5 Arts & Crafts you can do during lockdown
I find myself having a bit more time than usual these days, and sometimes I just want to fill that time with a little creative activity to keep myself occupied. Here are some of my favourite activities rated by their cost, my satisfaction, and how much time it takes.
1. Bobby Clark Art Class Bobby Clark is an abstract artist who celebrates composition and gloriously bold colours. I first came across her work when I started taking Bear multivitamin tablets (that are actually really great!) as she had created the gorgeous packaging for the company. Since following her on Instagram, I have grown to become obsessed with her dog, Scout, and her husbands sculpture that can be found here: Den Holm. Bobby has an Instagram highlight saved as ‘Art Class’ where she explains two very simple, very effective art lessons. The first activity puts you in a vulnerable position, having to trust yourself to draw something without looking at what you’re actually doing. I’ve done this countless times to warm up the brain - it’s really good to make sure your brain can communicate to your muscles without the assistance of eyesight. The second activity is more mindful and is great to use if you want to take an active break without actually getting up.
The first activity is blind drawing: you look at an object and draw it without taking the pencil off the paper. In the second activity, you’ll create a continuous loop drawing in which you can colour in opposing sides.
What you’ll need: pencils/markers
How much time it takes: >10mins
Cost $: Free!
7/10 – really great ways to wake up the brain and really learn to let loose and trust yourself! Can be done practically anywhere as well!
2. Clay Shapes If you feel like getting hands on (and have a little arm workout) then I think clay is the activity for you! There’s so many different things you can create with clay, like plates, jewellery dishes, incense holders and coasters. Honestly, check out this Pinterest board to see what else you can make. I made my own little rainbow magnets just by super gluing a magnet to the back of the rainbows. You can buy oven clay in a range of different colours but I decided to just buy a small brick ( about 220g) of white so that I could paint the clay once it’s cooked to whichever colours I would like. It was also way too overwhelming to pick multiple colours!
What you’ll need: Clay (I got mine from Officeworks), baking paper and an oven. Add superglue and magnets to that list if you want to make magnets like I did. I used my hands to roll the clay and you can use random household objects to assist in creating shapes or patterns and textures.
How much time it takes: >1.5 hours
Cost $: Less than $20
9/10 – It’s like baking on a Sunday afternoon except instead of eating cookies and cakes, you’re painting your new clay formation ready to flourish in its new life as a… key ring, paper weight, sugar bowl? Whatever you fancy. You’ll just be so proud that you make it all yourself and that these Sunday afternoon baked goods will last a lifetime!
3. Follow along a Bob Ross painting Bob Ross is famous for his calming instructional video series The Joy of Painting. You can find his series on YouTube and follow along a real-time instructional video that shows you how to paint incredibly realistic paintings. My top tip for a Ross painting is to invest in some Acrylic Extender (if you’re using acrylic paints) so the paints last a little longer and so it’s easier to blend. You could also host a Bob Ross Painting Party via Zoom to involve your friends and family! You will become an artist SO quickly you won’t even know what hit you.
What you’ll need: canvas, acrylic paints, acrylic extender, paintbrushes, a happy attitude How much time it takes: 25-2 hours (hats off to you if you can complete one of these tutorials on time! I am constantly pausing the video to catch up and usually takes me 1.5 hours to complete) $$$: Depending on the quality of materials, I’d say around $60AUD. My satisfaction/rating: 10/10 you will feel like a legitimate artist who just forged their way into realism landscape artistry with a few hacks from good ol’ Bob. You’ll probably want to hang it on the wall while the painting’s still wet, too.
I couldn't find the exact tutorial I did for this one, but here the link to one similar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCsCatvigtw
4. Learn how to watercolour Watercolour is a totally underrated medium. It’s so easy to learn, and personally, I love using watercolour to ease my mind. I don’t have a preference between tube watercolour or palette watercolours, but BRUSHES are the main thing here! Having a good watercolour brush will make you so much more appreciative for the practice. My sister, friend of mine and myself all followed Makoccino’s YouTube ‘Easy Watercolour Painting Ideas for Beginners Step by Step’ over another Zoom art party and enjoyed both the process and the results of the paintings. She gives you 3 different scenes to create all under 15 minutes. If you’re not a fan of this tutorial, she has so many videos on her YouTube channel for you to follow and create. What you’ll need: paper, watercolour brushes, watercolour, tape How much time it takes: >20 mins $$$: Again, depending on quality of materials, probably less than $50AUD My satisfaction/rating: 7/10 - This is a really nice activity to do whilst also improving your skills at the same time.
5. Anthea Corby Mindful Activities Anthea Corby is an incredible multimedia artist who is well known for her graphic design services and her custom pet paintings. She has a ‘Free Resources’ tab on her website where she’s uploaded colouring sheets and mindful activities for both kids and adults! These resources are guaranteed to instil some mindfulness and gratitude into your day. All you have to do is save the image and print and wallah! Get creating! You could also print out your favourites and make a little booklet to tackle day-by-day. Some of these activities can be compatible on multiplayer mode, if you are lucky enough to be isolating with others! What you’ll need: colour pencils, a printer, markers How much time it takes: 5-10 mins $$$: Practically free! My satisfaction/rating: 8/10 - the fact that gratitude and mindfulness are big themes in Anthea's works make the little artworks you make even more meaningful!
Hopefully you get cracking on some of these activities over the weekend, or during the week...who knows what day it is anymore! Nonetheless, if you do get around to doing these activities, I'd love to see the results!