Thursday, 12 May 2016

Action Cartooning

This lesson is about exploring the visual language of cartooning. Students will learn about simplification in drawing and distilling their chosen subject down to its most essential visual elements. They will also learn about visual dynamism and bringing a level of implied movement to their work. Finally, they will work in a bold and bright colour scheme to give their work impact.

The lesson is easily adaptable to any age group, but I tend to use it for 11-13 year olds. My students always use pencil, sharpie and acrylic paint, but this is also adaptable to your resources.

You can introduce the lesson with some Youtube clips of any cartoon. It's generally best to use one that's already familiar to them, so I tend to show a clip or two from Adventure Time. When the action gets to a particularly dynamic point, pause the video and have the kids focus on the pose and position of the figures in the frame. If your students are kinaesthetic learners you could even get them to assume the poses of the characters.

Students can then start their practical work. They should take a pencil and produce a quick sketch of a character (of any sort) in motion. I always ask them to imagine that what they're drawing is one frame from an animation, just to get them thinking about movement. If students are unsure of what to draw, you could make suggestions about sports activities or the movements of particular animals.

When they're happy with their drawings, they can go over the pencil lines with sharpie and then paint their work in a bright, vibrant colour scheme.

Here's some examples of work from this lesson!

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