Monday, June 25, 2018

Movie Poster Design

Usually summer break is when I can get caught up on blog posts from the previous school year but this summer has been a little different! We recently moved to a new house in the country with a bigger lot that will allow for the creation of an even bigger butterfly garden, space to grow some vegetables, lots of room to play outside, AND it has a building that was previously a potter's studio! Eventually, when we get all the boxes unpacked, that space will become my studio and will have room to host workshops and teach classes. We just got internet hooked up a few days ago and on top of moving, remodeling, unpacking, etc., I'm due with our 3rd baby, like 2 days ago.

So, without further ado, here is a lesson that I've used the last 2 years in my high school computer graphics class. 2 years ago, I had a student enrolled in the class who was planning to major in film at university and would talk about the scripts he'd written. I started thinking about how cool it would be to make a life size movie poster for one of his films, as well as how many of our CTE competencies could be hit with a movie poster design project. Movie posters have emphasis and heirarchy, they give you hints at the story without giving away EVERYTHING, and they use color as a design element. 

I first asked students to come up with a movie concept- this could pretty much be anything appropriate for school. Some did parodies or mash ups, some did spin offs of series they enjoyed, and some made completely new ideas. The students filled out a simple google form with questions about genre, a short synopsis, etc. just to help them think it through.

After planning the idea, the students created thumbnail sketches to help plan the composition. They were supposed to create 3 sketches and get feedback from classmates on which was the most effective.

Next, we watched a short video on how color is an important storytelling element in films. The students were asked to choose a screenshot or poster from a movie, tv show, or video game in the same genre as the poster they were planning and sample the colors. I later showed how they could use the hue and saturation and color balance tools in photoshop to adjust the colors of the photos they were using.

The students then gathered images- either creating their own (preferred method) or using images labeled for reuse. We had digital cameras, scanners, graphics tablets, and our software available for use. The posters were designed to either 24x36 inches or 16x20 inches. Our school has a large poster printer so it was really fun to print the poster from the furture film-creator student at 24x36 inches and display it at League Art. He was a student who didnt' see himself as an artist so it's always extra fun to see a look of satisfaction on a "non-artist's" face when they are proud of their work.

 I recently posted the lesson plan with links to the plan document, rubric, etc. on the smARTteacher so feel free to head over there and check it out!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Courbet's Realism: TAB Art History

I love art history. I really, truly do. So often art teachers fall into the trap of thinking students need to imitate an artist's style or a famous piece in order to show a connection. I've done this at times in the past, but what I most like to do is look for the BIG IDEA with the artist's work, and move forward from there.

I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney's online Master's program in Art Education in 2016. I really enjoyed all the coursework and how I was able to make the work I was doing in the classes fit my teaching style. When I took the art history class, my goal was to create the lessons inspired by the unit we'd covered fit in with my TAB-Choice teaching. Some previous examples I've shared were American Regionalism & Contemporary Communities and Monet & Impressionism: Drawing from Memory v. Drawing from Life, which became part of our drawing boot camp. Courbet was introduced on Art History Thursday so students had time to absorb his ideas of what is REAL and to take photos from their own lives before jumping in to a studio project the following week.

The most important idea I wanted students to get is that their own lives are worthy of representation in their artwork! You can see the full lesson plan on the smARTteacher.

We had lots of representations of pets, places that are meaningful, friends, and even favorite candies. I love the range of subject matter created!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Franz Marc Discussion for National Standards

Last year I developed a one day lesson at the beginning of a unit on color to knock out several of the Respond and Connect National Visual Arts Standards for 7th grade. I wanted to choose an image with a subject that was familiar to the students in my rural school, but presented in a way they might not be familiar with- many of my students are very concrete in their views on art and prefer realism. Franz Marc was a good choice with the bright colors in his German Expressionist paintings of horses and cows- animals my farm living students see on a daily basis.

We started with a Visual Thinking Strategies style discussion and then moved into questions specifically connecting to the standards. 

You can get the complete lesson plan on The smARTteacher!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Digital Op Art

I can't believe I haven't posted this project before! I tried it for the first time with my Computer Graphics class this year and it was a keeper. We covered art history, graphic design, and practiced some new skills in photoshop.
When I show the first slide without the Op Art title, I ask the students if they know what that style of artwork is called or if it reminds them of anything to gauge their prior knowledge. We talk about the "mother" and "father" of Op Art and what we can learn to apply to graphic design.

Next, I demonstrate some techniques in photoshop that the students can try out but ultimately they choose what style of Op Art they want to use. We talk about color combinations, grid/ruler tools, gradient tools, distortion filters, etc.
The technique that the most students want to use is to put text into their Op Art. I recorded a quick video this afternoon of the steps we use. I obviously need to practice screen recording since I flubbed the beginning and end, but at least it will be handy to direct students to that video when they've forgotten a step!

Here are some of the student examples!