Walk before you run. Draw before you paint.

As I open up the brushes and paints, I suddenly feel like a kid again, sitting on a miniature version of a chair and awkwardly holding a paintbrush that I clench with my balled up fist. I blink and am brought back to reality – as an immersion teacher, I teach visual arts. And this will undoubtedly benefit my students one day. However, if teaching has taught me anything, it’s that scaffolding is essential in the learning process.

Before actually painting, I decided I would draw first. I have always enjoyed drawing and cartooning, but I had underestimated how hard the simple characters were to recreate in pencil, which intimidated me when I tried to imagine how I would do it with paints.

Being that May is the month for mothers, I decided I would start with one of the most iconic cartoon mothers: Marge Simpson. The following YouTube videos offered me the basics of drawing her basic features and I practiced for a few hours (while watching old The Simpsons episodes) before actually touching my paint.

After exploring Marge’s figure and features, I started researching her colour. I wanted to get her yellow skin tone and blue hair just right. I consulted a few websites, but ColourLovers was particularly helpful. I knew her colours had to be exact to her character’s on the show, or else my version simply wouldn’t look like her.

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Plans for my first painting: A portrait of Marge Simpson.
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Actual photo of Marge Simpson, probably not too impressed with my rudimentary drawings of her.             Photo Credit: messiole Flickr via Compfight cc

With Marge’s shape down, and her colour mentally mixed, I knew that I would soon start painting. The scent of Elmer’s Glue and glitter suddenly filled my nostrils. I was in Kindergarten again.

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