Friday, October 21, 2011

cloudy days.

I came across a cool print made by Georgina Hounsome the other day. I liked the multi-panel layout that she used and economic color palette she chose for the print

I thought the 5th graders would enjoy playing with this format as well. They see it all the time in comics or graphic novels, so they are familiar with the compositional format.

When I shared this image with the students we talked about how the dark shapes appear closer than the light shapes. Georgina creates strong depth very simply through the value of the shapes and their size. 

Students had to approach this project as a collage. 

They started with two gray sheets and could cut up one into smaller panels. I asked them to reassemble them on a larger sheet of white so that all the pieces had a white border around them. Once this was done then they could start adding clouds to the individual panels.

The clouds were done with torn paper and the black shapes were cut out, so they were better defined. It was interesting to see and listening to some students that were struggling with the torn paper step. I believe they are so accustomed to drawing the stereotypical type of cartoon cloud that they had a hard time letting go and creating more abstract natural cloud shapes. I emphasized that they couldn't really go wrong with the tearing as long as they had some variety in the sizes of the torn pieces. I also pointed out that overlapping of the different colors was important because it strengthened the sense of depth in the collage.

When students moved on to the black cut paper step, I modeled how to make shapes like light posts and utility poles have added height by drawing them tapering to the top. This changes the perspective of the image to a more realistic eye level. The objects look like we are looking up at them. I modeled a number of other shapes on the board and they could add other things to their images if they had different ideas.

Students glued the completed gray panels onto the white paper at the very end. By waiting to do this they could trim off any excess cloud or object paper and their panel edges would look nice and sharp.

I'm really pleased with the way these turned out. There were a lot of excellent compositions put together in all the classes. Yea 5th graders! 

Thanks for the inspiration Georgina!