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.

Friday Two Cents: If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade


 

This past week in Ontario many elementary and high schools were out for the annual March/spring break. In previous years I have always worked during this week at various afterschool programs, yet this year I had the need to take the week off. I didn’t want to go somewhere far-flung or exotic, I just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the students. Don’t get me wrong I adore the children but I was feeling a bit rundown and I needed sometime to be alone with my thoughts. To chill out, ironically speaking.

I decided to take a mini vacation to Niagara Falls and more importantly the Niagara Wine country. I live in the Toronto area and Niagara Falls is only a 1½-hour drive but I have never seen the falls in the winter. Besides I love visiting the wineries in the area for some wine tasting. It would also be a great opportunity to do some drawing and hopefully get inspired.
However Mother Nature had other plans this past week. I left for my vacation on Monday and of course that is the day when a winter storm just happens to blow into southern Ontario.   I am only few kilometers into the trip when the storm really picks up. With high winds and lake-effect snow traffic literally comes to a halt. I continue but the traffic is moving about 5 – 10 km/hr. The slowdown is mind numbing and it is all due to the weather. The truly amazing thing was that after I traveled past the city of Hamilton the weather clears up. It was eerie. On the east side of the highway, the lakeside, you can see the blowing snow and dark clouds yet on the west side of the highway the sun was setting and it was clear. It felt like I was driving through the eye of the storm or at least the edge of it. I arrived at the hotel safely yet the normally 1½-hour drive took 4½hrs!
I was stressed worst then before I left. So much for my relaxing vacation. However I was able to have a great meal at the casino and then soak in the hot tub after. I could feel the stress just melting away in the Jacuzzi. Especially since I could see that the storm had reached Niagara Falls and I was safe inside.
The next day the storm was in full force but that did not stop me. I was prepared with winter gear and I went for a walk to the Falls in the middle of the storm. I was able to get a few nice photos and I was able to talk to a few people who I met there. Yes just call me Mr. Sociable.  

Panoramic view of Niagara Falls during the Winter Storm.

Panoramic view of Niagara Falls after the Winter Storm.

Panoramic view of Niagara-on-the-lake after the Winter Storm.

I for one do not like the winter season. I do not like the cold or the lack of sunlight. Yet I made it a point to not let this winter storm ruin my vacation. The storm lasted about a day and a half but in that time I was able to do all that I wanted.   I was able to draw, read, write, explore and of course enjoy a couple of wine tastings. Call me Mr. Optimist but I simply adapted to the situation I still had a wonderful time. I would imagine that old saying is true…

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  

Friday Two Cents: Who Truly Has A Sense Of Entitlement


 

‘Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.’ Nadia Boulanger

 

‘The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.’ Benjamin Spock

 

This week I had the opportunity to revisit an old school that I had supplied in the past. I know the students and the teachers. It is a wonderful school and I enjoy going to there whenever I can. Yet I noticed something very interesting when I was there.

Standing on guard for thee

As in every school the morning routine begins with the singing of O Canada and then the morning announcements. The thing that surprised me was that once O Canada came on over the PA system the kindergarten students all stopped their activities and stood erect and sang the entire anthem. This shouldn’t be too surprising yet in many kindergarten classes, to get the students to stand and sing the anthem and not talk to one another is a constant struggle.
This incident made me think about why did these students stand and sing the anthem proudly and in other classes I have to constantly remind them. Is it because the students are older senior kindergarten students? No, there is an even mix of junior and senior kindergarten students. Is it because of the teachers? No, in every class I have been in the teacher is always the first to stand and remind the students. They are the perfect role models. Then what was the reason?

New to Canada

The only conclusion I could come up with was that the school’s student population (school A) was largely made of immigrant families and visible minorities and the other schools’ populations were largely 2nd, 3rd or greater generation families. In those other schools’ classes I had to remind students on a daily basis to stand and stop talking to their friends during the anthem. Yet that was only one of many differences that I noticed about the students from school A. Wherever I went in the school, the older students would hold the door open and use manners when interacting in the hallway. It made me think about the interactions in other schools with a smaller immigrant family base. There were times I had to remind students to please hold the door for others. Say please and thank you and show proper manners such as not burp in public and say excuse me.
Yet right away my mind went to the question of ‘Why?’ Why were these students in school A showing “better” manners and respect for others then other schools? Is it truly because the families are immigrants? Is it because they are from places where staying alive is a constant struggle and living in a country as amazing as Canada is a blessing?
I have and many studies have shown it, that parents are the greatest influence in their child’s life. More than teachers, celebrities or athletes, parents influence and mold their children into the people they will become as adults. It would seem that the generations of parents born in this country do not know or take it for grated, on how lucky they are to be in this country. New arrives to Canada know from first hand experience how difficult it is and the struggles they undertook to come here.

Parents have the greatest influence on their children.

Many people say that this generation of students is entitled and they want things done for them and I have examples of seen this. Yet perhaps people should be looking at the root cause of this sense of entitlement, the parents. Instead of passing off their children onto others and expecting them to teach their child to be responsible and respectable citizens, they should be looking to themselves. It’s their job, their responsibility to instill manners, respect for others and to be grateful for the blessings of living in a wonderful country like Canada. Maybe the people who need to stop having a sense of entitlement and expecting others to do things for them are not the students.

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.

Friday Two Cents: I Will Endeavour To Be More Patient


 

twoCentsOldNew

 

‘Genius is eternal patience.’ Michelangelo

 

This past week many Christians celebrated the beginning of the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday.   In the school many of the kindergarten students enjoyed this with the traditional Fat / Shrove / pancake Tuesday, made famous during Mardi Gras. Many cultures celebrate the beginning of the Lenten season by eating fatty foods just before they give up something for Lent.

Many of the students were asked what they would give up and their answers were sweet. One said she thinks about having a pet all the time so she would give up thinking about getting a puppy. Others said they would give up other things but they also asked the adults what they would give up. I do not usually give up anything because I don’t think that I am a bad person so why should I give up something to show how good a Christian I am. Yet in the spirit of self-improvement I said I would think about what I would try to give up.
I thought long and hard and I came up with, I would give up intolerance. I would try to be more tolerant of others. People were happy with it and I was ok for that afternoon, however when I went home I thought longer on the issue of intolerance and what I would want to do to improve.
I discovered that the definition of intolerance is the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own. After reading this I knew that I am not intolerant and I had to rethink what I would give up for Lent. I know that I needed to be more patient with people and the students therefore I thought, being impatient. The definition for impatient is having or showing a tendency to be quickly irritated or provoked.  Yes, I know that I sometimes exhibit some impatience with people so this is a good thing to try to give up for lent and improve on in my life.

geniuspatience

I know that this will be difficult but to put a humorous spin of this, which I normally do; for Lent I will give up impatience. I will endeavour to be more patient, with stupid people.

 

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