Submitted by: Barbara Rhodes, retired art teacher
On this page are a collection of art lessons that involve a Digital Camera and Adobe Photoshop. For the most part, all the lessons take one class period. The media varies from collage and Acrylic Paint to Colored Pencils and Watercolor Paint.
Take one object, like this man on the right, and create three views. Cut them up and reassemble them into an interesting composition. To have a more polished piece of art take the cut up composition and transfer it onto another surface so it goes from a collage to an actual painting or drawing. Instead of a man you might want to try a simple still life. Remember to start simple because it becomes more complex just with the steps that need to be taken. You can always make your art more complex but it is hard to go the other way.
With a Camera
Take at least three if not more shots of a person or object (make sure the object is highly recognizable, such as a bicycle). Keep the same distance for all photos so the subject will be the same size in each. Use three of your best shots. Collage them. You can draw on top of them if you feel it would enhance your art. Take a photo of your art.
A tint is when you add white to a color. You can create a piece of art, objective or non-objective, and unify it by adding white to all of the colors so it becomes pastel in nature. Select your subject. If you are painting you just add white to all of your colors. If you are drawing use pastels and apply white chalk over your whole piece. When you apply the white chalk apply it in diagonal dashes within each color’s area. Do not just take the side of the chalk and cover the paper. That will make a mess. If you wanted to do this in colored pencil you would apply your color and apply white pencil over it or select all light colors. Notice how the painting of the teacups is almost a monochromatic piece. Monochromatic is when only one color and its shades and tints are used.
With a Camera
Take one of your photos and use it as a basis for this piece. It can be interpreted in a realistic, impressionistic or non-objective manner.
On some cameras they have a solarize control that flattens the colors into simpler areas. The easiest way to do this is to take a photo with a camera such as this. The next easiest way to accomplish this is to take your own digital photo and use a program such as Photoshop to solarize it. The other way is to draw an outlined drawing and determine what is dark, medium and light. If you are doing a pencil drawing apply the pencil in dark medium and light shaded defined areas or use line patterns in each section. The line patterns would also have the light, medium and dark shad characteristics. If you are doing it in paint think in terms of paint by number. The dark color is number 1, the medium color is number 2 and the dark color is number 3. There can be more than three values but too many values take away for the flatness of this type of art.
With a Camera
As mentioned above check for a solarize function on your camera. Not all cameras have this function. If it does not then take your photo and upload it to a computer that has Adobe PhotoShop and ‘enhance’ your photo with the poster function. Print the altered photo in a small enough format to be able to use the opaque projector without it getting too big.
On separate sheets of Tracing Paper draw an outline of the basic areas of three or more people in motion or animals or leafy plants, etc. Take the tracings and arrange them so they interlock/overlap and create an interesting composition. If you are drawing this then transfer the image onto Drawing Paper. If you are painting this enlarge the image with the opaque projector. Use cheap colored markers and fine point black sharpie to outline and fill in each area with a different color combination. If you are in painting use Acrylic Paint and Sharpie Fine Point Markers. Be conscious of contrasts (lights against dark and complementary colors placed next to each other). Balance the colors and patterns so the paper does not get too heavy on one side (hold your art up to a mirror to check it).
With a camera
Take your camera to lunch or to a sports game or to football/basketball/softball etc. practice. Take a variety of shots and upload to the computer so they can be printed off. Each shot should be as large as the paper unless you are in painting and want to do a large composition. For a large composition you will use the opaque projector and you will need a much smaller original. If these are your friends you might want to incorporate their initials or name into the patterns that are on their image.
Let one element of your art set off the other element by being unrelated. Emphasize the difference even more by applying your media in two different ways. The background could be underdeveloped and the foreground could be detailed and realistic. Notice how the yellow in the sky “S’s" down behind the largest object in the foreground. Try to tie the two elements together in some subtle way.
With a camera
Combine a photo that was taken by your outside with a photo of a still life that you have taken.
This painting/drawing should take no more than five minutes. First have in mind what object you are going to paint/draw. For painting start with watercolor and a brush tied to a stick. Hold the stick at the very end as you are applying the brush to your paper. This will give you a free flowing stroke. Do a second layer with Acrylic Paint and the stick-brush. Place the colors where you think they should be. For drawing use the ink and a brush-stick to apply the ink to the paper. Start the first layer with watered down ink. Let it dry and do the second layer with stronger ink (not watered down). Some time during this process (drawing and painting) also use the splatter technique. Wear a smock and be sure other people are away from you when you splatter. Be careful of ‘mud’ and overworking your piece.
With a camera
Take a photo of the object that you want to paint/draw. Take the copy (full page) and transfer it onto your drawing paper with acetone. Let it dry and do your quick drawing/painting on top of it.
Once you have finished learning how to draw and shade a face, take it up a notch. Find a photo of a famous person, politician, entertainer, etc. who is easily recognizable. Draw and shade in pencil the person, just like you see him in the photograph. Next, with Colored Pencils, add the clown makeup and wardrobe. Help promote the clown theme with objects and scenes in front and behind the person. Do three or more layers of colored pencil on the clown and fewer layers of colored pencil on the rest of the picture.
With a camera
Take a picture of a person you know (friend, teacher, preacher) and change their image into a clown.
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