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Rizzi Art Projects

James Rizzi art projects

James Rizzi art was new to us this year and as part of our high school art plans to study modern art, we made good use of many of the online resources found at Deep Space Sparkle for Rizzi. His colorful comic art style was fun to explore using a variety of medium. Mr. B completed several art projects and our homeschool co-op devoted an afternoon to his style as well.

We started off by viewing lots of his art online and with a calendar we have hanging in our family room. The co-op kids seemed to each have a favorite before they even got here (I send a link ahead of time). We were ambitious and tried to complete two projects in our normal art time. Before we got started, I found a YouTube video that shared a bit about Rizzi’s life and his love of New York City. We talked a bit about how this influenced his style and subject matter. I had the materials all ready to go after that and we jumped in.

Three Different Rizzi Art Projects

Rizzi Birds

Our first project was Rizzi birds using black oil pastel and then watercolor. No mistaking a Rizzi bird! If you have younger children, this was a great place from them to start with a Rizzi project. The five year old in our co-op class had a blast drawing and painting his Rizzi bird!

Rizzi collaborative art

Then we made a collaborative art piece in the Rizzi style….each child adding something to the artwork. It got our creative juices flowing before they attempted their own Rizzi style Skyscraper.

Rizzi skyscrapers

Once again we used oil pastel and then watercolor. I loved the way each painting turned out so different even though they were given the same assignment. This really let them put their personality into the piece.

We had all ages in our co-op that day from K to high school and they all enjoyed this art assignment.

Rizzi faces

Mr. B did one more Rizzi inspired project…Rizzi Faces. He worked with oil pastels and the color turned out so vibrant. Love it!

I know many of you are hesitant about offering art projects because you don’t feel qualified. I encourage you to give James Rizzi study a try and play alongside your children.

  • Pull up some of his artwork on your computer.
  • Use the ideas from Deep Space Sparkle.
  • Have fun!

For Easy Reference-James Rizzi Lessons:

James Rizzi Birds on Deep Space Sparkle

James Rizzi Skyscrapers on Deep Space Sparkle

James Rizzi Faces on Deep Space Sparkle


Art Lab for Kids – Scribble Drawings

Teaching my homeschool group art class has been such a joy to me this year. Having a small group lets me get to know them a little better as we work through our art projects, observing their style of learning, their preferred media, and the way they tackle an assignment.

This week we took a break from our formal artist study and used the ideas from the book Art Lab for Kids to do some Scribble Drawings. It sounds like an easy project but to many of us this kind of assignment is a little scary. First you have to scribble….funny as it sounds, this is not as easy as you think it may be (especially if you are a perfectionist). Getting your hand and your arm to relax to do the scribbling can be hard.

I tried to overcome this a bit by starting our art lesson off with some gesture drawing. We used oversized pieces of newsprint, stood up at the table, and we tried to sketch a model in less than 30 seconds (one of the dads obliged us with some awesome poses). There were giggles and smiles as we worked through the gesture drawings. (Links for gesture drawing: KinderArt and Cool School -little more advanced.)

Then we went back to the scribble drawings and it seemed like everyone was ready to get started.

We scribbled.

Now came the part that was more difficult…the part where they needed to find an image among the scribbles to outline. Was there a bird hiding in the scribbles? A person? An animal? Turns out we had all of the above. Once they turned their papers this way and that, the images emerged and the got started outlining and filling in with colored pencils.

You could at this point cut the finished image out and mount it on black paper but we decided to create a watercolor background for our scribble drawings.

We did a watercolor wash and some did an alcohol spatter. Once the paint was dry we adhered the scribble drawings with double-backed tape.

I am really loving this book, Art Lab for Kids. It gives such clear instructions but yet leaves room for creativity. All the students in my art class had a fun day and we stretched our scribbling muscles and imaginations.

I will be writing a complete review of this book later in November so stay tuned.

Dover’s Art Masterpieces to Color – Review and Suggestions

Art Masterpieces to Color review button

Should you use coloring books as part of your art appreciation and artist study?

The debate still goes on about coloring books and art appreciation. In our family they have been a valuable tool that is a supplement and enhancement to our art time (read my views in full in this post: Harmony Art Mom-My View on Art Appreciation using Dover Coloring Books). I expressed my personal view of coloring books several years ago and I haven’t changed my mind. They are something our family enjoys using as a follow-up to our artist study.
Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Botticelli to Picasso 
(Dover Art Coloring Book)

This post though is about a particular Dover coloring book that has been the centerpiece of our art appreciation over the years. In fact, we have owned several copies of this coloring book as each child works their way through the Harmony Fine Arts plans for art appreciation. Please note that there are affiliate links in this post.

Details of Note About This Coloring Book:

Art Masterpieces to Color review (1)
Markers do not bleed through the thick paper.
    • Use with a variety of media – markers, colored pencils, and even watercolors
Art Masterpieces to Color review (3)
Small illustrations in color for each painting in the book make it easy.
    • Thick paper – not quite cardstock but still very thick
    • Every painting is illustrated in color on the inside and back covers for reference
Art Masterpieces to Color review (6)
We are looking forward to a Modigliani study next year.
    • The coloring book includes short notes on each artist and painting in the back index
Art Masterpieces to Color review (4)
Each artist and painting has notes in the index.
  • I think there is a good variety of painters represented
  • 60 paintings!
  • Some nudity – Less than 10 paintings include some nudity (easily removed if you wish)
  • $8.95 on (eligible for the 4-for-3 promotion)
  • Used in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 1 plans in Option 3   

Our family gives this particular Dover Coloring Book a huge thumbs up. I encourage you to get your family a copy to have on hand as a reference and as a way to follow-up to your art appreciation. Further ideas can be gleaned from my Dover Coloring Book on my HubPages. 

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