The Dangerous Alphabet Art Project: Part 1

Years ago, my youngest sister gave my boys a copy of Neil Gaiman’s The Dangerous Alphabet. It’s a kind of creepy book, but really awesome! They loved it then and we read it every night for months. Recently, the book was rediscovered and now all three of them love to hear it at bedtime. However, this time around, Dante was more interested in the illustrations than the words.

“Who made these pictures? How did he make them? Can we do that?”

And so, we decided to try some mixed media and watercolor painting techniques. I had Dante examine the images carefully and asked him to think about how certain elements were created. We decided to start with something simple.

Here is the page we used as our inspiration:

As you can see, there is a lot going on here! We didn’t want things to get too complicated, so we started with just the wall, a sidewalk and the water, plus a pole to practice some ripple effects. I told the boys they could use any colors they wanted, but to think about the effect they wanted their picture to have.

This is the one that I did. Please ignore the sawdust bits on the image, we’re renovating, heh. More on that in a future post.

Here is Dorian’s picture. He wasn’t as into it as the rest of us, but he had fun with his own blend of colors. He decided not to use pen to highlight things. Since the project was done in three stages, he was pretty bored by the end of it.

Here is Dante’s. He had a little difficulty being patient enough to wait until his paint dried, but he did a good job!

Of course, Dominic wanted to get in on the action, too! He had a lot of fun and I love the way this turned out.

All four paintings together:

Over the next while, we’ll be trying different techniques and then working our way up to doing a full size painting of a scene inspired by the book.

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