Friday Two Cents: What A Piece Of Work Is A Man


 

This past week I have been enjoying my vacation time by indulging in some of my favourite pasts. Bike rides and walks along the lakeshore, reading, writing, drawing and painting. During these long periods of activity, my mind has been free to wander and think of endless possibilities and things that are right in front of me.

The best way to make any sense of what I have been thinking can be best said from a quote in Shakespeare’s Hamlet …

Hamlet
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god!

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2.

 

Hamlet said this little speech in irony. Perhaps Hamlet intended to fend off the questions or nosy inquiries from the kings’ spies, yet he finds nothing too impressive about man (humanity). Yet what Hamlet says in irony I take as my conviction.
During my activities I have had time to reflect on what we (humans) have done with our time on this planet. For I have seen the evils of what man can and have done to their fellow-man, yet I have seen many examples that man has the capacity to do good as well. Art has given me the means to look into the soul of humanity and try to understand what makes us tick. Engaging in my own art projects helps me to understand the soul of humanity and our desire to understand the world around us. What other creature on this planet can create something as breathtaking as the Mona Lisa or apiece of street art I see in downtown Toronto. All of this is an expression of us trying to understand why we are here. Art has developed and grown as our civilization has grown. Humanity’s journey of self-discovery and understanding can be reflected in its many forms of artwork. In many ways our art is a window into our very soul.
My own exploration and experiences in art has given me some insights, yet I am far from finding the answers to these questions; but I know the journey is worth it. Lao Tzu once said …

 

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ Lao Tzu

I would add to this …
“Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.” Paul Gauchi
  

Here’s to the journey into the soul of humanity and my own.

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Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Lord Awesomeness


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters could have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference, I told them and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the next few weeks I will post the student’s original character with my version that I gave to them. In the past few weeks I posted the Villains now its time for the Heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 05 – Lord Awesomeness

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with and this student may have had something specific in mind. He asked me to help him create armour that was similar to the type that the clone troopers and the storm troopers from Star Wars wear. Then I saw his characters abilities I knew he was going for a cross between Ironman and a Jedi.

After he gave me his character I thought of a Jedi like Obi Wan and his battle armour yet I want to show the character in a different light. I drew the character in an action pose like jumping or leaping. I then too my cue from the armour he drew to recreate it on the character. I tried as well to model the hair and face to the student’s for a little extra touch.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it especially the pose and that it looked a bit like him. I hope you enjoy the fifth hero character from Heroes VS. Villains –Lord Awesomeness.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Super Coco


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters could have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference, I told them and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the next few weeks I will post the student’s original character with my version that I gave to them. In the past few weeks I posted the Villains now its time for the Heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 04 – Super Coco

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with and this student may have had something specific in mind. I asked her why she drew her character this way and she said it was like she was doing gymnastics. I thought that was a great why to pose her character.

I thought of what kind of pose to place her character in but I did not want it to be a standard pose. I knew that her character had the ability to stretch or elasticity therefore I wanted to show that ability. I decided to draw her character in a standing pose but stretch out her arms and hair into a shape of a heart.

I showed the student his character and she was happy it but she had a question. She asked, “Why is her hair in hearts too?” I said because her entire body, including her hair, has the ability to stretch or has elasticity too. She loved the thought of it and wanted to picture right when I showed it to her. I hope you enjoy the fourth hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Super Coco.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Braidie


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters had to have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the past few weeks I posted the student’s original character, the villains and my version that I gave to them. Now its time for the heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 03 – Braidie

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with, yet this student wanted to create something very unique. When I first saw this student’s character I right away thought of a hippie from the 1960’s. Overalls, long braids, sandals/flip-flops and then when you add her abilities are healing others and talking to animals, it just screams tree-hugging hippie.

This is where I started when I created the character. I incorporated all of these elements but I pictured her sitting down so that she can be close to the animals. I also made sure that the braids are long enough to fall around her. I then added a cute little bunny that she is hugging; it seemed appropriate for the character.

I showed the student his character and she was happy it and she also loved the addition of the bunny. I hope you enjoy the third hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Braidie.

Friday Two Cents: Media Literacy Inquiry


 

This week I had the opportunity to “Captain” a class for the first time in the sense of setting the curriculum for the students, in a kindergarten class, as a teacher. Last week I followed the plans the teacher had laid out but this week I was able to plan for the week. During the first week, I was able to observe the students and I discovered an area they were interested in; superheroes. From this information I was able to create a program to help the students explore this subject while helping them in other subject areas such as media literacy, language and art.

If we are doing heroes, I though why not start with one of the first stories based on a hero. Therefore I started the week by introducing them to a picture book called Hercules. It is based on the Disney movie version. It is about 100 pages so we read only a few pages a day and I had my special bookmark to help us remember where we left off. The students loved this story and every morning they would ask when are we reading the story of Hercules.
artWC

Warm and cool colour art


I then helped them to start thinking of colours as warm and cool with an art project. They would create a sun in the sky, divide the paper by drawing two horizontal and two vertical wavy lines and then colour it with warm and cool colours (the sun warm and the sky cool).
We then explored the world of heroes and villains by using characters they were use to from the media. I told them media are things they see and hear from movies, television, radio, newspaper, magazines and the Internet. We focused on the characters from the Marvel, DC and Disney universes and they came up with a comparison chart of what makes a hero and villain. They came up with words such as good, happy, helpful, smiling and kind for the heroes and bad, evil, scary, fights, steals for the villains. I also asked them if they noticed the colour of the outfits each group wore. They came up with light or bright colours for heroes and dark colours for villains.

Media Anchor Chart

We than had group activities where they would create their own superhero. One day it was a male hero, on the second it was a female. We noticed that there were more male/boy characters then female/girl. I then had them talk amongst themselves to come up with a few female character names. They came up with a few and we wrote them on post-it notes and placed it on the chart.
We also explored the idea of violence in cartoons. I showed them the scene of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football but Lucy moves it at the last-minute and Charlie goes flying. It may look funny but I asked, ‘How to you think Charlie feels?’ I also showed them a scene from Peter Pan when Peter and Wendy meet the mermaids. They said that the mermaids look like the heroes but after they saw the video they said that they were mean for picking on Wendy, pulling her hair and getting her wet while Pan just laughed. Scenes like that may look innocent but I asked how do you think Wendy feels. They said the mermaids were bullying her and Peter should not have laughed. They were very aware and we had a little discussion about it.

The final project for the inquiry was to create their own hero or villain. I gave them a choice of a male or female character outline to create their own character. I reminded them about the colours they should use for their character to make them look like a hero or villain. The results were amazing to see.
We finished the media literacy inquiry with the final project but the students wanted to do more. I told them that I will have the chart up for them and we can use the iPads to help them explore more during the last week of school. We also finished the story of Hercules and as a bonus I would bring in the DVD of Disney’s Hercules for everyone to watch. They were all excited and could not wait for next week.
Next week is the last week of school and the students are engaged and excited to learn more. As a teacher I can’t think of a better compliment they could give me.

 

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Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Varcher


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters had to have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the past few weeks I posted the student’s original character, the villains and my version that I gave to them. Now its time for the heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 02 – Varcher

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with, yet this student knew what they wanted. This was the first archer character I had seen from any student. I was not sure if he wanted to recreate the Hawk Eye character from The Avengers but he said no he wanted to create something with a bow and arrow.

I started his character similar to an assassin / Robin Hood character. I gave him a large trench coat and his clothes were coloured in an earth tone. His bow was very traditional made of wood or bone. I then finished it off with wavy hair.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it and he mentioned that it looked very similar to Robin Hood. I asked if that was ok, he said yes that was what he wanted. I hope you enjoy the second hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Varcher.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Shadow


 

As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters had to have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the past few weeks I posted the student’s original character, the villains and my version that I gave to them. Now its time for the heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 01 – Shadow

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with, yet I was not sure where this student got their idea. I asked and I cot the impression that his character was very similar to a ninja. Therefore I created a lean figure that looked stealthy ready to transform into any form. I used the same colour theme as the student for that ninja look.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it. I hope you enjoy the first hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Shadow.

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