Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Dead Dule — 400th Post


 

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 next few weeks I will post the student’s original character and me version that I gave to them.

 

Villain 02 – Dead Dule

 

Many of the students wanted to copy popular movies and comics of the time for their ideas. I have no problem with it, I feel that at least they are making the effort and hopefully it inspires some imagination. This student’s villain is obviously modeled after Deadpool, yet he did come up with unique super abilities; super speed & telekinesis.   He was very active in choosing his powers and on many occasions I would hear him debating with others how his character would hold up against another characters.

I took the student’s original drawing and simply drew him in an action pose and coloured him like the popular comic character. The only thing I did not draw in his character, and other characters, were the guns. Unlike swords, knives or bows, guns are very prevalent in our society and with the resent incidents of gun violence I decided to not draw him holding guns. Yet he does have them on his person, a compromise I made with the students.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it. I hope you enjoy the second character from Heroes VS. Villains – Dead Dule.

 

Student’s Original – Dead Dule

 

Friday Two Cents: Gratitude Journal


 

Gratitude: noun – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Life is rarely easy. There is always something that happens in your life that throws a wrench into the works. I for one have had some difficulties; I won’t bore you with my issues, but suffice it to say I have been a bit down. But then I read an article from the John Tesh Show: Intelligence for your life: An Attitude Of Gratitude Can Change Your Life! that suggests showing gratitude can help with you feeling better about your life.

They state that if you want to significantly improve your life, show more gratitude in your life. It references 40 different scientific studies, that having an ‘attitude of gratitude” can change you life for the better. They stated three different reasons for this statement.
  • Grateful people are happier. Research in the journal American Psychologist showed that making a list of 3 things that go well every day increased the happiness levels of volunteers. And the longer volunteers continued to write down what make them grateful, the better they felt.
  • Gratitude can also improve your relationships. A study by The National Institute of Mental Health found that people who regularly thank their spouse for doing everyday chores – like cleaning the kitchen, or taking the dog to the vet – have happier, more stable marriages.
  • A final reason to be more grateful: It’s good for your career. Numerous studies show that grateful people have larger professional networks, and make better business decisions. They also get more work done, and are more likely to be helped by their superiors. In fact, practicing gratitude at work will make everybody’s day. A recent survey found that 65 percent of employees haven’t received a “thank you” for their efforts in the last year.
Intelligence for your life (2016). Health: An Attitude Of Gratitude Can Change Your Life!. http://www.tesh.com/articles/an-attitude-of-gratitude-can-change-your-life/
With this as ammunition I have begun writing a Gratitude Journal. I decided to post my first entry to help remind me what I am grateful for and motivate me to write down 3 things that went well that day.

Gratitude Journal

What I am grateful for …
  • My family
    • Loving parents that support me.
    • My sister, brother-in-law and nieces who love and care for me in what I do
    • My extended family, they are a source of strength.  
  • My friends
    • They are great support but mostly my closest friends D & P & M. They have been there supporting me and encouraging me every step in my life.
  • My health – I have lost weight (65 lbs.) and I feel better. It is hard to maintain but I do enjoy exercising and I feel better after I do.
  • My ability to work in a field that I enjoy. I truly enjoy working with children. It is so hard to find a career that does not feel like a job.
  • My artistic talent – I cannot fully express how much joy I get when I express myself through drawing, painting, pastels, illustrating on the computer or writing.  

 

Just a few things that I am grateful for; a very good start.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Lord Ominous


Getting and finding inspiration is extremely difficult at the best of times. Yet I have been very fortunate to work with some people who push and inspire me every time I am with them, the students. No matter what I may think of what they may have in store for me, the students throw those plans out the window and make up some new plans.

That was very clear when I did a drawing club with the students. They range in age from grade 3 – 5 with a large variety of skills that they bring to the class. Within the class, I helped them to learn how to draw three-dimensional objects but mostly how to draw in the style of popular comic book characters. We drew Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and even some Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse.
They did a wonderful job with their creations and so close to the end of our time together I gave them a final assignment. I asked them what would they like to draw as a group theme? I suggested, superheroes, Greek gods, comic book characters, animals, mythical creatures, etc. They decided to create superheroes, therefore I instructed them to create their own superhero or villain in the comic book style. They actually wanted me to draw their character for them. They would describe it and then I would draw it. I said, “No way. I wanted to see what they could do and how creative they can be when it comes to creating a character from scratch, including their powers.”
They kept on asking me to create their character from them, then I said, “Ok, I will draw their character, however I needed their drawing first as a guide to help me with my drawing.” They said they could just tell me and I said, “No it takes time to draw these characters and I cannot do it with the hour we had.” So they agreed and created their own characters with up to 2 powers, a unique name and if they were either a hero or villain. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me on creating a wide range of characters.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of my finished characters inspired by the students’ imagination and creations.

Villain 01 – Lord Ominous

I decided to start of the creative process with my own character.   I took a character I created from another class when we created a comic book with superheroes and villains. My character is a villain. Not just any villain but the leader of the Legion of Doom; Lord Ominous. I drew him as a cross between an ancient Spartan warrior and Lord Vader from Star Wars. His weapon of choice is a Scottish Claymore, not to mention a pair of Colt 45s.

The students inundated me with questions about him. I showed them the comic book my other class and I created. In it, it shows that he was genetically created from DNA samples taken from the League of Justice (good guys) and the Legion of Doom (bad guys). The Legion of Doom wanted to create a new super villain leader with all their powers to lead them against the good guys. His powers included, accelerated healing, super intelligence and strength, advanced combat skills, telepathy and telekinesis. They asked why did he need weapons if he had super powers? I told them, “He’s a super villain and he does not play by the rules. He will take any advantage he can to win. Also it makes him look menacing.” Which they thought it did.

I hope you enjoy the first character from Heroes VS. Villains – Lord Ominous.

Comic Strips: Double The Fun


 

The latest instalment of The Craziest Things has been sent out and with it a wish that many have had at least once in their lives.

Many of us do not have an identical twin but sometimes we wish we did. We’d imagine tricking our parents or others with simple little jokes or trying to double our chances of getting more stuff. The Weasly twins from the Harry Potter series, played by James Phelps and Oliver Phelps, stir up our imagination on what mischief we can get into if we had a twin to back us up. At the school we have several identical twins yet I have never had an opportunity to draw them into my comic strip until know.

Quit simply it’s a scenario that many of us without an identical twin would love to have. Well, at least once in a while. Yet if you look closely there is something that does differentiate the twins from each other besides the colour of their shirts.  I wonder if you can spot it.  

I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; Double The Fun.

Art Inspiration: Take A Risk Or Not To Take A Risk


ArtInspirationPaulGLogo

 

‘We have to take risks with art. If we don’t, it all becomes a bit boring.’ Julie Walters

 

I am currently teaching a drawing club at the school for the afterschool students who are interested. I began with the basics of drawing and I even taught them how to write with cursive and calligraphy letters. However, they are interested in drawing superheroes and cartoon characters so I began teaching them how. Yet interestingly I found that when I was showing them how to draw some superheroes, I noticed that my drawings were more on the conservative side.

A colleague pointed it out to me when I drew Wonder Woman for a lesson. I drew her skinny, with small breasts and hips. I already know that but I did not realize that I sub-consciously did it. I redrew the character the way I would for myself and there was a bit of a difference. I made her curvier, with larger breasts and hips. Mind you the first attempt took me 20 – 30 minutes to create where the second took me about 60 minutes. You can see the difference in the images below.
Yet the interesting thing was that I would normally draw Wonder Woman version 2 for myself, but I think because I was drawing it for the students I did version 1. Perhaps it’s because in the past whenever I would draw the female form, many people (female colleagues) thought that what I drew was too provocative. However I would not draw them the same way  they would in comic books but more like version 2, therefore I felt that I was being judged too harshly.
I could have taught the students how to draw version 2, yet I guess I just did not want to hear the “whining” from those people, so I just drew the female character of Wonder Woman like version 1. In the end the students were the ones that suffered because I played it safe.
Art is not about playing it safe, it’s about taking risks. I love taking risks with art, it makes me feel alive and one with my true self. However this has made me do some deep thinking; we usually take risks when we feel safe. Answering a question in class knowing we won’t be made fun of if we get it wrong. Trying out for a team knowing we won’t be laughed at if we don’t make the play.  Safe from ridicule and judgment.  I wonder what does it mean when I draw version 1 instead of version 2. I guess actions do speak louder than words.

Here’s to taking risks.

Friday Two Cents: Acceptable Loses?


 

twoCentsOldNew

 

Today I had an interesting conversation with several colleagues. I confided with them that I am finding it difficult to try to reach specific students. I tried different methods but they appear to not work. I also tried asking the students what are some of their own interests to try to reach them on their own level. I implemented their interests in the program and yet they did not even engage in the activates, even though they specifically asked for them.

I am at a point where I have begun to not enjoy being with these students. I mentioned it to some colleagues and they said that they too feel the same way. They said that I should focus on the ones that I can reach and as long as the ones that are not interested are not causing trouble I should let them be. I felt bad at this because I think I may have to do this. I want to help and reach every one of the students and not let them fall through the cracks as it were. However they said that there is only so much you can do and I should put my recourses into the ones that I can reach.
This conversation brought up some of my military thinking about tactical military strategy. Standard tactical military strategy states that a 20% lose rate is considered to be acceptable. This is exactly what is happening in my situation. It is not as high as 20% more like 10% but even that 10% makes me feel sad. I truly am trying to reach them and after reorganizing the group I think I can reach some more. Yet I fear that I have not done enough for those few.
No everyone pays attention.

Not everyone pays attention.

Perhaps that is why I am not enjoying my time with those students. No matter what I do they will be part of that 20% of acceptable loses.   I guess all I can do is push forward and try to minimize the number of loses. I will continue to work with all the students and put my effort into the 90% that is working and hope that the 10% will come around. Yet I fear that in the end there will be a few acceptable loses.

Comic Strips: Global Excuses


 

ComicStrips

With the New Year comes the latest edition of the monthly newsletter and with it the February instalment of The Craziest Things.

Every child, they want to wear has become an even more prevalent. Showing ones’ individual style has become an obsession with people and it has trickled down to children as well. Students in the fourth and fifth grade are beginning to assert their own preference or style even at this early age. Some even use external forces to make their point.

In Toronto Canada, we have seen some mild winters in the past few years. This has not been unnoticed by the students. On many occasions I have reminded students to wear their hats and mittens and even their jackets. Yet I know once my head is turned, off the jacket comes, therefore I don’t bother any more. I have adapted the belief that Mother Nature is a much better teacher on what to wear then I will ever be. Some times Mother Nature throws a curve ball at the students and they take full advantage.  

I hope you enjoy my attempt at political satire of, The Craziest Things; Global Excuses.

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