Sunday, 27 November 2016

Illustration Course Week 8

This was the final class of the illustration course I've been teaching for The Public House, at least until it starts again in January. The theme for this session was 'working with what's there' and I introduced various exercises that allowed the students to adapt and modify what they found on the page in front of them. These included activities like the 'prepared ground' technique in which students started with a heavily shaded area and then made marks into the pencil tone with an eraser. At the end of the session, the group reflected on all the work that had been done since week one and discussed what they'd found challenging and where they might take their work in future.

It's been a lot of fun to teach this course - the students have been receptive and have always taken on whatever prompt I've given them. Teaching this course has really made me reflect on my own artistic practice too, which is something I didn't expect. I'm really looking forward to January!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Illustration Course Week 7

It's the penultimate week of the adult education illustration course and I decided the focus should stay on creating illustrations based on prompts from classic literature. This week the students were given the task of drawing from selected excerpts from HG Wells' The Time Machine.

The whole group discussed each of the excerpts, making suggestions about the key pieces of descriptive information given by Wells. The students then set about making drawings that suitably conveyed the images suggested by the author's words.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Illustration Course Week 6

The theme for this workshop was 'drawing from literature' and I'd previously selected some excerpts from Mervyn Peake's gothic fantasy Gormenghast. This book (actually part of a trilogy) is rife with vivid descriptive language, so it seemed like a good pick for my illustration group to work from.

As a warm up exercise, I asked my students to work in chalk and create a medieval cityscape with a foreground, middleground and background. I also set my students the challenge of working onto black paper rather than white, so they could see the different kind of effect this creates.

We then spent the rest of the session considering how to create illustrations of some of the characters from the novel. Here's the student's interpretations of the Duchess.

Next week we'll continue to take our inspiration from classic literature, using HG Wells' The Time Machine as our prompt.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Roman Mythology Project Preparation Part 2

I had a free period today so I created some more illustrations for the Roman mythology workbook that I blogged about yesterday. I used oil and chalk pastels on black and brown cardboard to create depictions of Pan, the god or nature, wild mountains and shepherds. I also made some illustrations of Fauna, a feminine deity that has a strong association with Pan.

Finally, I sketched a suitably rustic dwelling for them to live in!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Roman Mythology Project Preparation

I'm planning out a unit on Roman mythology for my younger students and I've been busy creating a series of illustrations for a workbook. The first deities from the Roman pantheon I want to introduce the young people to will be Apollo and Diana. Apollo has associations with the sun, healing, light and poetry and Diana (his twin sister) is linked with the moon, wild animals and woodland. I picked these two characters as I thought they'd provide some suitably rich and evocative themes to work from.

Students will initially progress through their illustrated workbook, researching each deity and identifying their place in the Roman pantheon. After this they will choose one particular deity to provide inspiration for an independent piece, for which they will have a choice of media.

As I said, this project is still in development, but here's some of my illustration ideas!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Illustration Course Week 5

It's already week five of the eight week illustration course I'm doing for The Public House! This course is going by so quickly. I'm really pleased to say I'll be repeating the course again in January next year.

This week the group set about creating sequential narratives based on some of the character-based imagery they'd made a few weeks previously. Students wrote simple narratives based on a completed picture and then broke their writing down into its four most essential story points. They then created a simple thumbnail of a four panel comic strip grid before presenting their work to the group. After discussing each other's thumbnail sketches, each student set about taking their four panel comic strip to second draft phase.

Here's some pictures of the four panel comic strips!