Using the Internet for Crafts: Ocean Floor Scene

Published: 18th December 2009
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If you like arts and crafts, and you're looking for a fun beginner-level activity, the following is a great activity for you and your family or friends. What you'll be making is a chalk drawing of the ocean floor, full of seaweed, shells, and ocean life. Here are the supplies you need:

* A computer with an Internet connection, word/writer program, and a printer attached to it.

* Computer/printer paper

* Scissors

* Black construction paper-one sheet for each scene (and maybe a few extras for mess ups!)

* Colored chalk (at least 5 different colors is preferable)

* A roll of paper towels

Before you start you'll want to do a little prep work. But instead of drawing everything free hand, you'll be using stencils. So you'll need to get your stencils first. Here's where the Internet access comes in. On Google, or any other search engine, perform an image search for "sea creatures" or "ocean animals", etc., to get started. Basically you're looking for some outlines or solid (but recognizable) silhouettes of different sea animals, like sharks, sea horses, fish, dolphins, and even some coral and shells-anything you want! If you can also search for specific things like "stingray stencil" if you there's something you want to be sure to include in your ocean picture.

When you find images you want to use, you can click the image, then click the link to see the picture in full size. Then right-click on the image and click copy. Open Microsoft Word or a similar office document that will allow you to paste images. Click paste. You may want to adjust the image settings, like resizing it or placing it in front of text so that you can fit more than one image on a page. You may also want to adjust the size of the image so that it is proportional to the other animals. However, you can leave a few over sized animal larger in proportion to the other if it is going to be in the foreground. This will create depth in your picture, so you can plan ahead for that if you wish.

Once you have the stencils you want, print the pages of stencils and cut out the inside of the stencil. Be careful to not cut anywhere outside the shape of the stencil or silhouette. This can be done by punching a hole with one blade of your scissors in the middle of the shape, then cutting outward toward the edges of the stencil.

Now you are ready to start the scenic ocean floor! The trick to this project is that you don't actually draw on the black paper. First, cut a wavy line lengthwise in a sheet of computer paper or scrap paper. Lay the wavy edge along the bottom of your black paper. Draw along the edge of the computer paper with a piece of chalk. Be sure to push hard to get plenty of chalk dust on the paper. Next, grab a paper towel sheet and gently rub the chalk down onto the black paper. This will create a wavy line of chalk dust on your paper that gently fades to black. You can move the wavy edge of your paper to several other places on along the bottom of your black paper and repeat this first step to get a three-dimensional look. Again the concept is drawing on the white paper to get a line of chalk dust. When you wipe onto the black paper, the dust will be brightest nearest the line and slowly fade to black. You may have redraw the chalk line a few times to get more chalk dust to rub off.

Next come the animals. In the same manner, lay the stencil on top of the black paper. Draw a chalk line on the computer paper all around the outside edge of the stencil. Then, take your paper towel and rub in from all directions onto the black paper. When you move your stencil, you should have a chalk image of the stencil that has a brighter edge and fades toward the center.

If you want to explore with colors and effects, you can use several different colors of chalk for the same stencil, like a bright color for the top half, or you can make stripes by drawing chalk sections instead of one outline around the stencil. You have to be sure to rub the chalk dust straight up and down to a vertical stripe effect. Have fun! You can make endless ocean scenes. With the abundance of webpages online, you have a never ending supply of fun stencils to try!

Internet access is available as little as for $6.95 a month in the US and Canada. Sign up online or call 1-800-456-3118.

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