Project Ideas, Techniques and Tutorials

Hello 2023! : Pantone Color Of The Year Project

I’ve mentioned previously that aside from Christmas my favorite thing about the end of the year is the unveiling of Pantone’s new color of the year. Since I started on youtube, I have enjoyed doing a project demo revolving around the chosen color each December. Another holiday artist tradition I have is creating a new series of whimsical, themed Santa ACEOs for my ebay shop. This year, I combined these two traditions into one project as I show you how I illustrate my miniature Santa portraits, this one with a Viva Magenta theme.

By a stroke of good fortune, one of my most popular teaching projects I developed this year features a heavy accent of this vibrant color. Pre-Covid, I was teaching a Creative Minds class to my adults with disabilities at Creative 360. After teaching, I shared many of the projects here if you’re inclined to take a look. The idea of Creative Minds is to learn about accomplished artists from the past and present and create projects based on their process with the goal of discovering our own artistic voice. Creative Minds has a special focus on artists who think differently than what is considered “typical”. They have disabilities, mental health struggles, weren’t classically educated, dealt with poverty. It’s important for people to see examples of why having different types of brains and backgrounds in our world is vital and something to be celebrated, not approached with apprehension. After Covid, like with many things, the class series died for a bit. This Fall, I brought it back successfully and opened it up as an evening workshop series to make it more available to all ages and abilities.

I covered globally exhibited artist Judith Scott previously, but streamlined the project a bit more this time. Scott is an artist who had down syndrome and was deaf, and was unfortunately discounted and underestimated for most of her life. When her twin sister became her guardian and brought her to a groundbreaking arts program near their home in California, Judith on her own grabbed any objects nearby and started wrapping them in yarn. Her eye for composition was soon recognized, and long story short her art has now been exhibited worldwide. This is why art is not a luxury. Art gives people a voice, and unlocks hidden abilities.

For this new iteration of the Judith Scott project, students were given an 8×10 canvas, a stick, and a plethora of yarn. The yarn that has a different texture like fuzziness, or that is netted and stretches apart is especially fun though the old standard would still work well. We painted the canvas with an abstract design. I used a large round brush to dab streaks across the canvas one color at a time until there was no white left. Then, while that’s drying take the stick and wrap wrap wrap! Yarn can be tied at the beginning and ends points, and the tail tucked under the wrapping. I also added some felt leaves as a finishing touch but that part is in no way necessary. If the branch has a lot of contact points where it touches the canvas, it can be glued at those points but my stick was extra twisty so I poked holes in the canvas which I threaded wire through, twisting the ends in the back of the canvas to anchor it. If any readers are in the Midland, Michigan area I’d encourage you to stop by Creative 360, we are always doing something new and fun!

Color is a fantastic starting point for inspiration. You can view my previous Color Of The Year projects below.

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