Intro to Computing Art // Creature Cartoon

Fall 2016: 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. See how the GIFs turned out HERE.

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.


by Andrea Osby: joyful, shell, smell flower


by Ashley Rude: curious, climb, short legs


by Austin Smith: bashful, antlers, upside down


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


by Kaitlyn Upton: angry, fly, whiskers


by April Porter: webbed feet, anxious, float


by Bethany Smith: surprised, fly, beak


by Brittany Riland: mad, long arms, swing


by Chris Gates: sing, short legs, giggle


by Gerald Wicks: excited, climbing, long tail


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


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


by Olivia Ketchum: happy, sharp teeth, read


by Ryan Guillory: horns, exercise, lazy


by Allie Hanson: long arms, calm, unicycle


by Ann Gray Flowers: mane, bored, smell flowers


by Josie Goodman: squishy cheeks, joyful, upside down


by Meredith Morris: tentacles, mellow, float


by Morgan Helton: beak, sleepy, read


by Ques Nevels: grumpy, webbed feet, skate


by Sarah Ferguson: sad, jumping, shell


by Taylor Knight: big ears, bashful, eat

UPDATE: See GIFs created later during the semester here.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Intro to Computing // Creature Cartoon GIF | Brittany Spencer // Papermaking & Graphic Design

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