SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 8: Color & Detailing Graded Assessment

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L8: Color & Detailing Graded Assessment

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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This was the last assessment for my freshmen for the school year. Knowing that the school had a printing office, I decided to see if I could make worksheets for this assessment, and it worked out.  I wanted my students to think about how they could achieve a design objective with as much creativity as they could flex within limits.  (They say that creativity is about working with limitations, after all.)  Xavier School has a system for assessments called GRASPS, which is a guide for creating “authentic assessments” that mimic real-world demands.  The mimicry isn’t always perfect, or close to perfect, as a lot is fictional; it’s close to roleplay, actually, with students having to imagine that their audiences are film producers, art critics, contest judges, and so on.  (I used the GRASPS system for previous assessments.)  Based on what I wanted to do, I didn’t feel like the system would work, so I abandoned it for a creative brief.

I had 12 sets of worksheets, ranging from “Notorious Outlaw Bandit” to “Holy Good King”.  (Download the set here.)  Drawing guides were included on the sheets to help ensure that I was testing really was color and detailing (and technique).  As said in the slides for this assessment, they could interpret the words however they wanted.  I had a student create a cyborg for “Warrior Guardian Monk”; he explained that his concept was a monk from a Temple of Mars.  (I’ll put up some of their work here later on.)

In hindsight, I could have made it more fun by changing the “role” of the students from job applicant to actual character designer.  Something for next time, for sure. 🙂

PS It was embarrassing to have printed out worksheets that featured guides with wrong proportions.  Why did I alter the original?!  Ah, an art teacher’s learning curve…

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 7: Color

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L7: Color

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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I modified last semester’s lesson on color to fit the medium (coloring pencils) and the subject (character drawing).  The lecture was done during the first meeting; they colored one of their inked drawings from the previous lesson.  Color meanings and psychology are a lot to take in, and some of my students ended up not thinking about the reason for their color choices, or worse, not bothering to use the color wheel.  (“Random” was a word I heard often.)  That led me to add a few “Tips” slides, which I repeated during the second session, whether I said it during the first or not.  There was some pretty cool works from this project; I’ll try to scan a few and setup a digital exhibit of sorts.

38-ish students is really too big a classroom size.  I like to go around and give personalized advice for my students while they work, since everyone progresses at a different rate.  Sometimes I have to keep myself from addressing someone’s work for too long, and I wish I didn’t have to.  Speaking of classroom size, that’s the main reason why I didn’t order coloring pencil sets greater than 12 per box: consider the nightmare of fixing misplaced pencils from boxes of 36, a box each for almost 40 students.  (;゜0゜)

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 6: Contrast, Pattern – Detailing

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L6: Contrast, Pattern – Detailing

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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I originally planned to move on to topics that went beyond character design, but I decided not to leave things too basic.  I wasn’t sure whether the activity was going to fly, but it turned out to be the most successful in keeping student interest / attention.  Practically everyone was focused on their worksheets, and it was great to see how far my students took the base drawing.

On the 1st slide after the title page, I asked my students to define contrast in their own words, using the figures shown as guides.  It didn’t seem like they were used to doing things this way; I felt like their gazes showed less thought and more waiting, waiting for me to give them the definition.  Last semester, I did everything traditionally, with dictionary (well, Wikipedia) definitions for every new word or concept my students encountered.  I’m not sure about how effective that is, but I’m sure that they’re not used to it.  There’s only about 3 weeks left for this school year, and I hope to keep from spoon-feeding my students, in spite of the awkward silences that accompany the approach.

Here’s the worksheet for the activity: G9 L6 Worksheet

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 5: Character Design Graded Assessment

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L5: Character Design Graded Assessment

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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As with my previous lesson featuring Concept, Planning, and Execution (Grade 10 Lesson 10), I wanted to reinforce the idea that design is about solving problems.  The context tells us about the direction/s we can take.  “Is this going to work?  Does this appeal to our target audience?  Does it make sense?”  A successful output for this assessment would have to be able to address the project’s requirements; the concept and design always goes back to the audience.  If it doesn’t “sell”, then it’s not going to work.

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 4: Shape, Space – Text Interpretation

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L4: Shape, Space – Text Interpretation

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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The cover of the PDF file and its contents might seem familiar to some; indeed, this is a modified version of the 2nd lesson last semester (G10 L2). I wrote some chunks of text for my students to use for this activity.  There are 4 sets, which I’ve labeled Heist, Fantasy (I and II), and Blood.  In-between the first and second lessons, I ran a diagnostic drawing activity to figure out what my students know, and how they work when they’re given little to no instruction.  I chose text selections for them, at random.  Classes that worked on Heist for the diagnostic drawing activity drew either Fantasy (I or II) or Blood for this activity.

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 3: Character Design, Creativity Tool “Word Chain”

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L3: Character Design, Creativity Tool “Word Chain”

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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I planned to teach figure drawing at this point (3rd lesson), using drawing animals with shapes as a springboard to drawing, well, the human animal with shapes.  After running it for 3 of my 8 classes, I took it out and simplified it.  Most of my students were horrified by the idea of having to use a ruler to calculate (heroic) proportions (8 1/2 heads, if the head is 2 cm, therefore the whole height is 17 and so on).  The math was simple, and yet an incredible number of them froze and flat out rejected everything in the face of having to calculate things.  This lesson was the hardest one I’ve ever taught in class, not because of the subject, but because of my inability to realize the actual difficulty of the lesson.  The odd thing is that the students that did listen to my instructions (and didn’t freak out) were able to draw the figure correctly.  I’m still rather torn, as a side of me believes that the original lesson was fine.  In any case, this version’s a lot simpler.  More students were able to relax and take it in right.  Time will tell if it really worked, though.  (The graded assessment is coming up soon!)

The creativity tool discussed here is the Word Chain.  I took it from the concept of mind mapping, concept mapping, and the idea cloud; I wanted to use a variation of those without having to dedicate a whole period for teaching mind mapping.  I thought it worked well with the use of silhouettes to design.  What do you think?

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 2: Shape, Texture – Animal Drawing

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L2: Shape, Texture – Animal Drawing

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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This is a two-part activity where I made my students look for, then draw with the shapes they see in projected animal photographs, after which I made them practice different tone-and-texture-making techniques with pencils.

As you go through my slides for this semester, you might notice that I keep reiterating the movement from simple to complex, that art is done in steps.  This two-session affair showed me that most of my current students are unwilling to draw more than once per session (gasp!), with most of them becoming bored and inattentive knowing that they were going to draw animals “again”.  I might have chosen something that was simply uninteresting for kids these days; I’ll have to adjust accordingly.

SY 2012-2013 2nd Semester Lesson 1: Line – Contour Line Drawing

Slides: 2012-2013 G9 L1: Line – Contour Line Drawing

Xavier School  |  Grade 9  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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It’s Christmas break here in the Philippines, which means that the 3rd quarter of the school year has ended.  Last semester, I handled the sophomores; I’m now handling the freshmen.  They’re quite different, considering that they’re transitioning from Middle School to High School: to keep it simple, it’s been an incredible challenge keeping most of them focused.

Considering that I’m starting them fresh, I decided to teach them the basics, with line as the starting point.  This activity is supposed to help loosen my students up, a bit like stretching before exercise, but it didn’t seem to work as well as I’d hoped.  I wasn’t surprised, though; one of my slides was dedicated to reminding them not to think about perfection, with a couple others unsubtly suggesting that non-photorealistic output’s fine.  I’m not sure if it’s a school-isolated issue or a sociocultural matter, but an overwhelming majority of my students felt that their work was horrible simply because it didn’t look exactly like the subject.

A few notes regarding this lesson:

1) My students’ interest in the activity itself spiked when they saw that they were drawing a female subject.  However, their confidence dove when their drawing wasn’t “as attractive”.

2) The first picture that featured a statue turned out to be the most well-received subject.  A lot of my students freaked out upon seeing it; most of them were able to create excellent work after the overreaction wore off.  The source of their panic seemed to be the tiny details in the photograph, which allowed me to show (some) of them how a person in the distance need not be drawn with arms and legs (as in the classic image of a stick figure).

3) Not a single class wanted to try to draw the subject I used for the sample artworks. (Side note: I was a bit alarmed when their confusion with the subject’s gender quickly translated into disgust when they learned he was male.  What’s wrong with a guy with long hair?  Open-mindedness is hard to teach, I suppose.)

SY 2012-2013 1st Semester Lesson 13: Movement 2 – Comics Layouting

Slides: 2012-2013 G10 L13: Movement 2 – Comics Layouting

Xavier School  |  Grade 10  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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This was my last lesson for my sophomores; I’m glad I had enough time to make it fit.  We weren’t able to tackle Photoshop, but even if we did have the time, the license / software hadn’t arrived.

We started out with creating a sense of movement in a single page, then to movement through a narrative.  Here, we create a series of images to show the illusion of movement through time.  I’ve included in the slides the parts that I demonstrated live (like part 2.5 in the file).  They were made to choose parts of the stories they wrote during the previous lesson (Movement 1.5 – Narrative Structure), and were then asked to figure out which scenes were more important.  They had one meeting to make sketches and plan their layout, and another to finalize their drawing.

In hindsight, this could have been a major assessment, as all of the previous lessons could be applied here.  It was a bit too tight schedule-wise, though, and I would not have been able to warn my students early.  If you would like to try the activity, check out the selection of work here, then select parts of a story you like (say, #s 3-6 of the 2nd story), decide which scenes are more important than the others, and create your layout.  🙂

SY 2012-2013 1st Semester Lesson 12: Movement 1.5 – Narrative Structure / Exquisite Corpse Writing Activity

Slides: 2012-2013 G10 L12: Movement 1.5 – Narrative Structure / Exquisite Corpse Writing Activity

Xavier School  |  Grade 10  |  by Josiah Gosingtian

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It was always hard for me to get started with drawing.  Blank sheets feel intimidating.  I felt like my marks on these pristine white surfaces would defile them, especially when I’d make a mistake.  Over the years, I’ve tried different ways to kickstart my mind for drawing ideas, and I thought it would be great if I could share them with my students.  I’ve shared one here before (Lesson 3).

The next lesson will be about comics and layouting.  It’s the third and last part of the lesson on movement, and requires my students to use what I’ve taught them before, such as Unity (Lesson 4).  Now, I thought that if I have so much trouble coming up with drawing topics, how much harder would it be to draw a series of images, all tied together by a narrative thread?  I started thinking about my experiences back in college with my writing org, UP Quill.  We played writing games when we felt like it; one of them was Exquisite Corpse…

(I initially wanted to teach my students how to play Renga but it might take too long — I have around 38 students per class.)

EDIT:  I’ve had a few classes do this activity already, and it’s been quite an eye opener.  I really do have to keep the context in mind, such as the fact that this is an exclusive boys school, and they’re in Grade 10.  Just from that, I should’ve warned them to “keep it classy”…  You may have noticed that I have a post here that’s password locked.  I’ll open it up when all of the classes are done with the activity.  It’s definitely interesting, though, some are, um, NSFW.
I’m glad that it worked, though.  I’ve rolled out Lesson 13 already; it seems like my students are enjoying reading each other’s work, and having fun drawing them, too.  Bump my fist!  Do it!


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