Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creation from CREATION because we were created to create

Yesterday was the first day of 2D Design class OUTSIDE. You should have heard the joyous cheering from my student artists as they have been working toward this day for weeks now.

The foci of our latest creative endeavors (yes - there are way more than one) include but are not limited to the following:
  • Learn how to draw and paint from observation
  • Learn how to make marks with greater integrity and of a more "painterly" quality
  • Get a feel for working with wet into wet mediums with oil pastels that will segue us into oil paint
  • Learn how to create space within a work of art using an open palette of colors and their values
  • Working alla prima type fashion
  • Draw less of what we think something looks like (i.e. "lollipop" and broccoli trees) and more of what things really look like

Our set-up to work en plein air utilized the following materials:

Large drawing boards with Blick sulphite paper quickly and simply "stretched" with masking tape 
Individual cups with single servings of one of each color from Crayola's Portfolio-brand Oil Pastels to give each student artist an open palette. Some students also opted to bring a fine-tip sharpie as well.

While the morning gave us plenty of rain, the afternoon provided just the right amount of overcast so it wasn't too sunny or hot to work out in our favorite spot surrounded by lots of interesting looking trees and a great view of the sky for attempts at both treescapes and cloudscapes.

This shot was heavily processed via instagram (my username is DreamPrayCreate, of course!) as the sky wasn't nearly so ominous looking as is pictured. Please pardon the artistic license I took.

And because I am doing my best to fight a horrible cold and flu bug sweeping through my school community and trying to overtake my household, I am barely making it through the day without indulging myself in the only vice that I think I might ever have: an ice cold can of Dr. Pepper bought at a heavily inflated price of $1 from the school store. The way I see it, at least I am supporting the school by indulging myself, right?

Also from my instagram feed. One of the alumnae that follows my instagram stream said the shadow cast makes me look like I am taking in an afternoon smoke or something. *facepalm* I AM NOT A SMOKER. I'm only a drinker of Dr. Pepper.
Anyway, I feel like all I do lately is apologize for not posting things that I said I would on this hear blogsite. Uhm... I have been sick. I have been completely souped up on Nyquil and covered in Vicks Vapo Rub. I have been working my way through TWO graduate school classes for my final month that will completely finish my Masters in Education. I have been doing what feels like eleventy billion other things that don't make sense to me but seem to suck up time that I didn't have in the first place. *shrug* I don't know what else to say other than all of this. *wink*

And I will not end this with another apology OR promise to be back here soon with things that I easily won't deliver.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Back to School Night "Commercial" :: Multimedia Teaching Tools

I know. This is my second Powtoon in a week. I guess you could say I am slightly obsessed with them. *shrug* I can't help it! They are so creatively challenging and fun to make!! Anyway...

My last one was for the students but this one is actually for their parents because I "premiered" it last evening at Back-to-School night in an effort to introduce myself. This one is definitely more elaborate than the last one however it's over half as long in running time (exactly 30 seconds). I think it might have taken about the same amount of creative processing and design time as the last one though and I believe this is because I am just a lot more familiar with how Powtoons work and so I'm getting a lot faster.

I doubt this will be my last one but so far I might like it the best of all. I really enjoyed layering all of the elements, editing in the transitions, thinking about how things should be done in order to visually communicate and SHOW what I was trying to tell the parents of my students.

You might notice that what I didn't do was give a mini lecture about what goes on in my class and this is because we are encouraged not to do that so much as to offer the parents/school community a little bit more of a personal side of ourselves. That's why you didn't see any educational jargon and other bally-hoo of that sort.

One thing I know I want to do though after logging so much Powtoon time already is that I already know that I want to include this as an assessment tool for the Graphic Design student artists. There is just so much range and it's so fun. My only concern is that I don't know that the computer system we have right now can handle it.  Well... I guess there's only one way to find out, right? I'll let you know when that happens.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

PowToon is my new favorite thing!!!

Can't remember where I saw this recently but another brilliant art education blogging teacher used the amazingness that is PowToon web-based design platform to make a really cool multimedia and fully animated and soundtracked video for the purposes of welcoming her students back AND refreshing their memories about classroom rules, procedures, and expectations. The program is sort of like Xtranormal except WAY better. (I mean A MILLION ZILLION times better.) It's currently in beta and mostly free but there is educators discount pricing which was only $60 for the year.

(Too rich for your taste? Well, I plunked down the money because I work with the school's marketing team, I might be able to finagle being reimbursed for it, AND I seriously love it so much I might use it over powerpoint or even Keynote from here on out.)

Anyway, I could not help but be inspired by this new and "shiny" technology and this week we are getting into the whole business of learning how to do critiques (both self and peer) and I thought this would be a great way to introduce the purpose of critiques, the process, and the layout of the goals and expectations. Here is the video short I just finished and while the learning curve started rather steep, it's a lot like iMovie (actually, I felt like it came more naturally to me even) and it was fun to do. You should try it out if you are interested in something new and unique to show your art students how creativity and creation can be stretched beyond paper, canvas, and other such traditional surfaces.

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