Saturday, July 16, 2022

“A Lizard Walks Into Grandma Camp…….”

If you know us at all, you know we’re pet-crazy people. Cat-and-dog-rescuing, wildlife-feeding, unusual-critter-adopting crazy people!…..

Ergo, not a single one of us registered a bit of surprise when a lizard walked into Grandma Camp last week! 

Meet Lizzy. She’s Channing’s pet shop purchased pint size leopard gecko. These little critters are friendly, curious, and love to explore. In addition, they enjoy posing for paintings and being studied for sketching. Experiment all you want with creative color combos and a palette of appealing patterns, they won’t mind one bit!….. 

So that’s exactly what we did!

Lizzy is a living, breathing canvas of artistic principles and elements of design. I guided my four-kid-cousin-crew to observe a strong light-dark contrast in repetitive spots of varying size. Lizzy’s flexible, tapering body shape is linear; grippy little toes offer more variety in size. 

Armed with those observations, we established her position on paper with a penciled swirl. That curved line will serve as an axis for her symmetrical body. Viewing from above, it was quick work to sketch head shape and limbs, maintaining balance as we drew. 

And now the fun part! 

Lizzy may, indeed, be cute as a button, but a colorful specimen she’s not. (Her modus operandi, I understand, is to peek from beneath an equally drab pile of sand and rocks, smirking in observation of your frantic search for her little ole camouflaged self!). Our artsy instincts can fix that, though, at least on paper! 

Lizzy says: “Here I am at home in my fancy aquarium. See me? Not even part of my pointy lil tail under that leaf? Ha! No ya don’t!”

Sketched patterns feature repetitive shapes that vary in size, complementing the areas they decorate.

Strongest color schemes are limited to just a few choices, both light and dark, warm and cool. Mix colors for variety and add black or white to introduce tints, tones, and shades. 

Completed work of this quality demands decorative framing! A busy lizard asks for a simple geometric pattern, the opposite for a more languid design. 

So!….now you know what happens when “a lizard walks into Grandma Camp!” 

Insider grandma tip: 😉 Don’t skimp on quality of materials for kids, especially paint brushes. They will influence outcomes. Nobody’s inspired by a trail of shed hairs in every colorful stroke, or a blob of a brush when fine tuned detailing is desired. Teach your protégées to wash brushes carefully in cold water! Hot water softens glue and releases hair from the ferrule of even the most expensive brush.

1 comment:

  1. What a lucky lizard to walk into your Grandma Camp with your crew of talented artists! I love that you brought nature and art together to make such a fun adventure. I also almost fell out of my chair at that mature grandchild in the first photo with Lizzy. Oh, they do grow up way too fast, but they do provide a wonderful ride along the way. I hope each and every one of you had a blast at camp!