Last year I tried out boot camps to introduce new media to my high school graphic design students- the idea is to let them test and learn about the different media quickly instead of doing a multi-week project focused on building skills. You can read about what I did last year HERE.
This year I tried a few different things, listed below.
- Contour line drawing- hands or objects, just focusing on the lines. I brought a ton of still life objects in to the classroom from which the students could choose. I have a collection of old cameras, objects from nature like shells, starfish, and nests, old cooking utensils, etc. Students spent at least a day just drawing from observation using pencil.
- Perspective- one and two point comparison. Assess prior knowledge- what is perspective in drawing? Use block or cube to demonstrate.Show tip in a minute perspective video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROlHybuf7csDo a demonstration of one and two point perspective (block letters and cubes)Choices
- Block letter name or word
- One point perspective street
- Floating forms
- Two point perspective building
- Set up scene with building blocks and draw with one or two point perspective
- Shading- differences in pencils types, hatching, rendering, following contours, blending stumps, start light and build to dark. Create value scale, practice shading a sphere, or shade the drawing started for the contour drawing day.
Let's just pretend my pencils are still organized.
- Ink techniques/Composition- patterned animal. I knew students would need a project that they could work on in a different classroom with minimal supplies while we took school pictures for 4 days. This was pretty much a confidence booster for students.Select animal, draw contour large to fill the space. Optional: take a quiz to choose animal that fits personality. Can add a few anatomical details- eyes, edges of appendages, but should initially look like a coloring book drawing. Next, the students started adding patterns. I talked about how to create a pattern, how to divide space and make composition logical within the animal chosen.
- Color- colored pencil layering and blending, following contours, creating textures, shading with complements, cool colors recede and warm come forward, oil pastels blend to look like paint. Students chose a colorful magazine swatch to match with either colored pencil or oil pastels.
- Charcoal/chalk pastels- Demonstrated charcoal starting with ground and drawing back in with eraser. I talked about how to hold the stick, how to blend, how to fix and protect. I compared and contrasted to dry pastels and explained the difference between oil pastels and 'chalk' pastels. Students explored one or both media for the class period.
- For the last part of boot camp, students were to make a completed still life drawing using any of the media covered. They had the option of working back into a drawing started during boot camp or starting something new. A couple students decided to try the ArtProf challenge of creating a charcoal self portrait from observation and I let them substitute that.
Probably half of the still life drawings have not yet been finished (or not turned in) and we're nearing the end of the semester. They had time at the end of boot camp to finish up the patterned animals and still life, and I said they could come back to one if they finished another assignment early later in the semester. I encouraged students to bring in an object that was meaningful or interesting to them for their still life drawings but most didn't, and then weren't that engaged with the object they chose from my stash. Or at least not engaged enough to spend multiple class periods on it. I don't know exactly how I will handle that part of boot camp next year, but I was pretty pleased with how it went introducing media and practicing some skills. Soon I will share about what we did for painting boot camp this year and then move on to our first themed project- Unsung Heroes!