Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Photo Journal of the last After-School Holiday Cards making class for Elementary School students

After introducing myself and doing my signature speed sketching demo of a dragon on the dry erase board, I explained the process of decorating the Holiday Cards templates with Crayola markers, Pentel Outline markers, and glitter.Elementary school students (3rd & 4th grade) enjoying the United Arts Council (UAC) after-school Holiday Cards making class.

Coloring stage.
Once the students finished coloring their blank cards with the markers and silver pens, they had the option of adding some sparkling decorative touches with glitter shakers or glitter glue pens.
Using a finished reference card as a guide.
While the Crayola Glitter pens can be a tad hard to control, they can yield some nice decorative results with a steady hand, steady pressure, and some patience.

Students working at the glitter station that was strategically set up right next to the sink and a large trash can to facilitate clean up.

Students with their completed Holiday Card projects and a couple of finished card close up photos.
Crayola marker colored card sample.
Crayola marker + Pentel Outline marker card sample.
Crayola marker + Pentel Outline marker + Crayola glitter glue card sample.
Got mixed feelings about the use of glitter. While the students certainly seemed to enjoy having the option of using glue sticks with glitter shakers or glitter glue pens, there is certainly a tendency to over use it and cover much of the coloring work with excessive amounts of glitter. A few cards ended up in the discard bin since the underlying outline and marker coloring got buried under a thick sparkling layer of red and silver glitter.

A few close up shots of the finished cards.
Batch of finished cards for the Holiday House sale.Once most of the students had completed their first card and the rest were well on their way to follow suit, I started doing a few random quick 3.5" X 5.5" sketches on request. Initially mostly dragons, Batman, several bunnies with their carrots, and a Sponge Bob. At one point a student requested to be drawn, so I did my version of a speed manga cartoon portrait (the idea is to get a quick impression of the subject with the fewest lines possible resulting in a cartoon that would be suitable for a weekly manga series or webcomic). That's when the line of students formed up and I kept drawing the quick cartoon portraits until it was time for them to catch their buses. As much as I enjoy drawing with a resilient brush pen, a soft flexible brush nib is not suitable when trying to complete a full sketch in a couple of minutes. I continue to find the Sakura Pigma Sensei 0.6 mm pigment pen to be a reliable choice for this speed sketching situations. Its sturdy bullet fiber tip holds its shape well while delivering a steady ink flow under demanding conditions. As I was sketching as fast as I could, I overheard one of the students say "I did not know you were that good an artist!" sounding a bit surprised. I guess I should take that as a compliment or that I might need to polish my intro and holiday cards presentation a tad more. I believe the students enjoyed the creative activities nonetheless, and they seemed quite happy with the sketching practice sheets that were made available to them by the end of class. It has been a pleasant learning experience for me as well, and I am already brainstorming future short art enrichment classes on making sets of Kodomo (manga for children) trading cards or Artists Trading Cards (ATC), creating manga short stories with their own characters and guardian pets, fantasy drawing, etc. My sincere thanks to all the Holiday House Leads, Lead Teachers, and adult class assistants at the Immokalee Elementary schools for their hospitality and support during this Miracle Plus Holiday Cards Project.

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