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Animation Workshop With Grade Fours

In January of 2017, I was able to test out my new Animation lesson plan when I was asked to work as an Artist In Residence with a teacher and her class class of students at Lord Nelson Elementary. We finished two weeks ago with our film festival of short videos followed by cookies and juice. I gave each of the children a copy of Albert's Old Shoes and was surprised at how delighted they were. I had forgotten how much kids love the book my son wrote so very long ago. It was a great project for students; writing stories, drawing story boards, creating characters and making small sets with plasticene, paper, pens and markers and then filming frame by frame with iPads using iMotion and editing in iMovie, adding sound and music. I want to do this again. I think I have enough information to make a book. The kids love the process. And best of all, I saw joy in their faces when their tiny worlds of animated characters came alive on a big white screen.

Characters and Backgrounds

Experimenting with ideas for an animation teaching plan for this year. After much thought I decided to jump in and see what comes of this idea.
Here are the beginnings.

Creative Process

I have been working with my cousin John who lives in Ireland on a picture book about our grandmother's farm.

I have the manuscript ready to go out there but I have been holding back while I take a course in writing for Middle Grade.

These are a few ideas for the picture book idea.

They all need to be changed, but I want to post them as examples of recent work. Otherwise they sit in files. I need to have another go at them when I get a block of time.

Nuns And Cowboys Again

I am taking a writing course and I thought I'd bring my post of Nuns & Cowboys to the top of the blog again in case anyone comes by.
I am back at my book project and learning so much from a fabulous online writing course for middle grade with the Children's Book Academy and I think I can make my chapters much better now. I will re write this chapter soon! But for now this is what I created in 2012. I could call it lazy animation because I just wanted to get it down in a short period of time and my illustrations were fast and a little weird. But I did get it down.

We Made Scratch Foam Prints!

The heart designs you see here are prints made with pencils, and water based markers used by two grade one children. 

In February a teacher invited me to her kindergarten/grade one class as part of the Vancouver School Board's Artist In Residence  Program.

When valentine's day approached we decided to try something new. Thanks to Cassie Stephens for the idea. The children had a great time making prints. No fuss. Non toxic. Easy!

The children draw design of hearts with pencils onto Scratch Foam sheets to leave an indentation in the foam.

Next they use fresh and juicy water based markers to color the designs. Going out of the lines is not a problem with this project.

Next use sheets of inexpensive watercolor paper or substantial drawing paper (not bond) and run a wet sponge across to wet the paper. But don't let it get too wet.

Next take your foam plate and place it colored side down on top of the wet paper. Rub it. Flip both sheets  over carefully holding them together and …

Twelve Days

Happy New Year to you dear reader. For twelve days of Christmas I followed posts by writer of children's books, Julie Hedlund, as she led us into 2016 with writing exercises.  One of the exercises was to list accomplishments of 2015 no matter how small. At first I was feeling inadequate and I have been kicking myself for not sending out my work as I seek out a publisher for my stories. I felt like a total idiot because I had not actually placed my manuscripts into envelopes with cover letters. I felt as if last year was a lot of wasted effort.
But then I began to write down the things I had done last year and I started to realize that I had a healthy list of work and learning accomplishments and I realized 2015 was more productive than I had realized. I also came to the conclusion that my work is worthy of sending out and I was not ready in 2015! But I am almost there!
It certainly helped me to do this exercise. One of the exercises was to make a cover for the package of writing …

Christmas Cards Time Again

Working on Christmas Cards.

These have a background collage built from a watercolor which I painted and then scanned. I cut out shapes digitally with Corel  Photopaint X5. I took the pieces into CorelDRAW and made up a background, repeating some shapes into a satisfying arrangement of trees and snow.

Then I pencil sketched characters skating and scanned the drawings, took them into CorelDRAW and then PAINTER 12 and then after a day of working on this I have some new Christmas cards for friends and family.
I am printing them out onto good Canon matte photo paper because the color is brilliant and it is worth it to print onto good paper.
Cheap paper is a waste of money and does not present the inks well. They dull up and soak into the paper. Not a good idea.
I recommend that one spend fifteen bucks and buy good photo paper. I prefer Matte for my illustration work.
You can print up to four images on a page.
I buy Strathmore blank Greeting Cards and then I stick my designs onto the cards…