Category Archives: Homeschooling

Back to School Art Projects

Back to School Art ProjectsSummer holiday is over. September is the month when children return to school. Young students in their elementary years may experience mixed emotions about early mornings and homework. Starting up such a routine is less than thrilling but back to school art projects can make returning to the classroom exciting.

Listed below are art projects that are creative, fun, and great conversations starters. Since getting back to school is all about starting fresh and making new friends, these functional art pieces are sure to kick off the school year on the right foot.

Pencil Toppers

Make plain, old yellow pencils fun. A number of household items can be used to top a pencil. (Walnuts are an example listed here: This is a great back to school art project for young kids. And, it makes a student’s school supplies one-of-a-kind.

Notebook Designs

Many schools require students cover their books. Change it up this year by covering a textbook with something extraordinary – like denim. Also, make ordinary notebooks more exciting with stickers and original designs.


Adding patches and pins to a backpack can give it a new look. For young students, a themed backpack may boost confidence and increase excitement about going back to school.

Organizing the Homework Area

Schoolwork starts in the classroom and continues at home. Setting up a creative homework area is a fun and beneficial activity. These resources have a few fun ways for kids to set up their own homework stations: Maintaining this space within a home can be a great way to stay organized and make schoolwork enjoyable.

Back to school is anything but boring. Make sure kids get excited — and stay excited — by adding creative activities. These back to school art projects may begin at home but they are taken into the classroom. A student can show off his or her creative talents and stand out this year.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art Projects:

Candy Art: We Don’t all Have to be Artists to Create Art!

The Meaning of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Art

Ideas for Creating Halloween Art

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What Every Artist Should Know About Copyright (

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All artists should be aware of copyright – that is, the exclusive rights that you, as the creator of your art, are granted from the moment your artwork is created.

Because you are the copyright owner of your original artwork, you have the sole right to distribute your art and make reproductions of it. No one else can do this without your consent. If they do, it is illegal and you can take legal action.

Technically, the moment you create your artwork, it is copyrighted. While it might be helpful to draw or paint the copyright symbol © onto your art (followed by the year and your name), this symbol is no longer necessary to protect your copyright. It’s more of a visual reminder to let others know that your art is copyrighted.

However, if you should ever take someone to court because they infringed upon your copyright, the only way to get the utmost in legal protection is to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. Ideally you should do this immediately after the artwork is finished.

If the artwork is registered with the US Copyright Office, offenders can be held liable for up to $30,000 in statutory damages or even $150,000 if you can prove that they already knew your art was copyrighted but reproduced it anyway.

Registering your copyright is easy. You can fill out the form entirely online at the website of the US Copyright Office, pay the fee, and upload images of your art. Once processing is complete, they will snail mail you a certificate of registration. Even though that may take a few months, your copyright is officially registered from the date you filled out the form, made the payment and uploaded your art.

The cost to register your art is $35, but if you register your artwork as a “series”, you can register as many works of art as you want (as long as they were created in the same year) for one single fee of $35. For instance, if you created 12 landscape paintings in 2010, you can register all 12 landscapes under the same claim for a single $35 fee. This is a great way to save money on registration fees.

In short, it’s always a wise idea to protect your copyright by registering your art with the US Copyright Office. If and when your art becomes wildly popular, you may need that legal protection if anyone infringes upon your copyright.

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All About Yellow Pigments

Yellow is one of the three primary colors, which means it is often used in painting – from capturing the warm rays of a golden sun, to a field full of sunflowers, to the flickering flames of fire. Here is an overview of some of the most common yellow pigments you’ll use when painting:

Yellow Ochre (sometimes called Mars Yellow) is a non-toxic natural clay pigment. In fact, it is one of the oldest pigments in the world, used by our prehistoric ancestors. Yellow Ochre has a tan, sandy appearance.

Naples Yellow was once made from toxic synthetic pigments that were used abundantly by the Old Masters, but today’s version is made from modern, non-toxic substances. Naples Yellow usually has a light, pale appearance.

Cadmium Yellow is another historically toxic pigment (Cadmium Sulfide) that was used by artists in the late 19th century. It now contains a non-toxic replacement (usually Azo pigments), but is still called Cadmium Yellow. Cadmium Yellow has a very bright yellow appearance.

Azo Yellow (also called Hansa Yellow) is a dye-based synthetic pigment invented in the early 20th century. Azo Yellow is usually bright but it is also pale and translucent compared to Cadmium Yellow.

Each of these yellow pigments adds something different to your palette. If you are painting a still life, landscape or portrait that requires the use of yellow, consider the different properties of these yellows to decide which one (or more) would work best for what you need.


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Was the Model for the Mona Lisa a Male?

Who was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?



Unfortunately, one of the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is who was the model was a Male or Female? What age was the model? Where was the model from? Was it his wife? Did da Vinci know the model? We may never know who the model is and of course some may say why does this matter anyway right?

One thing we know for certain is that this portrait has led to many discussions. One discussion is about the Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile. I am sure you have thought about that part yourself. I often have wondered who was this model in such a wonderful piece of art? When I look at the different masterpieces myself that other Historical artists have painted, I often ask myself this same question being who was their model or models? Also, how do these famous artists select their models? Is it their wife, themselves, mistresses, children, lovers, worker, apprentice, grandparent, high school sweetheart, coworker, neighbors, people randomly picked off the street? When the artists select a model or models, what is the artist looking for in the models? What method are the looking in their selection for a model? Are they looking at some unique feature? Unique features such as their smiles, such that the smile is mysterious, sexy, sad or interesting?

When I go the the art museum, I like to look at the famous paintings from all different angles. Do you find yourself doing that as well? When I recently went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, one of the first things I did was to walk into a room and look at the paintings from a distance. This is sometimes a hard thing to do, especially when the room is large. When the room is large, how do you really know which masterpiece to look at first. I usually look around to see which one intrigues me the most. When I find the one that interests me the most, I then look at them straight on. I often like to talk to the docents to find out what they like about the certain pieces displayed at their art museum. The docent is the true expert as they should know which pieces are the most interesting and any unusual facts about the paintings. I wonder what was the artist thinking before they started to paint on their canvas. Is there a hidden agenda on their canvas that we may never know such as the hidden identity of who their model is?

Most scholars think that da Vinci’s Mona Lisa may be his wife but have you ever thought it could really be one of his apprentices? Perhaps da Vinci had a companion that was even a male and this was the person who da Vinci drew in this well known painting? Was the model Salai who had been a model for Leonardo in several of his other paintings? So the question really is then who was the model and was it a male?

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Jan Havickszoon Steen – One of the Greatest Artists of the Dutch Golden Age

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Jan Havickszoon Steen (born ca. 1626, died early 1679), was a 17th century Dutch genre painter who is considered to be among the greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age. His use of vivid colors, his sense of humor and his ability to capture facial expressions contributed greatly to his popularity. His greatest talent was his exquisite portrayals of children, which remain unsurpassed.

The exact date of Jan Steen’s birth is unknown, but he is thought to have been born in 1626 in Leiden, home to several other Dutch masters, notably Rembrandt. His parents were prosperous Catholic brewers and, like Rembrandt, the young Jan was educated at the Leiden Latin School. He received his first art lessons in Utrecht from German historical painter Nicolaus Knupfer, who influenced Steen’s use of composition and color, and it is thought that he may also have been apprenticed to Adriaen van Ostade in Haarlem. At the age of 22, Steen studied briefly at the University of Leiden and in 1648 he joined the Sint Lucas Guild of master painters in Leiden.

In 1648 Jan Steen moved to The Hague where he studied under successful landscape painter Jan van Goyen and in 1649 he married Van Goyen’s daughter, Margriet. The couple had eight children and Margriet posed for several of Jan’s paintings. They lived in Warmond, near Leiden. Jan Steen and his father-in-law worked together for five years until Van Goyen faced financial ruin through poor speculation. Steen’s father came to the rescue, setting Jan and his young family up in a brewery business in Delft in 1654, but the business did not succeed and in 1660 the family moved to Haarlem.

Jan Steen remained in Haarlem for ten years, period in which he painted his best pictures. Most of his works are genre paintings, many of which are set in taverns, but he also broached portraits, biblical and mythological themes, and still-lives. He excelled at painting children. But in 1669 tragedy struck: Margriet died and Steen was in debt. The following year the town apothecary seized all his paintings and auctioned them to cover the medical bills. The following year, Steen’s father died. After these misfortunes, Steen moved back to Leiden where he remained for the rest of his life. He opened a tavern in 1672 and remarried in 1673. His new wife was Maria van Egmont, a widow with whom he had two children.

Steen continued to paint while running the tavern. He was a congenial host and his new wife brought him financial stability. In 1674 Jan Steen became the president of the Saint Lucas Guild. His jovial works were greatly appreciated and he was able to command good prices. Steen did not have any students, but his work was a source of inspiration to his contemporaries. His paintings were lighthearted and humorous, often with a moral message in the tradition of Dutch genre painters. Much emphasis was placed on facial expressions, body language and poses. Sometimes Steen included himself and other family members in his works. Jan Steen was always experimenting and in his final years his style became more flamboyant and foreshadowed the Rococo style of the 18th century.

Steen was a very productive artist, producing some 800 works during his short career, yet despite this he never managed to earn a living by painting alone. Upon his death in 1679 at the age of fifty-three he left his widow with heavy debts. He was buried in a family grave in the Pieterskerk in Leiden.

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Promote Your Art Through an Open Studio

A great way to drum up interest in your art is to hold an open studio. Instead of waiting for your art to get accepted into a gallery, why not turn your work space into a temporary showing space? Remember that most art lovers enjoy spending time in artists’ studios because it allows them an inside peek into the process behind the art.

Here are several tips for hosting a successful open studio:

  • Send invitations to local gallery owners, local art critics, and anyone you think may be a patron of your art. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family also, because they will help stir up conversation about your art amongst the other attendees, and their enthusiasm will be infectious.
  • Make sure your studio is neat and presentable, but you don’t need to go overboard. People will expect paint splatters in an artist’s studio! You should leave some of your art materials (paints, brushes, palettes, etc) in their natural positions, so that your tidied studio still retains the essence of your creative energy – but make sure all toxic chemicals are safely stored away.
  • Arrange your artwork in an organized display around your art space. Add title cards underneath them with your name, the title of the work, and the price, if it is for sale. It is also a good idea to display one or more works-in-progress, because many people will be interested in seeing the evolution of an artist’s work.
  • Have plenty of business cards available. A guestbook is also a good idea for adding to your mailing list.
  • Consider selling prints of your art for people on a budget. You could also sell other low-cost items with your art on them, such as cards, magnets, bookmarks, etc.
  • If your art space is big enough for people to linger, offer a plate of hors d’oeuvre. If your budget allows, offer your guests wine or other drinks.
  • To set the ambience, select appropriate music to accompany your open studio – but play the music softly. It’s important that your guests are able to hear you and vice versa.
  • Once the doors are open, socialize. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people you don’t know. You’ll be asked a lot of questions by people who want to know more about you and your art, so be mentally prepared. Your open studio is an opportunity for networking, so make the most of it.
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United States President Caricature Art by!

United States President Caricature by Segmation

United States President Caricature by Segmation

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Here’s a fun and easy set of United States President Caricature patterns (thanks to our friends at Graphics Factory for providing this content) The set includes 17 nicely done portraits of the more familiar presidents including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

When these patterns are completely colored, the resulting image has a very strong resemblance to the original artwork. These vibrant and colorful pieces of art are truly engaging and exciting for you to paint, and especially a joy to look at when completed.

With over 2800 available patterns from an ever growing collection of artistic themes, SegPlay® PC will provide you with hours upon hours of painting fun and entertainment. SegPlay® PC Splash Screen With SegPlay® PC as an Art Appreciation teaching tool, students can memorize famous works of art, color by color. Children can truly touch images related to a wide assortment of subjects. As a parent or educator, the learning possibilities stretch as far as your image-ination!

SegPlay® PC is in the computer software category known as “casual gaming”. While it provides a pleasurable and creative escape from mundane computer activities, the program is simple to use and new players can begin the painting function immediately, with just a few, intuitive tools. However, the program also offers rich features with challenging and engaging options, so it expands with each user, whether they seek an education in art appreciation or just want to enjoy a creative gaming challenge.

With a dynamic and clear user interface and fun sound effects, the program’s gaming features compliment the artistic benefits and engage users at all levels. For a gaming challenge, users can race against a timer to complete patterns in a given timeframe at levels from Easy to Experienced and Expert. Users can also employ speed-painting tools, monitor the mistake counter, and track the number of remaining pieces and colors to increase the program’s challenging and addictive potential.

United States President Caricature

Have fun and relax with beautiful online painting art. So fun and easy to use with no mess but just a mouse!

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