South Bend Museum of Art Education Blog

A Place Where Art Education is Discussed and Explored!

One Family’s Paint-Filled Journey

While Maddie and Cameron have previously participated in Festival of Banners, Cindy recalls feeling both nervous and excited about her first painting session at SBMA. She does not consider herself a painter by any means, which may have something to do with her initial nervousness. After diving into the process, though, she now considers painting to be a very peaceful and relaxing experience. Cindy and her children lead quite a busy lifestyle filled with countless activities from soccer to home school events to traveling, so she rather enjoys the opportunity to take a few hours to slow down, relax, and be creative with her kids. She refers to her visits here as  “nice escape”.

Cindy working on the front side of her banner

When asked if she’s learned anything about being an artist while painting her banner, Cindy’s answer is “absolutely”. All three of the Kanczuzewskis say they learn something every time they come in to paint. Cindy, especially, has noticed that her technique has improved A LOT, which didn’t take much as she credits herself with having no technique to begin with. For her, what has improved the most is her attention to the use of shading as a technique that can add a lot of depth to a seemingly “flat” picture. While she doesn’t consider herself the next great painter by any means, she has seen tremendous growth in her own abilities in just a few short weeks.

Cindy describes her process as one of trial and error – a theory she will soon test as she works to put the finishing touches on her banner. Cindy’s design relies on a visual technique referred to as “Ben-day dots”. Cindy first learned about Ben-day dots after watching a video on the famous Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. In this video, she learned that Ben-day dots were used in early comic books as an economical way of printing. She recalls learning that some colors were very expensive to print, so comic book manufacturers relied on Ben-day dots to create shading and secondary colors, such as green, orange, and purple within their books. Cindy still isn’t quite sure how she is going to tackle the Bend-day dot portion of her design, but imagines that she will have to get down and dirty to do so.

Notice the use of Ben-day dots in this famous Roy Lichtenstein print.
“Reverie (The Melody Haunts me Reverie)”, Roy Lichtenstein, 1965.
Image courtesy of

Cindy, Maddie, and Cameron still have a lot of work to do before their banners are festival-ready. However, they don’t mind. They look forward to visiting the SBMA for a number of reasons. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons is the friendships that they’ve either strengthened or maintained. In fact, Maddie and Cameron have run into old friends from their public school days in our studios. They enjoy being surrounded by creative people, and we enjoy having them here. For now, we’ll let them get back to work on adding the finishing touches. In the meantime, you haven’t seen the end of the Kanczuzewskis. Stay tuned for one more post in which we’ll reveal their finished works of art!


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