An Art a Day Takes the Blues Away: Exploring with Lines and More Lines through Storybooks

For today’s post, we will be  using another great resource in teaching Art in a more meaningful and experiential way, Teaching Art with Books Kid Love by Darcie Clark Forhardt.


This book, like the How to Teach Art Book to Children, explores the various elements of Art and introduces them through children’s story books.   You will learn the principles along the way so if you don’t happen to have the suggested books to use, you can use whatever story books you may have, can borrow or browse through bookstores.  So you can turn the lesson in to Teaching Art with the Books My Kids Love.

If you have story books which you’d like to feature (as you will understand as you read on) , you can have Storytelling first with smaller students using these chosen books. The older children can read these books on their own and observe for the elements of Art.

Based on the past 2 posts on Lines , I am hoping we’ve gotten ourselves and our children excited in drawing all kinds of lines.  But let me introduce other ways to categorize lines.

Character lines : these are the kinds of lines that show gesture and create moods.  You may use very thick to very fine lines and may be jagged, curved , scribbled, pointed, and so on and so forth.

Such lines may appear “angry, confused, calm, serene, messy, confused, frustrated“. You may ask your children to close their eyes and ask them to think of lines. As you call out a mood, make them open their eyes and draw the line that they saw in their mind.  If you are working with more than one child, position them in such a way that they will not be able to see what the other comes up with so there is no risk of conforming or copying. This is also a good time to encourage expression (without judgment and correction!) and just being comfortable to speak.

Look at these illustrations from Smoky Night by EvenBunting.  (Or find similar story books in your own library) .  These consist of character lines that create some form of mood. Without the benefit of words, try to let you children try to explain what they think is happening in these 2 pages.

You can go to youtube to check this out:  You can watch this video on mute so you can ask your students what they think is happening.


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In these pages of “The Girl who Loved Wild Horses” by  Paul Goble, you will see a lot of curved and angled lines:

51jtqdhnzRL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ wild-horses-3

nightfall Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 1.25.40 PM

Try to get story books  with clear and vibrant illustration, and check out  how they used different lines. Ask your children to show what they find:

  • angry lines
  • serene or calm lines
  • frustrated lines
  • any lines that show mood or character?
  • happy lines
  • strong lines
  • lines that show movement

This can be a fun time of discovery and discussion. Take your time and do not rush the activity.  You also get a chance to peek into your students’ hearts and minds when you do this exercise.

As we get more and more familiar with lines, we can now move to creating outlines,  or “Contour”.

Let the children choose 3- 5 small objects that have clear borders. Have them lay down on their table/ desk (Do this activity where there is ample space for students to rest their elbows and arms, and look at their “objects”).

Define first what an outline is. Some may opt to call this silhouette.   If you have a giant manila paper or even newspapers, you can even ask a child to lie down as you draw his contour – lines that follow the outline of any object, using a thick marker pen. While you’re at it, go ahead and tickle him/her. If you have more kids, let them draw each other’s outline.   You can also outline your own feet or hands.  No details are drawn within, just outlines.

Here are examples of outlines done by our sons under a dear friend and artist, Jerome Malic. Comment below if you’d like to get Mr. Malic as your Art teacher for homeschooled children or for summer/weekend classes for students in regular schools. Teacher Jing, Jerome’s nickname, suggests to use drawing pencil with grade of 2H for outlines. For shading, use 6B.

Contour17 Contour16 Contour15

This is really fun. Sometimes, you can try for the students to simply look at the object and draw without looking at their paper. In, it says:

“Contour and Blind Contour Drawing – Contour drawing is a process of line drawing where one must concentrate on a single point and follow the contours of the body. This process should be done in one long continuous line to mimic the way that the eye works. When doing a contour drawing, you are improving your eye-hand coordination, an important skill in both art and athletics.”

You can even have a “guessing game”.  Teacher and student/s goes to another area and chooses a few objects.  Contours of these objects are drawn and  you try to guess each others’ chosen objects.

For examples in Fine Art, you may google the following to stretch this activity:

Pablo Picasso’s Starry Night

See the wavy, curly, angled lines all in this painting

See the pencil sketches of Edgar Degas.

Buste-de-danseuse Dancer-II

Please make sure that you check images first before showing Fine Art examples to your students. We all know there are lot of “adult” material in most of the famous artists.  Other artists with distinct use of lines are Joan Miro in Morning Star:

miro63Paul Klee in Pastorale,


and Piet Mondrian ‘s Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue. 


For another day, you may try to borrow or find a much sought after preschool/ primary years book, Leo Lionni’s  A Color of His Own. This can be tied with Science as the child learns about chameleons.

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Do you notice that the animals are drawn in 2-D Contour like manner?

Photo Credit:

Do you think your child can have a go in trying to create an animal’s contour? Let him choose what animal and find a photo in books or online. As a teacher, choose also your own animal. Do this activity with your students.

My daughter Raya eventually became a  much better drawer and painter than her first teacher.  I think what gave the children in our home the confidence and freedom to try is “seeing and being” with a teacher who also learned with them. If only laughter can be kept in a bottle, we have loads of them from my children seeing what their teacher came up with.

As I close, let me share with you one drawing of my daughter when she was probably 5 yrs old. She entitled it, Queen of Lollipop!! Oh, so many curly, spiral lines!!!


Have fun with Art!


Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Fabulous Finds Batch 2!

So here are  my new finds again!

1. Meow, Meow from Raya’s Room!

A snoozing cat in oil on canvass by Raya Simpao
A snoozing cat in oil on canvass by Raya Simpao

Papa Gilbert thinks this is the best ever so far. We love how the cat really looks so rested, cuddly and happy.  Raya has truly learned a whole lot experimenting and applying what she learned from  her Art Lessons under Teacher Elaine O. Herbosa of L’Arc en Ciel.

2. A collage of photos laid and mounted by P.S. Crafts with Soul.  Found them at the block party in Makiling Park two week ago. Check the link and see other gift ideas!

A Father’s Day Gift to Gilbert

A collage of photos mounted beautifully by @craftswithsoul.
A collage of photos mounted beautifully using decoupage and wooden boards


3.  A Colorful Bright Ideas Notebook (Colored blank pages) from Fully Booked.

Thank you, Tita Chel! She is the “Tita” with most beautiful yet effortless handwriting.

A l

Gift for Raya from Tita Maricel Arenas
Gift for Raya from Tita Maricel Arenas It’s like flapping the rainbow!

4. It was great catching up with my dear friend, Reena Ermintano of the Reading Specialist. I grew up with Reena in Maryknoll Grade School and High School and we’ve managed to keep in touch. We must fabulously find time to nurture such friendships! Reena together with teacher Cecilia “CJ” Jocson worked closely with Marco for several months during 6th Grade. As I homeschooled Marco from level 1-6, I noticed some “Reading” concerns that may have limited his leisure reading.  True enough, some Reading diagnostic tests have shown some areas that need to be professionally addressed. Teacher CJ helped him so many strategies to unlock  and understand the written word in various forms. I knew deep within that with 3 other children, I could no longer address this concern and called the experts! With Reena’s MA in Elementary Education and Reading Specialist and Cj’s  MA in Reading Education and 11 years of clinical experience, I had the best dynamic Reading duo, one could ever wish for.  As I write, for summer, Marco is reading Lord of the Rings (Book 2, after finishing Book 1 in a week!) ! Thank you Reena, CJ and the Reading Specialist team.   Marco first entered the Reading Specialist office in Civic Drive, Alabang,  a few inches shorter than Reena. Now even with heels, Marco has grown to be much taller!  He has also become a confident reader with their help!

Grade school classmate and high school barkada, Reena Ermitano with Marco
Grade school classmate and high school barkada, Reena Ermitano with Marco

5. A BFF Cousin’s Happy Birthday five page letter to my daughter, Raya!

Handwritten letters are a rarity these day!
Handwritten letters are a rarity these days! Thank you, Kaila!


6. Manuka Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar

The Manuka Honey helps me with my immunity issues.  On wounds, it somehow promotes faster healing and addresses inflammation.  I’ve tested it with sore throats, and oral ulcers/sores (singaw)  and they really speed up healing and prevent worsening of the condition.

My batch mate from PGH recently messaged me about a study done by her  Dermatology colleague testing the positive healing effect of  Bragg’s apple cider vinegar on a wart  (apply vinegar on non-facial warts) . We are testing it and will let you know!  So far, it really looks promising! My brother also told my mom to try  1 tablespoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with  1 tablespoon honey for arthritic pain (must be diluted with water and maple syrup). We have to test this first. I tried ingesting it and it’s really sour and strong despite mixing with honey so I will have to really dilute it!

Healthy Options
Healthy Options

7. The Staff – the kids!

The older teen boys are now my assistants as they try to take photos of their past portfolios and  arranging these in digital folders of easy access.   We will share them soon in more blog posts! Youngest Gino took photos for books for our coming online sale in Facebook page of


8. A Precious Find:  Siblings Playing:) The  four original HomesCooled kids are together!

It's always a blessing to see all four kids play!
It’s always a blessing to see all four kids play!

9. The hundreds of red roses created last year for my Mom’s 80th birthday

A few families (3 siblings) contributed to create as many red paper origami roses ( similar to the Senbazuru – I encouraged those making them to pray for Lolo Dony and Lola Emma as they were folding) for Mommy Emma’s 80th birthday. Siblings, grandchildren, and even helpers helped to create these as decor for the party. We unearthed them so we can mount, frame and display. Raya helped in laying the roses down, using glue gun and giant cardboard. I will show you once these are all framed!

Roses2 Roses3 Roses1

We would like to thank Tadashi Mori for the very thorough youtube demo! Try it!

10. The Farm Organics in Commercecenter, Alabang

I was there with my tennis team last Friday and after tasting the burger, I had to bring the family over. “Best burgers!” according to Vince and Marco. However, the size can find you wanting for more! Try the Kesong Puti Caprese Salad.   The serving staff though still needs to train some more in attending to customers and the restaurant needs to have better inventory since several options in the menu were “sold out” for a Saturday dinner.  It’s worth the visit though. Yumyum!

Team Tenez after Hillsborough Tournament felt, after some long games, that the yummy burgers were a bit “bitin” in size!
Pre-Father’s Day dinner with the family/Yummy burgers and creamy truffle pasta

Let me know what you think about these finds!!

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Laro Collaborative Art Exhibit

I call this a perfect event for the entire family.  It had many things quite dear to me:  lots of  colorful and beautiful  art, children, our Filipino culture,  an advocacy to build a playground for children through UNICEF,  time well spent with my first Art teacher(Mommy Emma) and my students  (Raya & Gino), and the touching of ones’ heart by evoking so many childhood memories of play.

Creative Kids /Kids for Kids

Mommy Emma, Gino, Raya and I had such a grand time in this unique “celebration of every child’s right to play through the celebration of Pinoy games.” 


I told my Mom to act “excited” as if to cheer for Raya as she jumped in ‘luksong tinik.” Did you know that Mommy Emma taught Art Appreciation in Maryknoll College and was the owner and directress of “Infant Jesus Kindergarten School” where most of the Pangilinan kids had their preschool years. The school was just 3 houses away from 11 Mahusay St UP Village!


What’s a pamato, Mama?


Creative Kids dedicate their 20th anniversary to help raise funds for UNICEF and the building of a playground in a resettlement area in Calauan, Laguna through an artistic exhibit, fun activities and a fashion show.”


As I went through each artwork, Mom who majored in Creative Arts in UP College of Home Economics, and I were in awe with every piece of art.  Gino and Raya  were amused as well as they saw some of the games featured in the art works which  their Lola and Mama played when they were their age!

As part of homeschool PE and Filipino, I have tried to expose the children  by playing “garter”,  patintero, luksong tinik,  limbo rock, sipa, sungka , and using the traditional trumpo.  For their birthdays, we  did some pabitins  and some form of “hit the pot (palayok)”.  Though not Filipino in origin, we also tried to play jackstones and mahjong.  Prior to visiting the exhibit which happened to be in our favorite mall, Alabang Town Center. I had a mini-lesson with the kids on Filipino Traditional Games and we focused on the Filipino hopscotch , or piko.  Hopefully we will be able to play this soon.  I also discovered that there were many   online videos featuring so many of these games !!!

Bahay-Bahayan na! Nasaan ang sandok at palayok?



Didn’t we dream to have that nipa house?


Patintero, sino ang patotot?
Patintero, sino ang patotot?



Tropang Trumpo!
Tropang Trumpo!


Damang-dama namin ang saya dito ! Dali, punta na!


Guess what? Kaya mo ng "check mark", "falling star"and "hide in the cave" moves?
Guess what? Kaya mo ng “check mark”, “falling star”and “hide in the cave” moves?


Taob kayo sa laki ng tsinelas namin !


An additional treat for that afternoon  was seeing and chatting with the event’s main organizer,  our family friend, Bambi Manosa.  According to Bambi, they recently transformed her much sought after art school, Creative Kids Studio into an all-year-round project based art studio “where kids can come  together to help other children through their time and talents.”  The program is now called Kids for Kids.

With Creative Kids/ Kids for Kids Champion, Bambi Manosa. The Pangilinans and Manosas are family friends:)
With Creative Kids/ Kids for Kids Champion, Bambi Manosa. The Pangilinans and Manosas are family friends:)


So amazing were the art pieces created by the children of Creative Kids, that red dots were all over as most of the pieces were already sold.  Bambi mentioned that a buyer or donor could either buy and take home art work or he could purchase it, and donate the art work to a center for children chosen by Kids for Kids.

There are more activities lined up for this celebration of play and you may check  The link also provides information on how to join this advocacy and become another champion for children.

The Laro Collaborative Art  Exhibit runs until May 26, 2015 at the Activity Center of the Alabang Town Center.

If you’re in the mood to actually play these traditional games,  “Tara, Laro!” is set on May16 and 17 in different areas of  Alabang Town Center ( Activity Center, Town Plaza and Corte Extension). The link  has all details!

I recommend this wonderful celebration of play to all families!  Homeschoolers can even create lesson plans and unit studies on this:)  Thanks to Gino and Raya for the photos. We purposely didn’t post all because you should come and experience this for real!  You ought to see the colorful sungkas, the sipa and pabitiin artwork,  sculpted playthings and  the many paintings about famous Filipino nursery rhymes and riddles

Congratulations to Bambi Manosa, Kids for Kids, UNICEF,  Alabang Town Center and all  the other sponsors for this worthy, inspiring, moving and even entertaining, one of kind, art exhibit by children for other children in need.

A giant paper boat! Didn't we all make smaller versions for the flowing canals in our streets?
A giant paper boat! Didn’t we all make smaller versions for the flowing canals in our streets?


I grabbed the chance to write down my comments on that giant boat!  C




Proverbs 11:5 “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”