I found a few pics that I thought could make a very nice project. The pics showed funny, pig-like heads that were painted wacky colours. I made a simple structure using a balloon and recycled material and then added paper mache over this. This was then painted.
The actual sculpture built I then came up with a fun extention of the lesson. I showed the learners work by Sandy Skottnes as well as South African, Jane Alexander. These two artists, in very different ways, made sculptures and then photographed them in relation to life. I also showed them a few pics from non-fine art photography like this blog.
We took our sculptures outside, placed them in strange situations and then took photos of them! These pics I quickly took, just to explain the lesson to the learners. They were also useful in pointing out some ideas about photography.
I found this idea online a while ago and I was itching to try it! You take a small piece of card and draw a simple landscape (or whatever you want) on it. You then take play dough (the school I work at is in the fortunate position to have some store bought play dough though you can make as well) and using earbuds and your fingers you smear the dough over your page. You can then take sticks and scratch into it. It’s far from a perfect media but very fun and we all loved it!
So I had my superhero photos ready. I chose the two that I thought were most attractive/ communicative. These I pulled into Photoshop, made it B&W (by making a solid black layer set to color), added a dark vignette, played with the levels a bit and added a simple filter. I felt that this would be easy enough to teach in any class as it only really requires one computer. They looked like this:
Having chosen my background image and decided on my superhero characteristics, I needed to think about the font I would use as well as finalize a logo. These would then have to be traced (manually again) onto paper, cut out and then pasted down onto the printed image. I never enjoyed doing this when I was at school or university as I do struggle to be neat and careful with it.
The final image, when I was done, looked something a little like this:
The final image, advertising my new superhero “Golden Raptor” and his super powers
So that was it. Doing this project reminded me of some of the constraints of a student in school. When I finished school and varsity I went with the computer way of doing things and didn’t look back. I forgot about the battle of keeping things neat and tidy when working with scissors and glue! Whether learning to do things by hand first is better is a moot point. In South Africa, it is not possible to move onto computers earlier as many of the kids don’t have access to one and doing so would just widen the gap.
So I had an idea of some of the cool, eagle-like abilities that I wanted my superhero to have. I started brainstorming and jotting down some ideas. I soon came up with a pretty cool superhero. I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the wings (they’d be impractical for a superhero to walk with – and he can’t fly ALL the time) but I was happy:
The Superhero I envisioned
I now had to dress up like the hero… No mean feat, and you will laugh!
The temptation was there to just take a pic of myself and add in the extra details in post using Photoshop. I had to be firm with myself however as I wanted to see what it would be like to do this project as a learner in school. All I had at my disposal was what I could find around the house…Some paper, toilet rolls, towels and clothing! Not much to go on.
I started by wrapping paper around my one hat and putting this on backwards. I then taped blue play dough to my face and stuck the beak on with this. Finally I scrunched half the inner toilet rolls in each eyelid, took three butter knifes between the fingers and, wearing a long sleeved black top in the sweltering heat I was ready!
Evil doers be ware!!!
Tomorrow I’ll reveal the final poster…
I was recently doing a teaching practice at Alexander Sinton High School here in Cape Town. Coming from an animation background I decided to do a flipbook animation project with the grade 10 class, something I would have loved.
I scanned in two of the students work, chose a backing track, rendered it in after effects, et voila!
Drum roll please…