Tuesday, May 26, 2020

3rd grade Landacapes

One of my demos for 3rd grade before Covid-19 was about landscapes. We first watched the PBS Bob Ross Remix because I knew some of the kids liked Bob Ross and because I really appreciate some of his ideas like "this is your world, you're the creator, find freedom on the canvas."
I also just love the video. My husband seriously played the song for me a few times when I was in labor with my 3rd kid! I find it very relaxing. Students do too, high school students still ask me if we can listen to after I play it for them when we talk landscapes!
Next we looked at photos of landscapes and talked about foreground, middle ground, and background, the horizon line, and the element of space. Students who decided to make a landscape (I think all of them did) spent the rest of the first class period sketching out their ideas in pencil.
In the second class period, I demonstrated procedures for watercolor paint and for liquid tempera. We talked about the differences between the two mediums and then the students chose which they wanted to use. Most preferred tempera, but probably 1/3rd chose watercolor. 

Most students spent about 3 class periods on their landscapes, some longer. In the 3rd class, I talked about how to tell if your work is finished and showed how you can add other media like oil pastels or colored pencils on top of paintings if you want.
I really enjoyed seeing what students chose to put in their landscapes. A few represented a real place they had been but most chose to use their imaginations and to make a place they would like to visit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Today I want to show you an instagram challenge that I used as a lesson for my students during continuous learning. I assigned this to my graphic design students and it was later a choice for 7th graders and the rest of the high school students. 
I thought the students would enjoy this since they can use shows they already like as inspiration. I think I will use this next year when we are hopefully back at school but I will probably make some type of planning sheet where students can add images from the style they are researching and take notes on the characteristics of the style. I think this is a good way to learn about being inspired by a style without just copying it. As much as I explained, I still had a few students just draw the regular characters from the show, or choose a character that looked like them without making changes. Working from home, you take what you can get. But I think this lesson has potential!
My example of the #StyleChallenge- I want to redo the Bob's Burgers drawing but I'm pretty happy with the rest.
Click HERE for the Google Doc I used to explain the project. I included lots of examples of other artist's challenges.

What is the Style Challenge?
The style challenge was started by an instagrammer, @beautifulness87. The idea is to draw yourself or a character in the style of different cartoons.

Some popular styles 
  • The Simpsons
  • Powerpuff Girls
  • Your own style
  • Realistic
  • Disney
  • Tim Burton
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Adventure Time
  • Invader Zim

This assignment will show your ability to understand what makes a style and apply that to drawing a self portrait. You will learn to reference images while creating something new and not just copying. 

Your Assignment:
Create at least 2 self portraits in the styles listed above or any of your favorite cartoons. They can be on one page or multiple. You can do more than 2!

Supplies: whatever you have available at home.
I completed my challenge digitally using the free app Adobe Draw. You can use an app, pencil and paper, markers, colored pencils, whatever supplies you can find. If you don’t have drawing paper or copy paper, you can draw on the back of something, a piece of cardboard, the inside of a cereal box, etc. be flexible and get creative.

Turn in: Either a photograph of your drawing(s) or image file that you upload to Google Classroom.

National Visual Arts Standards
VA:Cr1.1.HS1- I can generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Graphic Design CTE Competencies
5. Create and produce content.
6. Create and refine design concepts.
12. Create graphical images.
16. Use available reference tools as appropriate.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Photoshop Warhol Effect

I had planned to do one more digital project for my high school graphic design class after spring break and thought an Andy Warhol-style project would work well for the planned theme of "Multiplicity". Well.... Covid-19 threw a wrench in those plans. 
My students are 1:1 with laptops that all have some version of Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements on them. I thought with my step by step tutorial complete with screenshots and shortcuts it would be no problem! I was wrong, but we still got through. Some students had major issues with their photoshop so we found that www.photopea.com works well for a web-based program. There are really only a few minor differences between photopea and photoshop. Some students just didn't want to or know how to problem solve so I had a couple share their screens with me and I helped them step by step. 
I ended up saying that even if they only got one version done instead of 4, that was ok. I really wanted them to learn to use blend modes and understand changing colors and I think we at least achieved that much!

My tutorial is HERE- feel free to use with your students if it is helpful! If you want to make any changes just go to file, make a copy, and it will give you a version you can change.
My tutorial was inspired by https://www.deke.com/content/how-to-create-dekes-new-improved-andy-warhol-effect-in-photoshop with changes to work better for my students.

Adobe Photoshop Andy Warhol Effect

*Some of you will not have the same version of photoshop but you should still be able to accomplish this task, even if your tools look a little different.
1. Open your chosen image in Photoshop. Photos with simple backgrounds work the best.
2. Use the quick selection tool (w) to select your focal point. Ctrl +C to Copy then Shift+Ctrl+V to paste in place.

Turn the image to black and white. Go to Image > Adjustments > Black and White. Adjust the levels to make sure you have a good amount of contrast. Try 40 for the shadows, 2 for the midtones, and 160 for the highlights, but adjust to work for YOUR photo.
Turn the background image black and white. Go to Image > Adjustments > Black and White. If you need to simplify the background, blur it (Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur) and/or make it very dark or very light by adjusting the levels.

Open the image of canvas texture. Drag and drop it into your document over the top of the photo.
Ctrl+T to resize and stretch the canvas so that it covers the entire document. Apply the transformation.
Click on the canvas layer and change the blend mode on the layers panel from normal to overlay. This will let the texture show through so it looks like it is on canvas. 
Create and label a layer for each feature- in this example I will create a layer for skin, shirt, mouth, eyes, and hair.
On each labeled layer use the paintbrush tool (B) with hardness turned all the way to 100%. Select a color and paint the feature.
Shift select each of the painted layers. Click the 3 horizontal lines at the top right of the layers panel and select new group from layers.
Drag the group behind the figure. Change the blend mode from normal to multiply. 
Select your background layer. Pull up the Hue & Saturation menu (Ctrl+U) and click colorize. Adjust the bars until you like the color of the background.
Save your image as a PSD and as a JPEG.
Use the paint bucket tool or Hue and Saturation to change all the colors on your image and save as a JPEG. Repeat until you have 4 separate files with different color combinations. I named mine Warhol1, Warhol2, Warhol3, and Warhol4.
Create a new document that is big enough to fit 4 copies of your image in it, either in a row or 2x2. Open each JPEG you saved then drag and drop them one at a time into the new document. Use Ctrl+T to resize as necessary.
Save your completed document as yournameWarhol.jpeg. 
Example: MrsMorrisWarhol.jpeg and turn it in on Google Classroom. If you turn in a PSD the file will be really big and take a long time to upload and download, plus you will not get full credit.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Inner Voice

I follow the Art Prof and each month they post an Art Dare. The Art Dare is a technique or an idea that they are asking people to engage with and then share their work on social media. I especially liked the February Art Dare theme of "Inner Voice". It seemed perfect for my 7th graders first idea based assignment. I was hoping to challenge them to make art about an idea, and understand that art doesn't have to be just a pretty picture. The theme also worked well to tie in some social emotional learning.
We started with a slides presentation looking at different styles of art work that were focused on inner voice/what's on your mind/mental health and then the students did some journaling about THEIR inner voice, and both positive and negative things that were on their minds.

The next step was to brainstorm a plan. I gave a starting point of a silhouette style self-portrait to SHOW what's on your mind for students who needed a little more direction and let those who had their own idea go for it!
I was so proud of the students. Several were BRAVE. It's not easy to be vulnerable, especially in middle school, but several took a leap of faith and showed some vulnerability in the thoughts they shared.

I was so pumped that my 7th graders' Inner Voice projects were reviewed in the Art Prof February Art Dare recap! Our clip is here:

via ytCropper

We also got an Honorable Mention!
via ytCropper