A long time ago I responded to Ian Sands on twitter asking for digital images of children's art that he could offer to his high school students to play with as they learn to animate. Some of his students selected my students "He Came with the Chair" paintings. The animations turned out SO adorable and inspiring-see example below or check them all out here. It has been one of my goals to figure out an elementary level lesson with a straightforward app that would give my students the experience of animating their own artwork in the same style. I think I might have figured it out. This technique isn't perfect, but, it will work.
Don't have to go to Paris to see it!
I just learned by watching a news story on our local PBS station that Whistler's Mother will be on display at the Art Institute of Chicago at the same time that I will be taking my 4th graders there for a field trip. This painting is iconic. I have put this in the category of "famous and important" ever since I was introduced to it as an art student in school. Since I've never been to Paris I had never had the opportunity to view it in person until now. I'm so excited about having the chance to see this piece in person finally! The only draw back is that the Art Institute loaned out the American Gothic in its place. Luckily, it will return by the start of summer but that is when Whistler's Mother will head back to France.
Fun fact: Buried beneath a layer of paint and behind our lego mural wall in Dryden's hallways is a very old replica of Whistler's Mother made by young artists long ago. Perhaps one day it will be uncovered.
Parodies of Whistler's Mother
This artwork is so iconic that it has shown up in many pop culture parodies or spoofs:
Interacting with the painting
As a fun way to introduce and familiarize my 4th grade students with the painting, I thought I would mask out the mother and allow them to become the primary subject. I used the Procreate App on the iPad to paint over her while trying to match the colors and textures of the original painting. Using this masked image, students will be able to enter the artwork with the Green Screen App by Do Ink to make a still image or video. It would be interesting to reflect on how they change the mood and story as they compare it to the original.
Some iPad drawing apps like Procreate and Brushes allow you to record the drawing process as a movie. (Hint: Brushes doesn't allow you to export the file but, you can record the movie as it plays from your iPad through your computer using airserver, quicktime, or reflector apps.) This gives the artist a chance to show the creative process and enhance the viewing experience with music and/or narration for digital storytelling. The following images are scenes from my Snow Flurry Fairy story. Below each image is a process animation where you can hear a snippet of the story as you watch the drawing.
Similar idea: discuss your sketchnotes
I attended a workshop in Washington D.C. on educating students to become innovators. I made sketchnotes in the Brushes app of the ideas shared in our discussions and narrated my notes as the drawing process video plays. When they asked for feedback from the event, I sent them a link to this video.
Similar idea: time lapse video of art-making
Another way to record the drawing process is through time lapse video of a physical drawing. iMotion HD is a free iPad app that I use for time lapse and stop motion animation. These Artist Trading Cards were drawn and captured with time lapse then animated and set to music to help tell the story.
I was thinking about the school year during my first week of summer and realized we had a very winning year….or I just enter my students into a ton of contests until our odds are really good to win something. I also personally entered a bunch of contests, raffles, and giveaways through out the year to win more resources for my students.
One of the contests I entered was an art contest to design the cover for an education conference hosted by the college I took a professional development class with back in January. They wanted an image that matched the conference theme for the Educational Paradigms Conference: Innovation, Diversity, Engagement, Assessment, Leadership for Student Success.
My art was selected! (Yeah!) I used images from my students actively engaged in different learning settings to communicate the theme. I drew the art on the iPad using an app called Procreate. It is a bizzillion layers and took me many sessions to complete. As I was creating I was reflecting on how perfect an art room can be for giving students a chance to explore 21st century skills. I put this 1-minute video together to show how this image was made and the photos of my students used for inspiration.
I decided to create an image that I could upload to Artsonia to have made into a gift for my husband for our 15th wedding anniversary this summer. I drew this illustration using the Procreate app and a bamboo stylus. The app records the drawing process so you can see all the changes, revisions, and choices I made along the way. For example, we both wear glasses but I erased them. Who needs glasses at that distance?
Speaking of illustrations, have you seen the award winning Fugleflick, "Allow us to Illustrate"? View it here.
What better way to get a message out than to embed it into a visually interesting image? Social networks and media sources online are full of memes from others. Why not create your own? There are some easy iPad apps loaded with tools to help you.
Now, go change the world with your messages of bacon and other compelling things (but what can beat bacon?)
I've finally gained enough confidence using inkpad on the iPad to share my findings. This vector based illustration tool is still new and wonderful to me. It forces the user to think in terms of shapes instead of line. It comes with endless forgiveness and revisions that never pixelate when you enlarge. It's perfect for creating a logo that you need blown up to 30 feet or shrunk down to 30 pixels. I don't use it completely as I could, but it's nice to know there is an iPad option similar to illustrator.
Here are some of the images I've created using Inkpad so far:
The best way for me to learn new software, apps, or new tech tools is to dive in and try to make things with them. I'm motivated by my desire to create. As I become absorbed in my creative flow, I troubleshoot, problem-solve, explore the possibilities, make connections to my previous knowledge, and imagine future uses for my new discoveries.
This is what I've been doing this week while shut indoors with the heat wave baking the Chicagoland area. But, this is also what I hope my students do everyday they are in my classroom. The desire to create makes learning fun and meaningful.
I played with these apps: popsicolor, procreate, picture show, instagram, photo shake to digitally paint on the ipad. Learn about my discoveries below.
Click images to view them large.
I also tried using the Doink Express app for this quick animation. We have the full version of Doink at school and made some amazing things with 3rd graders (see this post: The Aliens have Landed). This app is less money but still very powerful (and fun since you can add your voice).
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View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT,
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