Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas paper-mache

Another fun and successful project with 3rd to 5th graders is this simple paper mache creations. We did it tis 2nd Quarter just before Christmas, so students worked on either Christmas ornaments or bowls with Christmas themes. They are both very fun ann simple, and same process. There are many You tube videos on paper mache, but I took most short-cut process, as I had only 2 class sessions (2 hours with some parents helps :D). This project is easily started as most materials can be found around your house.

Materials (per student)
balloons (12" for a bowl, or water balloons for an ornament or small cup)
many newspapers (cut into 1" stripes for a bowl, 1/2" for an ornament or small cups)
1" craft brush and several small brushes for painting
school glue mixed with water in 2:1 ratio in a bowl to make paste
acrylic paints
Sharpie pen
some wax paper for a working space
a pipe cleaner


1.  Blow up a balloon. Setting it on a cup will make it easy while you work next step.
2.  Dip newspaper strips in the paste OR paint paste with brush on strips (both front and back) and cover the balloon.  Repeat this process and cover the entire balloon (no need to cover the whole if you are making a bowl) with many layers. Tip for the success in this process is laying each strips carefully removing any air bubbles. For the bottom of the bowl, make a small circle with pipe cleaner and secure it with many layers of strips. Let dry.

3.  When dry, pop the balloon and remove it. If desired, trim the edge with scissor this will make a straight opening for a bowl and cup. For natural looks, many students left untouched the openings which had irregular edges. Draw design with a Sharpie pen. Paint your design with acrylic paints. I instructed students to choose only three colors, white and black. They mixed colors to create new colors.
4.  For an ornaments, poke two holes at the top to string through and make a handle for hanging.

May you be blessed with the spirit of true joy at Christmas and always~!

metal embossing

Our 3rd to 5th graders tried on metal embossing and they had really good time (and outcome was amazing!). It is a century-old art form of relief sculpture in many parts of the world; called repousse or repajado (Mexico and South America). The designs are pressed with tools (we used colored pencils) into a sheet of metal to create 3-dimensional artwork. 
I ordered all materials from dickblick.com and please refer to their "teacher pages" for more detailed instructions. For my limited time frame I have simplified the project. Students really loved this project, but I recommend very easy, abstract designs, instead of concrete designs which will take long hours even for adults. I also recommend a small size as shown here.

Materials (per student)
Amaco ArtEmboss Soft Metal Sheets (I cut into 1/4 sheet per student)
Colored pencils (metallic colored pencils worked well too)
Copy papers for sketch (I cut into 1/4 sheet)
Small magazines, one per student
Optional (mat board 6.5" x 8", 2 mini pop dots)


1.  Draw your design in a copy paper.
2.  Tape your design in the middle of metal sheet (so it won't move) and trace and press the     design onto metal sheet with a pencil. Remove the copy paper.
3.  Turn the metal sheet over. You can see the traced design is raised in front. Use colored pencils to color around this raised lines with some press, this will define raised edges. Suggest students not to press very hard, as it will make holes.

4.  After student finish coloring, mount the embossing work on mat board with  2 pop dots, so the work is raised from the board. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Book Signing

Holiday Book Signing with Kimberly and Keli Jackson 
December 16, 12:00-1:30 at Kona Hualalai Resort

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tales of Tutu Nene and Nele

Tales of Tutu Nene and Nele (written by Gale Bates, illustrated by Yuko Green. (c) 2011 Island Heritage Publishing ISBN: 1-61710-087-0)

My new book came out yesterday:) This is an Island Heritage classic that has been updated with my illustration for 2011 edition. To enhance and deliver the feelings of the soft-feathery touch of Hawaiian nene goose, I used paper collage technique for this revised edition. In spite of my concern about expressing the neutral colors of this bird, I believe it came out all well and printed beautifully (thanks to the effort of product development department of the publisher). It is always a surprise to some degree how the colors change in printing from my original artwork, especially using various types of textual papers from around the world combined with my watercolor backgrounds, but this book came out very close to my original colors, and I am so happy about this.
This was my fifth book done in this style, and I continually enjoy this method to illustrate picture book. I think interesting dimensions created by textual papers is somewhat 3-d image and fun to look at for children. A first child whom I showed this book kept trying to touch the paper textures (which is actually flat in printed paper, of course). I am also thankful for talented author, Gale Bates who wrote this story to  bring awareness to preservation of the nene goose.  Can be purchased from www.welcometotheislands.com.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Awesome World!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this awesome book called "An Awesome Book of Thanks" illustrated by Dallas Clayton (AmazonEncore, 2010).

I loved it instantly - colorful child-like illustrations and rhyming story with a sweet heart-felt message of  sharing; sharing the world, sharing everything, lives we are given, and be grateful for all the wonderful things. It is unusual (for picture book) 84 pages long! Yet very suitable for young children as the poem is read like a quiet and soothing song accompanied with fun and capturing illustrations. You can even read the entire book online for free. This book is Clayton's second book, a sequel to his first popular book "An Awesome Book" that he wrote to his five-year-old son initially. 

This is an extra special book that touched so many people, including kids and big kids all over. It is about dreaming BIG, dreaming a dream ten times as big and keep dreaming "your" dreams. When I read this book it made my day, and I am sure it will do the same to you. Here you can read the entire book online for free. Cherish your dream~:D

the dot

Peter H. Reynolds' book "the dot" (Candlewick Press, 2003) has been loved by kids and adult kids all around the world since its debut. It has inspired me lots of times as an artist and art teacher, and taught me the purpose of doing art. There is even an "International Dot Day" on September 15 to celebrate and share your creativity with the  world.

Vashti is a typical child who insists that she can't draw...until one day her art teacher inspired her to open her eyes and heart to discover her own creativity (which was always there in her).
Huge dots, little dots, dots without painting dots...many many happy, joyful and creative dots! :D

This book is perfect for younger children who naturally love to experiment mixing and playing with colors, but also (and especially) for older children (4th-5th graders in my art room) who decide they aren't artists...anymore... The book teaches them there aren't any strict "rules" to expressing themselves in art. The rules are there to make things clear but not the starting points. Another wonderful art-picture book I keep in my shelf :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Art Workshop #22

This time our theme will be Christmas!

November 10 - December 15, 2011
After School Art for Children (K - 5th)
Waikoloa Elementary School
5 weeks, Tuesdays & Thursdays
2:15 - 3:15 pm (K - 2nd)
3:20 - 4:20 pm (3rd-5th)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beautiful Oops!

Over the years, I have collected soooo many picture books (which occupy one whole side of walls of my studio-garage), not only because I am a children's book illustrator, but because I simply love them! They make me happy, they make me wonder, they remind me how it was like to be a small person (child), and they allow me to be me. So, when I discover the interesting book it became my treasure. I recently stumble upon one such book! When I watched the video on amazon, I instantly fell in love with it (including its catching title) and ordered it right away.

  A spill. A smear.
  A smudge. A tear.

  When you think you have made a mistake,
  Think of it as an opportunity to make
  Something BEAUTIFUL!
  (quote from back cover)

I read it to my 17-year-old with overjoy, but I don't think she had any clue why her mother was so excited.  Anyway, children in my art room (age 5 to 10) will definitely enjoy this book I will read this in the first day of my next workshop, to make my point about "there is no mistake in your artwork, you can make any oops beautiful"!

Friday, October 28, 2011


My name is Yuko Green. I am a children's book illustrator/writer living in Hawaii. Since 1989, I have created more than fifty children's books and activity books, designed and illustrated various products with Hawaiian theme. I love to create art with an array of colors, patterns and textures, and to make things with my hands - just as children do!  And yes, I am also a children's art teacher. Please visit my website for viewing my books and children's art galleries.

Besides updating what I am doing in my illustration, my blog is dedicated to share, explore, inform and be inspired with anything about art and books for kids! Thank you for visiting my blog.

yuko :)