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Thursday, December 6, 2012

CBC Day 6 - Charcoal Christmas Art

Book #6: The Lump of Coal
by Lemony Snicket

If you children are a fan of the Series of Unfortunate Events, they're going to like this book.  It's especially good for slightly older kids who are less interested in the usual Christmas books.  The story has a lot of personality and is unlike your everyday Christmas book.

This book tells the story of a lump of coal who just wants a purpose.  The style is very Lemony Snicket and you will recognize his writing immediately.  It's also illustrated by Brett Helquist who also illustrated the Series of Unfortunate Events books.  

Our Day 6 Christmas Book Countdown Activity 
Charcoal Christmas Art

I thought we would round out this story by making our own charcol art.  It's very easy to work with and kids love how you can easily manipulate it.  It can be done with either a charcoal art stick or the charcoal you find in your BBQ.  All you need is a piece of charcoal, tape and two pieces of paper.  Some spray fixative is optional.

First you need to make a paper cut out.  This can be a Christmas silhouette, a paper chain, a snowflake, whatever you want.  Although if you want it to be Christmasy, you should stick with the theme.

So make you cut out.  My oldest made his own paper snowflake and my youngest chose a chain.  To make a chain, fold a strip of paper accordian style.  You know, like you used to make those paper fans that killed time to make but never actually cooled you off.  Cut out half of your shape, making sure it reaches both sides of the paper.  Unfold carefully.

Now, tape your cut out to the paper.  Use rolled up tape in the back so it won't interfere with your cut out.

With your charcoal, color in your paper cutout only.  Make it dark and cover as much as you can.  If it goes off the cut out a little, that's okay.

Now, with your fingers, gently push the charcoal off the cutout onto the white paper.  Cover all the edges inside and out.  If you want it darker, color in the cutout again and repeat.

Carefully remove the cutout and it leaves a white impression behind!  If you want your art to last and not smudge, spray with fixative.


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