it helps in advancing the cloth on application of pressure. Electronic sewing machines are much more convenient than the traditional machines. Now lower the needle so that it comes in contact with the cloth.

Photography Los Angeles

With the exotic locales, panoramic views, and urban culture, photographers are definitely spoiled for choice, when it comes to photo shoot locations in Los Angeles. This write-up enlists a few places that are perfect for this purpose.

Photo shoots are organized for varied purposes, ranging from urban landscape photography, fashion photography that showcases clothing, accessories, etc., to advertising numerous commercial products. Today, technology has advanced to such an extent that aviation, marine, and aerial photography can be carried out with much expertise and precision. The exotic locales and urban environment of Los Angeles make it a perfect place for photo opportunities. A number of photographers are on a constant lookout to schedule a photo shoot in LA. This place never disappoints professional as well as amateur photographers, who are looking for exquisite locations. Needless to say, LA is undoubtedly a unique place for varied forms of photography.

Famous Photo Shoot Locations in LA

This classic venue is located in Chinatown. It’s a popular location for filming. A number of feature films and sitcoms have been shot here. It is renowned for its remarkable history and monuments. The town has been divided into two parts: the Old Chinatown and the New Chinatown. Some parts of the movies such as ‘Chinatown’, starring Jack Nicholson, and ‘Rush Hour’, starring Jackie Chan were shot here. Popular sitcoms like Baywatch and Hunter were also shot here.

Olvera Street
Olvera Street is a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. It’s the oldest part of Downtown in Los Angeles. This street has an environment that appears historical and colonized, and is perfect for photography. It’s also known as the replica of a romantic vision of Mexico. Photographers are mainly attracted to the historical elements of Mexico found in this Street.

Barnsdall Art Park
Barnsdall Art Park attracts photographers due to its diverse culture. The Barnsdall Gallery Theater produces cultural events (music, drama, films, theater, photography, etc.) such as ‘Music Summer Camps’ and ‘Independent Shakespeare Company’ or ‘ISC’. It is located at 4800 Hollywood Boulevard, atop Olive Hill in Hollywood in the Barnsdall Art Park complex. The community also promotes photography sessions in this location.

Facing the beautiful beaches, the city of Malibu also attracts many photographers. One can take superb shots at the Zuma beach, Dan Blocker beach, Topanga state beach, Malibu lagoon state beach, and Point Dume state beach. The natural beauty of Santa Monica mountains, Catalina Island, and Topanga Canyon is enchanting. These sites are the main attraction for photography.

Mexican Art and Craft Ideas for Children

Introducing children to the Mexican craft activities early, is a perfect way to acquaint them with the culture. These activities are rich in the culture of Mexico. They are traditional, and have been in use for long. Here are a few examples of this art form.

Fiesta Flags

Fiesta flags are used on many occasions for decoration in Mexico. The occasion may be a birthday or a wedding. Here is how to make fiesta flags to decorate your school or home.

Things Required
Tissue papers of multiple colors
String or yarn
Take the tissue paper, and cut it into 12 x 12 inch squares.
Fold each squared tissue paper in half (twice), so that you are again left with a smaller square.
Make or cut small designs along the folds.
Cut a piece of string of yarn (it should be quite long).
Unfold the tissue paper, and line them along the string.
Tape the top of each flag, hang it, and enjoy.

Press F5 to restart the slideshow.

papel picado flags
Papel Picado Flags

Clay Pottery

One of the oldest traditions in Mexico, pottery, is still practiced in most parts of the country. Here’s the procedure of pottery that can be easily followed at home.

Things Required
4 cups salt
Approximately 1¾ cups water
Paints and brush
Optional food coloring
Mix flour and salt.
While mixing, keep adding a little amount of water.
If you wish, add food coloring.
Morph clay into the shape of a ball, and thrust down for the bottom of the pot. Sculpt sides by pushing the clay up, making the clay thinner.
Make a flat circle with the clay. Make long coils of clay, and curl them up on top of one another, around the edge of the flat circle piece.
At 200ºF, bake pinch pot for about 10 to 15 minutes, and coil pot for 20 minutes.
Let them cool, and paint after cooling.
If any clay is left over, freeze it in a plastic wrap.

One of the most popular art activity of Mexico is pinata, a paper container, hung from a tree branch, that is used to store candy or toys to celebrate birthdays. Children are blindfolded and given a stick to try to break it open, and amass the treasure inside!

Things Required
Tin can
Tissue paper
Things required for decoration such as glitter, sequins, paint, etc.
Inflate the balloon, and tape it to the tin can, to keep it upright.
Make strips of approximately 1 x 4 inches by cutting newspapers.
Form a paste by mixing flour and water.
Stick the newspaper strips, covering the balloon in several layers.
Let the paper mache dry, separate the balloon from the tin can, and turn over to coat rest of the balloon.
Let it dry completely.
Decorate and paint using anything you like, anyway you want.
Cut a small flap on the side, fill in the toys and candies.
Tape it shut.
Make two small holes, and string it. The Mexican Pinata is ready.
The above mentioned Mexican art and craft activities are the ones that children enjoy the most, especially the pinata. You can easily make them at home instead of buying from the market.

The Intriguing History of Zoetropes

Imagine living in an age where the only way to watch moving pictures was through simple and handmade animation toys. The zoetrope is one such vintage toy, that made it possible for multiple viewers to see pictures come to life.

Did You Know?
The oldest known prototype of a zoetrope is believed to have been made in China by the inventor Ting Huan, way back in 180 AD!
Thus, the zoetrope does not have one particular maker, since its prototypes have been around for centuries. The zoetrope or the wheel of life is a type of circular handmade animation toy, that, when turned, produces moving pictures.

This device was believed to function on the principal of ‘persistence of vision’ – a physiological phenomenon of the eye, which makes a moving image leave an afterimage on the retina for a few seconds. This ‘seemed persistence’ of an image helped the viewer see a series of related images in a continuous motion.

The iconic, stringed ‘bird in a cage’ thaumatrope and the hand-held phenakistoscope were the two major animation toys that were invented before the zoetrope appeared. This Buzzle article reveals more about the history of zoetropes.
Invention of The Daedalus or Victorian Zoetrope
It took none other than a mathematician to make the modern zoetrope. In 1834, William George Horner made the zoetrope in England, and called it the ‘Daedalum’, which he named after ‘Daedalus’, a great craftsman from Greek mythology. It was the American developer William F. Lincoln who named his daedalum prototype the ‘zoetrope’ in 1867.
The word ‘zoetrope’ is derived from the Greek word zoe, which means ‘life’, and tropos, meaning ‘to turn’. It was also called the ‘wheel of life’, because this cylindrical toy made static images appear to move.
The design of William George Horner’s daedalus was inspired by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau’s phenakistoscope, which was introduced to the public in 1832. The phenakistoscope worked on the principle of persistence of motion in order to create an illusion of motion. This mechanical disc was placed in front of the viewer’s face, and required to be seen in front of a mirror, so that the images drawn on the surface of the disc facing the mirror could be visible. The phenakistoscope also had vertical slits so that the viewer could see the images moving, while peering through the slits from behind the circular disc. This device was supported by a stick, and had a pin that acted as the central axis for the disc to turn on.

Functioning of the Zoetrope

Vintage Zoetrope
The Victorian zoetrope (daedalus) consisted of a cylindrical drum without a lid. It also had vertical slits made on its sides for people to peer through. The drum was made to rest on a centered axis, upon which the drum could turn easily.