Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

Please click on my page to see my personal artwork and artist statement: http://thehelpfulartteacher.blogspot.com/p/the-art-of-rachel-wintembe.html

Please contact me at thehelpfulartteacher@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Principles of Design and Composition

Fill each triangle in the worksheet below with a linear pattern from the worksheets provided here

Below is a worksheet filled out by one of my students.

Next scan or photograph the finished worksheet and print three copies of it on white card stock. Using liquid watercolors, paint a different color scheme on each sheet.
Sheet 1: Every color you can mix using magenta and yellow
Sheet 2: Every color you can mix using magenta and blue
Sheet 3: Every color you can mix using blue and yellow

Next: Cut up all three sheets into the triangles and put them in an envelope for safe keeping. Use the triangles to explore the 9 Principles of Design and Composition by arranging them on a black background.

Here are a few more good videos on the Principles of Design:

The Principles of Design are Balance, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern, Repetition, Proportion, Rhythm, Variety and Unity.

Right click on the images below to open them full size in a new window. Using the worksheets and this blog post as a guide, create a series of collages with your triangles that express all the principles of design. You may use more than one principle in each design. In order for your design to be considered effective, other people need to be able to guess correctly which design principles your collage is addressing without you telling them.

Many students are confused by the concept of 'Asymmetrical Balance'. Consider the worksheet below. We know the chairs on the right are balanced (obviously, there can be zero debate about that because if the arrangement were unbalanced the chairs would topple over), yet the design is not symmetrical (it's not the same on both sides). 

How can a design be balanced but not symmetrical?

Often professional artists and designers will choose to use an asymmetrically balanced design over a symmetrical one because they wish to create a dynamic sense of movement in their artwork. The design on the right is more dynamic, while the one on the left is more static.

If you feel the need to review the Elements of Art, before plunging in to the Principles of Design, this series by KQED Art School is excellent:

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Role of Technology in Modern Two-Dimensional Animation

Below are some useful videos that I have created that illustrate how to integrate technology into the creative process of modern, hand drawn two dimensional animation. In many cases, we are actually using the digital equivalent of film and cell animation techniques developed by Disney animators in the early part of the last century.

How to take video using a digital single lens reflex camera:

How to upload your video to the program Final Cut Pro and then export it as a series of individual picture frames:

How to draw gesture drawings using a Wacom drawing tablet. You can add another layer to each of your frames in Photoshop and draw a gesture drawing of your cartoon character in the layer above, before deleting the original photo. This is a great way to block action sequences or complex movements.

The video below gives you detailed instructions for using the 'image trace' feature in Adobe Illustrator. This is a fast easy way to turn a photograph into a drawing. You can then import your image into Adobe Photoshop, rasterize it and then transform it into a cartoon.

Below is a quick, easy method for professionally coloring line drawings using Photoshop.

Below is a quick easy method for changing an image to create a sequence of movements using the Puppet Warp tool in Adobe Photoshop. It also shows you how to import those images into the library of the Adobe Animate program.

The video below will introduce you to the Adobe Animate program and show you how to create assets in Photoshop, bring them into Adobe Animate and then create an animation using the timeline. It also shows you how to export your animation to create a video.

The 12 basic principles were developed by Disney animators in the early half of the 20th century and are outlined in the book, The Illusion of Life, Disney Animation. You may view excerpts of the book or purchase it from my storefront on Amazon, by clicking here.

Mrs. Wintemberg's 
Essential Library for Aspiring Animators:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Designing Your Own Cereal Box using Photoshop

You must come up with an original name for your breakfast cereal. The name may be ironic or humorous but may not contain any profanity or sexual references. You must have the teacher approve your design before creating your product. Follow the instructions below and create colorful three dimensional lettering for the front of your box. 

Next, you must design your cereal's mascot. 

Types of cereal box mascots:
1) Cute goofy cartoon human types (leprechaun, fairy, snap crackle and pop, elf, Count Chocula etc).
Attributes: looks like a cartoon like, happy, childlike energetic and mischievous sprite.
2) Cute, colorful animal characters: similar to the human type ones in personality. Some even look like a human in costume (Trix rabbit).

3) Actual piece of the cereal with a face, arms and legs.

Consider your product's target audience. Is the cereal supposed to appeal to children?
Kelloggs Cornflakes Logo, 1957

Or adults?

Read this article to get inspired before you begin designing your mascot:

We have a scanner in the classroom so you may draw your mascot on paper, outline it with Sharpie marker and then scan it. You may also draw it with the tablet directly in Photoshop.

After scanning your cartoon, upload it to your Google Drive so you can access it from your computer. Open it with Photoshop, change the PSI to 300 and click 'select, color, shadows'. Slide the tool until only the black lines are selected. Next, click edit, copy, file, new, edit paste. This will give you a document with only the black lines visible and no additional noise. Next, click select, re-select, edit, fill black. This will give you a crisp black outline. You will then go into the layer below to do all your painting. Click select, de-select, go into the layer below and click re-select. Then click on the brush tool, pick your colors, adjust the width of the brush and begin painting. Here is a video tutorial outlining the digital painting process that professional designers and illustrators use:

Some students may wish to take a photograph and transform it into a cartoon character using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The video below will show you how to accomplish this:

Next, you must create a simple brand logo for your imaginary cereal's parent company. Use the 'less is more' philosophy here. The parent company produces a lot of foods, not just sugary kids' cereal. The logo's aim is to be distinct enough to elicit instant recognition and yet simple enough that it looks appropriate everywhere. Over the course of the last century, all major brand logos have evolved, becoming simpler and cleaner looking over time. Before you begin, take a look at the examples below: 

Logos need to be simple and use limited colors because they are printed very small on all surfaces of the package and need to be instantly recognizable. They are also composed of simple shapes; often a circle, rectangle or square. Below is a video showing you how to create the lettering for your logo using Adobe Illustrator:

Next, you will be required to design a maze for the back of the cereal box. Use http://www.mazegenerator.net/ and save the maze as a PNG. Open the PNG in Photoshop, add a layer and use your mascot as a character, trying to get through the maze to get to the delicious cereal. Add any other details you want to the story.

Save all the assets for your various designs in a folder on your desktop. Twice a week you will need to submit your work in progress via Google classroom. Once you are done creating the above assets, Open up the box template below and begin to assemble your finished design. Consider how you want to design the background color of the box before adding the other assets. Simple, bright colors work best. 

Add the necessary text to complete your design as a finishing touch.