Intro to Computing Art // Creature Cartoon

In Intro to Computing, students learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. In the past, their first project was creating an illustration based on an idiom in Illustrator. It was time to retire that project for awhile and try something new that challenged fresh ideas. This semester, I teach 3 sections of Intro to Computing for a total of about 40 students.

I am proud to admit that this new project was something I conceived on my own! For Creature Cartoon, each student pulled words out of separate bags– one for a physical trait, one for an action, and one for an emotion. Then they had to illustrate a unique creature that accompanied all those traits successfully in Illustrator.

After receiving their words, students brainstormed and submitted a series of thumbnails of their ideas, which were then narrowed down to their top three when I visited them in class one-on-one. Those three were turned into well-drawn comps that were drawn with Sharpies and Micron pens, and critiqued by their entire class. The best drawing was scanned into Illustrator, and vector shapes were placed on top. The focus of this Illustrator project was learning the Pen Tool and conducting organized layer management.

For even MORE fun, my students turned their illustrations into animated GIFs when we started the Photoshop segment. I will write a separate blog post on that soon!

Below are some illustrations that were turned in. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

section1_andrea-osby_creature_joyfulshellsmellflower_marley-01

by Andrea Osby: joyful, shell, smell flower

section1_ashley-rude_creature_curiusclimbshortlegs_sticky-01

by Ashley Rude: curious, climb, short legs

section1_austin-smith_creature_bashfulantlersupsidedowngiraffaconstrictor-01

by Austin Smith: bashful, antlers, upside down

section1_hannah-livingston_creature_boredtalkingonphonesharpteeth_wesleye-01

by Hannah Livingston: bored, talking on the phone, sharp teeth

section1_kaitlyn-upton_creature_angryflywhiskers_melvin-01

by Kaitlyn Upton: angry, fly, whiskers

section3_april-porter_creature_webbedfeetanxiousfloat_sail-01

by April Porter: webbed feet, anxious, float

section3_bethany-smith-creature-surprisedflybeak-geegle-01

by Bethany Smith: surprised, fly, beak

section3_brittany-riland_creature_madlongarmsswing_uggo-01

by Brittany Riland: mad, long arms, swing

section3_christopher-gates_creature_singshortlegsgiggle_songster-01

by Chris Gates: sing, short legs, giggle

section3_gerald-wicks_creature_excitedclimbinglongtail_scansorialsaurus-01

by Gerald Wicks: excited, climbing, long tail

section3_laurahicks_creature_squishycheeksafraidsmellingflowers_beedo-01

by Laura Leigh Hicks: squishy cheeks, afraid, smell flower

section3_maryemilymoore_creature_bigeyesbrokenheartedeat_fuzzler-01

by Mary Emily Moore: big eyes, broken-hearted, eat

section3_olivia-kethum_creature_happysharpteethread_triroceros-01

by Olivia Ketchum: happy, sharp teeth, read

section3_ryan-guillory_creature_hornsexerciselazy_grumbalodile-01

by Ryan Guillory: horns, exercise, lazy

section4_alice-hanson_creature_longarmscalmunicycle_granola-01

by Allie Hanson: long arms, calm, unicycle

section4_anngray_flowers_creature_maneboringsmellflowers_flowerchild_ai-01

by Ann Gray Flowers: mane, bored, smell flowers

section4_josie_goodman_creature_squishycheeksjoyfulupsidedown_wild_chimahusky-copy-01

by Josie Goodman: squishy cheeks, joyful, upside down

section4_meredithmorris_creature_tentaclesfloatingmellow-01

by Meredith Morris: tentacles, mellow, float

section4_morgan-helton_creature_beaksleepyread_karen-01

by Morgan Helton: beak, sleepy, read

section4_ques-nevels_creature_grumpywebbedskate_solestealer-01

by Ques Nevels: grumpy, webbed feet, skate

section4_sarah-ferguson_creature_sadjumpingshell_sheela-01

by Sarah Ferguson: sad, jumping, shell

section4_taylor-knight_creature_bigearsbashfuleating_rosie-01

by Taylor Knight: big ears, bashful, eat

Design I // Line Explosion

My Design I class is a sweet group. I have 15 girls and 2 guys. (Where are the creative major guys these days?!) Most of them are Interior Design majors, but I also have a few representing Fine Art, Photography, and Floral Management.

For their first project, we focused on line and the psychological meanings of straight and curvy line work. Students chose 1-3 adjectives to illustrate using line, creating a “line explosion.” The medium used to depict these lines included Sharpies and Micron pens of different thicknesses, and good craftsmanship was emphasized. They were to also implement the elements and principles of design in their work.

Elements: line, shape, mass/form/volume, space, value, color, texture, time/motion.
Principles: balance, rhythm, repetition, unity, variety, size/scale/proportion, emphasis/focal point.

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

anna-terry_line_fluffyprickly

by Anna Terry: fluffy, prickly

caroline-fitzwater_line_confusion

by Caroline Fitzwater: confusion

elise-sears_line_mellowawkward

by Elise Sears: mellow, awkward

karleigh-harfst_line_violentdeepwrinkled

by Karleigh Harfst: violent, deep, wrinkled

marykatherine-swindoll_line_noisywhimsical

by Mary Katherine Swindoll: noisy, whimsical

megan-henry_line_frustratedgrouchy

by Megan Henry: frustrated, grouchy

megan-norman_line_angryaggressive

by Megan Norman: angry, aggressive

ashtyn-carpenter_line_exciteddeepmighty

by Ashtyn Carpenter: excited, deep, mighty

Papermaking with Anya

Anya is a sweet friend of my neighbors. She spent a few hours with me a couple mornings during the summer to learn how to make paper. We had a great time together! Here are some photos from the session. She loved making paper! (Isn’t she just adorable?! And she’s just as sweet, too.)

img_8381

Design I // Stop Motion Animation Final

For my Spring 2016 Design I class, I decided to do something different for their final project to focus on time and motion. When I was a graduate student and instructor of record at Louisiana Tech University, my Basic Design class produced stop motion animation films for their final project. With technology speeding ahead these days, I thought it was time to bring this project to Mississippi State University.

Students had to produce a one-minute stop motion animation consisting of photography and sound. Creativity wise, the sky was the limit! The best video-editing software available to them were Apple iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. The more frames per second that were compiled, the smoother the video appeared. To put this into perspective, the Wallace & Gromit 30-minute shorts were shot close to 20 frames per second, adding up to be around 35,000 shots per video. That’s a bit extreme for my students, so they were encouraged to place at least two frames per second. We also watched short films by Disney and Tim Burton, and the hilarious YouTube classic “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On“.

It was a challenge for students to work on an art project of this scale, especially if they were new to video-editing software. However, they were very proud of themselves for figuring out such a feat. We had a lot of fun in both sections eating snacks and watching everyone’s videos, and celebrating the end of another school year!

Below are some examples of what was submitted. So turn up your audio and be entertained by these one-minute shorts!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

Mimi Sheppard

 

AK-Russell

 

Jeremy Hamilton, "Brains"

 

Emory Endicott

 

Malik Henley

 

Mary Hannah Ruff, "Words"

 

Anna Katherine Surholt

 

Gabrielle Martinez

 

Elizabeth Costa

 

Kyle Murphy

 

Olivia Williams

Design I // Space & Perspective Final

For Fall 2015 Design I’s sixth and final project, we focused on value. Students drew a complex shape incorporating only 90° angles, and had to turn it into a 3D form, rotating and moving it through space using acrylic paint. For tough angles that were harder to imagine, they downloaded apps such as Think 3D and SketchUp, or built their shape the old-fashioned way with Legos and turned the shape in hand. They implemented the one-point perspective system of drawing to exaggerate their forms at particular angles. It is a mind-boggling assignment, and challenges students to think beyond what they have done on a flat surface. As always, craftsmanship is important and the image must include a full range of grey scale values.

Below are some of the pieces that were submitted. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

Annie-Kesler_Perspective

by Annie Kesler

Christine-Smith_Perspective

by Christine Smith

Hannah-McCain_Perspective

by Hannah McCain

Jessi-Holloway_Perspective

by Jessi Holloway

Kaitlynn-Harness_Perspective

by Kaitlynn Harness

Wrenn-Parrish_Perspective

by Wrenn Parrish

Zynettra-Woodard_Perspective

by Zynettra Woodard

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