Summer Soccer Dream


Summer Soccer Dream
Devon James Kogelheide
London, Ontario
Acrylic Paint on Canvas
16 x 20 inches
August 2021

For the last few years, Devon has been creating 'Thank You' artwork gifts for his teachers, at the end of the school year.  His teachers have all been amazing and I have always encouraged Devon to show his appreciation for all the hard work his teachers have put into the school year. 

Summer Soccer Dream is Devon's present for his Grade 4 teacher... Mr. S!  Mr. S used to play soccer and he continues to love and admire the game... so a painting inspired by thoughts of soccer seemed like an obvious subject choice for Devon's gift.

As well as creating this painting, Devon also wrote a short story to explain the processes that he learned while working on this art.  We printed two copies of this book... one for Mr. S and the other one for the family.  Please enjoy the artwork, above, and here is Devon's story (format changed to fit this page)...




Devon Kogelheide

For Mr. Stjepanovic (Mr. S)

Grade 4/5 teacher 2020-21

For the last few years, I have been making artworks for my teachers at the end of each school year.  They were all drawings made using markers on a small piece of paper.  Then, my parents had them framed so they would look even nicer.  But this year, my dad challenged me with a big canvas and a paint brush.  I was very nervous, but my dad said that this would be a fun adventure.

     My dad asked me what my teacher really liked.  I thought about it for a few minutes.  Then I thought Mr. S loves soccer!

     Before we got to painting an image, my dad said we had to put on Gesso.  “What’s Gesso?” I asked.  Then my dad explained that Gesso is like a white paint.  You put on the Gesso first to smooth out the canvas.  Gesso is always the first step.  You need to put on three layers of it.

     I watched as my dad put on the first layer of Gesso.  Then he had me do the next two layers.  I really hope we can get to painting the image soon.

     My dad told me to be patient.  He said, “there are still a lot more steps to making artwork before painting the picture”.  The first step is to fill your mind with ideas.

     Well, it’s a painting about soccer, so let’s find some soccer themed stuff.  Then my dad thought about the soccer player Pele!

     “Who is Pele?”  I asked.  Then, my dad asked me to search it up on YouTube.

     While I was watching some videos about Pele, my dad saw something about a movie called “Pele”.

     It was a movie about the soccer player’s life.  What I found interesting about the movie is that he gets bullied by the team that he faces at the beginning.  Weird… every movie about a sport player has some bullies in the movie.

The whole movie is about him overcoming his fear.  Instead of letting the bullies bring him down, he finds inner strength and determination and uses that to be a better teammate and a better soccer player.  And this is what Mr. S always tells me and my classmates to do.  Outsmart the bully. 

     So, now that my mind was filled with thoughts about soccer, we could finally move forward to the next step of the process.

     The next step was to find out what to paint.  One of the ways that my dad does that is to search up images of a subject on Google.  So, that’s what we did next.

     We searched up ‘soccer’, ‘cartoon soccer’, ‘abstract soccer paintings’ and a few other subjects.  We found lots of really interesting images.  The images that we really liked, we saved to a file.  Later, we looked at all of the saved images and then we chose the one that we thought would make a great painting!

     Next, I got a blank sheet of paper and I put it on the computer screen so that I could trace the image.  Then, I had to figure out a way to redraw this image onto the canvas.

     My dad used this as an opportunity to teach me about ‘scale’.

     He got out a map of London and explained how maps are drawn to a scale that represents reality.  For example: 1 cm on a map drawing represents 100 meters.  By using scale, any image can become any size that you want and the image would look the exact same.

     To show me how to create a scale that would help me to redraw the image that I traced, my dad had me watch a YouTube video about how to use a scale grid!  Then, we had to figure out how to draw a grid on my traced image and on the canvas.  This was a little bit challenging because we soon discovered that the traced image was a longer rectangle than the canvass.

     We had to make them similar in shape so that our grid would also be similar.  To do this, we had to take away a little bit of the image from the drawing that I traced. Now, they are both similar in shape and we can use a scaled grid.

      The next step was to use the grid to redraw the traced image onto the canvas. 

     So, we drew the image onto the canvas, square by square, systematically from right to left.  But we left the middle of the image for later because that was the hardest part.  My dad said that he would draw the soccer ball.  It turned out that the soccer ball looks amazing.

     But, the soccer net was missing something… it was all drawn with just one line.  If this is going to have paint on it you won’t be able to see the net.  My next task was to give the net some width.

     My dad said that we would need parallel lines for this to look good… to give each nylon strand of the net some thickness.  My dad knows a few techniques to draw parallel lines and he taught me how to do this using his old drafting tools.  Because the canvas was not a solid material, I found it hard to make perfectly parallel lines.  And I also couldn’t get each one to be the same distance apart.

     After a while I got kind of frustrated.  Then me and my dad sat down and had a talk.  We talked about our goals.  Our first goal was to make a cool painting for my teacher.  Our second goal was to have a fun time with each other.  Our third goal was to learn new techniques to make an artwork.

     We really weren’t achieving the second goal, because I was getting upset.  So we decided to find something a little bit easier.

     So, back to searching on Google.  Then we found something with a soccer ball and some curvy lines underneath the ball.  So if I make a mistake it doesn’t matter because it’s just curvy lines.

     But, we still had one more problem.  How do we get rid of the net and all the other construction lines that we had already drawn on the canvas?  Well that was easy.  Since it would be really messy if we erased it, we decided to put another layer of Gesso on top to cover it up. 

     Then we started to draw the curvy lines.  I realized that we were having more fun doing it this time because these lines did not have to be perfectly placed.

     When we finished the curvy lines, my dad said that circles would look cool with curvy lines.  So we went downstairs to his art studio to get his circle drawing template.  It had all kinds of sizes of circles.  He told me to trace 6 big circles, 18 medium circles and 24 small ones, wherever I wanted to put them.  He told me to be creative and have fun.  I was really enjoying doing this.  My dad told me that I had done a great job!

     Wow!  Drawing wavy lines and circles was so much faster than all the straight lines I drew for my first attempt.  After just 2 hours we were ready to start painting!!

     My dad said that it’s always best to start with the background first and paint the foreground last… so we started by painting the sky!  He told me that he always uses at least three colours to create any colour that he is painting with… so the blue sky was a mix of blue, a tiny bit of purple, and some white paint.

     Since this was my first time painting on a canvas, he had to help me a little bit.  He told me how to hold the brush, how to use the brush and how to make the canvas sturdy so I can do a good job at painting.

     First, we started by my dad doing the border, around the circles and around the ribbons with me doing everything in between.  Then, I started to paint around the ribbons, around the border and in the middle.  Finally, I started to do a lot more.  The more and more I painted, the less and less my dad helped.

     To make it more interesting, as we got closer to the bottom of the sky portion of the painting we changed the colour of blue by adding some white and purple.  Sometimes, when we made a mistake in mixing the colours, like adding too much white, we would add more of the starting blue paint.  That is why we mixed a lot of the starting blue and we kept this paint in a small container so we could use it when we needed to.

     Once we got into the really light bluey purples, we used those colours for painting some of the circles at the bottom part of the painting, where the grass would be.

     I’m really glad we changed the painting because this is coming along very quickly.  I only painted for 30 minutes a day and in a week I almost finished the sky!!

     Since the sky was close to being done, we started thinking about the paints that we would need for the rest of the painting.

     We realized that we don’t have enough paints, so we went paint shopping at Michaels.  We found a nice black, a different type of purple and some green.  Now we were ready for the next part of the painting… but we still had to finish the sky!

     When we finished the sky I saw that there were three ribbons and some balls to be painted.  So I asked my dad what his plan was.  He said that he wanted to add the water cycle in the painting.  He said that we added blue to the ground to show how water droplets of rain fall from the clouds.

     Then as we do the grass we take those greens and put them in the sky to show how the water gets evaporated.  The green circles in the sky will have more yellow added the closer they get to one circle which we chose to be the sun.  For the sun we chose one of the biggest circles in the sky and we will paint it yellow.

     Then I asked my dad about why we left the ribbons.  He said that we will take the yellow we will use for the sun and add a bit of orange to each ribbon.  Changing from yellow to yellow orange to orange.

     By adding these yellow and orange ribbons to the sky, we will show honour to the sun for making life on our planet… so that people can live, be happy and play soccer.  I think that the ribbons in the sky will look cool because orange and blue are complimentary colors.

     My dad explained to me how while you move forward through the  painting  you get  new ideas.   He  didn’t think  that  we were going to have a sun in the painting at the beginning.  He says that that’s the magic of art.  You get new ideas every time you move forward.


     Now that we have chosen where the sun will be in the painting, we can begin to paint the soccer ball!  We needed to know where the sun will be because its position will determine where the light is coming from.

     So we searched on Google for more soccer ball paintings to see how they use light in their paintings.  We found one way for using light in the painting that we really liked… it had curvy lines that got darker and darker the farther they were from the sun.

     My dad said that it is a good idea to make as many colours as possible in the painting ‘relate’ to each other.  He said that this is done by using the boldest colour in each of the other colours.  So, we took a lot of the dark blue paint that we used in the sky and added black to that to start the soccer ball.  We also added a bit of white to the blue/black before we began painting the soccer ball.

     For the black areas we used three types of black.  The ones closest to the sun were the lightest and the ones farthest away from the sun were the darkest because they are in a shadow.

     But since the white colors were touching each other you wouldn’t be able to tell that they were hexagons because they would be the same colour.  So, we ended up using eighteen shades of white and gray!!


   It only took me three afternoon painting sessions to complete the soccer ball!  I think that it looks super fantastic!!

     Now that we were done the soccer ball we could move on to painting the grass!  When we were mixing the green, we used the green we bought at Michaels and some of the starting blue.  We used the starting blue so the colors can relate.  It’s like what we did for the soccer ball.

     Since blue and yellow makes green I think that it would look cool anyways to add some blue to the green!

     When I painted the sky, we changed the colours from dark blue to a light blue/purple.  This time, we didn’t add any white to the green paints.  My dad said that he wanted the colours to change but he wanted the colours to also stay dark and rich, so we only added yellow to the green paint without adding any more white!

     It didn’t take too long to finish the grass part of this painting!  When it was done, I was very happy because it looked so cool!!

     Then it was time to finish the sky.  The plan was to continue adding yellow to the green and as the paint got closer and closer to the sun, the colours of the balls got closer and closer to being yellow.  By the time I painted the sun, to paint colour was almost a perfect yellow… with just a tiny hint of green.

     Once the sun was painted, there were only three ribbons in the sky left to paint.  My dad and I were both very excited to get this painting finished!

      My dad reminded me that our plan was to paint these last three ribbons an orange colour to represent the sun’s rays.  We used the yellow paint for the sun in these ribbons.  We just added a small bit of red paint to the yellow to create three different shades of orange!

     My dad shared a very useful tip with me about mixing these paints together.  He said that if I squirted a little bit of red into the yellow paint, straight out of the red paint container, that I could accidentally add too much and that would cause lots of problems.  So, he told me to add the red paint to one corner of the paint container so that I could have more control over the amount of red paint that I add to the yellow paint.

     This was a very helpful hint because I soon learned that red changes the colour of yellow very easily… so I only added a tiny bit of red to the yellow paint to create the three orange colours!

     It only took another half an hour until the painting was done!  My dad gave me a big hug and told me that I did a great job!  We were both very happy that we changed the design of the painting because this whole experience was a lot of fun and I learned lots of stuff about how to be an artist!  I hope that we can work together on another painting, sometime soon!

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