Daily Doodle #3

Juju's Daily Doodle #3 - Wolf Girl

Wolf Girl

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Slide Updates

I’ve updated lesson 4’s slides to include the parts that I demonstrate live in class.

Lesson 4 v1 → v1B

It was going well…

A few weeks ago, I chatted with a grade 7 student while fixing the room my club used.

Student: “Sir,you look young. You look like you just graduated.”
Me: “Yeah, I get that a lot!”
Student: “Also because you still have that during puberty voice.”
Me: “I… yeah.”

Daily Doodle #1

Juju's Daily Doodle #1

Random Evil-Looking Character

SY 2012-2013 1st Semester Lesson 4: Perspective, Unity

Slides: 2012-2013 G10 L4: Perspective, Unity

Xavier School  |  Grade 10  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

M4 Sketchy Dudes

Applying perspective takes a lot of work, which is why I suggested that my students make thumbnails first.  It helps to have a lot of thumbnails to choose from; going straight to the actual work can waste time if you end up disliking the design.

While doing the steps in the practice slides, think about what happens when you place objects beside each other on the space.  How would it look if you put something above the box?

I deal with these questions by doing a demo in front of my class.  I show them how to draw, say, a train or a house, objects that have multiple parts.  A house would have walls, and for regular ones, a roof.  If the roof is a pyramid shape, you can figure out where to place the center tip by taking the midpoints of the sides of the shape (the base) created by the intersections of the lines from the vanishing point (phew, quite a mouthful) and connecting them to the point on the opposite side.  You’ll have a cross shape.  Draw a straight vertical line from that point (yes, perpendicular to the horizon line).  Figure out how high you’d like your pyramid to go by placing a dot on the vertical line.  Connect the dot to the corners of the base.  Erase the guides.  BOOM!  Shelter.

Think of it like Legos.  You can build all sorts of things with using perspective lines!

A bunch of my students started freaking out when I got deeper into the lesson, which made it harder for me to advance.  It was a wall of sound, man.  “So hard,” they shouted.  “We can’t do that.”  But when I looked at what they did when we did it step-by-step, I could see that they got it.  They could do it.  So with my next classes, I decided to let them freak out before my lesson.  Make all the noise you want to make for 5 seconds.  It seems like it energizes them and it helps them focus on the lesson more.  So if you’re stuck with something, anything you’re doing, go somewhere and scream your lungs out!  YEAH!  Just don’t forget to get back to work. 😉

To my students who are reading this, consider: you were able to do it.  Step-by-step.  You got the basics, and that’s really all you need to build your backgrounds.  Some of you felt intimidated by the idea of even just starting the project, but believe in your ability; you were able to do it earlier, so don’t give up now. 🙂

SY 2012-2013 1st Semester Lesson 3: Dominance, Scale, Creativity Tool “Word Table”

Slides: 2012-2013 G10 L3: Dominance, Scale, Creativity Tool “Word Table”

Xavier School  |  Grade 10  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

M3 Bear

There’s one slide there that has a very blurry image of a character fighting something in a city.  I hope that it’s recognizable, but in any case, it allowed me to ask my students if they knew who Ultraman was (they did).  Ultraman is an excellent example of the concept of scale.  Ultraman fights monsters to save Japan from destruction.  Conventional weaponry doesn’t work.  Normal people are unable to make a dent on the large enemy; Ultraman is their only hope.  Now, Ultraman is Shin Hayata, who isn’t always a giant guy in a form-fitting suit.  He’s the most capable member of the Science Patrol in Japan, but if you take away his ability to transform into Ultraman, he’s a regular guy, like all of us.

Contrast the size of the normal humans (who can’t do a thing against the aliens / monsters) and Ultraman (who is the being the humans rely on for salvation).  Imagine yourself watching a battle between Ultraman and a giant beast in your city.  The beast delivers an attack that devastates Ultraman, and you can see his chest blinking; he’s in trouble.  He’s hurt and vulnerable.  If he loses, everyone loses.  Can you feel the helplessness, and that urge, that wish for Ultraman to win?  (We’re all still alive and reading this blog entry, so I’m glad he hasn’t lost yet.)

In the slide that showed the winged character, a lot of my students thought that it wasn’t just the wings that got bigger, but the whole character.  It really was just the wings, though.  It gave him a larger silhouette, which translated into the character occupying a larger space on the page, which means that he could command more attention than a smaller subject.

When you draw your characters, what happens when you make parts of it really small?  What about when it’s really big?  A figure with a small head on a large body would give a different impression compared to a figure with a large head and a small body.

The word table is there for those days when you just don’t know what to draw.  Feel free to add more words, and even change the word types for your own word tables!  For extra challenge and fun, pick words at random.

SY 2012-2013 1st Semester Lesson 2: Shape, Space

Slides: 2012-2013 G10 L2: Shape, Space

Xavier School  |  Grade 10  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

M2 Silhouettes

The point of this activity is to show a different way of approaching drawing.  In the first lesson, we were all about the details, like where to place the nose, the eyes, and so on.  This time, the focus is on the form.

In movies and video games, characters need to be recognizable as quickly as possible.  Especially with moving images, where you may have only a few seconds to show a particular character, establishing their silhouette is a reliable and fast way to make them recognizable.  Picture a large, looming figure with horns, webbed wings, a tail and a pitchfork.  Even without the details, you’d probably conclude that this is someone you can’t approach for directions (unless you’re goin’ down).

In the slide that shows Queen Victoria’s silhouette, the text selection gives clues as to how we recognize silhouettes.  The shapes give us information; we see the crown at the top, which allows us to conclude that the person is of a royal house, and then there’s her chin, which gives us a clue about her age.

To be clear, the foreground isn’t always solid black.  It’s only for the sake of the topic (silhouettes).  It’s possible to have silhouettes in the middle ground.  For example, if you have a character that is walking out of a fire, the brightness of the fire will make the figure a silhouette.  Lighting matters.  You may have heard of the statement “against the light” (in photography), and what happens there is that the subjects become dark and lose detail.

I emphasized the fact that I have to be able to figure out what’s going on in my students’ dream scenes with just one look, and I’m glad that in spite of some fear regarding the perceived difficulty of the activity, they were able to create recognizable forms with stories that were fleshed out as they divided the space into foreground, middle ground, and background.

There was a warrior that leapt from a dragon flying above a burning city.  There was a submarine exploring a strange underwater domain.  There was a basketball player about to throw a game-breaking shot.  There was a guitarist playing before a massive crowd.  It was fun watching my students show me their dreams.  Yeah, back then, I wanted to have a dragon, too.

SY 2012-2013 1st Semester Lesson 1: Line, Shape, Value, Texture – Self-Portrait

Slides: 2012-2013 G10 L1: Line, Shape, Value, Texture – Self-Portrait

Xavier School  |  Grade 10  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

M1 Self-Portrait Guide

One of the things I noticed during my classes was that most of my students were not sure where to start when I asked them to tell me what they could glean from the self-portraits in the slides.  I remembered my younger brother during a trip to Musee d’Orsay, who asked me what I look at when I look at paintings.  He didn’t seem to be very interested or excited by the prospect of staying in a museum — which is fine, I’d say — but I gave him an answer that could be compressed into one statement: I look at artworks part by part.

Most of the time, I look at the image as a whole, then I move to what my eyes are attracted to first.  It could be a specific subject on the image, or colors, or brush strokes (texture), and as I move from one part to the next, my interpretation / opinion is slowly built.

In class, I often stress the importance of doing things step-by-step.  We learn the most from the process, but most of us have been trained to value only the end product, be it one’s grades at the end of a year or a finished painting.  Each step is loaded with information that becomes ignored when we’re too focused on the end.  Pardon the cliche, but it’s about the journey, not the destination.

What kind of expression does the artist have in his self-portrait, and what might this say about him?  What about his clothing, or objects he’s interacting with?  Even the background can give us a lot of information regarding the artist; it’s not “just clouds” there.  In this sequence of questions, you might have noticed how someone’s eyes might have moved to search for answers.  From the face, we moved to the rest of the body, then to objects that might be in front of the subject, then to the back.  Part by part.

As you go through the slides, ask yourself why an artist might make a self-portrait.  You’ll have a bunch of answers; try to see how these connect with the answers you had to the questions above.  For example, if you answered “vanity”, how do you think that would affect how the artist portrays himself?  He might paint himself wearing better clothing, or remove a few blemishes.  Consider: Durer was an artist whose self-portraits were like advertisements showing his skill and success.

The activity emphasizes the importance of taking things step-by-step.  If you make a mistake with the shape or position of your jaw, all of the guide lines will be skewed and the portrait will look odd.  Relax.  Again, don’t think about how it might turn out.  Focus on how you’re drawing each step.  Does it look right?  How does it make you feel, and why do you think you feel that way?

A good tip: the nose is a major feature of the face, and its position allows it to be a “visual anchor” for all the other parts of the face.  Even if you don’t use the guides, you can estimate the distances between parts in relation to the nose.

You may have noticed that I made my students use iPads.  The original plan was to have them use pocket mirrors, but the order didn’t arrive.  I had to improvise.  If you want to try the activity, I’d suggest that you use a mirror, too.

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