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by TeacherLem Iglesias

Project Title: ‘How to Design a Superhero’

Target Class: Year 9 (13-15 years old)

Prerequisite Knowledge / Skills: Mind Mapping and Creating Thumbnails

For a better understanding of the topic, read this post first: CLICK THIS

3rd Meeting- PROJECT PERIOD: Scaling-Up and Colouring in Tonal Gradation

Approximate Time Required: 80 minutes

The third part of this four-part blog series is all about the PROJECT PERIOD. This is where the students produce the final result of the project based on the entire verbal and visual brainstorming lessons in our previous blog posts.

RECALL

We started with the topic ARTIST INSPIRATION and introduced the students to the very influential illustrations of legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby.

All Kirby creations as guided by the story lines of Joe Simon and Stan Lee, both comic book legends as well.

Kirby creations as guided by the story lines of Joe Simon and Stan Lee, both of whom are comic book legends like Jack.

Then we did MIND MAPPING as part of the brainstorming process to come up with original Superhero Names and Super Powers.

Brainstorming Sample 1

Superhero Names (left) and Super Powers (right).

Let's do our name list and power list better with a Mind Map.

Let’s do our name list and power list better with a Mind Map.

Afterwards, students looked for RESOURCES (existing superheroes that they like) in Google Images to give them visual ideas on how their Superhero creations might look like later.

Student's thinking process:

Student’s thinking process: “What if I use Superman’s boots… and Batman’s utility belt in my drawing?”

And then of course, the ever-reliable creativity squeezer– the THUMBNAIL SKETCHES.

Coloured Thumbnail Version

Draw four original designs. Choose the best one and colour it.

All of the above is the RESEARCH part of the art project, which could be visually arranged on an A3 paper or sketchpad page like this:

A sample of a well-organised sketchpad.

A sample of a well-organised sketchpad.

NOW, THIS WEEK’S LESSON

Introduction- The basic skills needed for this activity are *Scaling-Up and **Colouring in Tonal Gradation using Coloured Pencils.

*Scaling-Up is a very old art technique used to accurately enlarge a sketch or drawing into the required size and proportion. This is done by drawing grid lines on a preliminary sketch or visual resource. Here’s a quick Scaling Lesson LINK

“Man Drawing a Lute” by Albrecht Durer, c. 1500s

**Tonal Gradation is a drawing and colouring technique used to show a gradual transition of colours or shades, usually from light to dark in relation to a light source. Here’s a quick Tonal-Shading Lesson LINK.

Here's a great example from http://pci-art9.wikispaces.com/

Tonal Gradation on a Cube and a Sphere

Scaling up- The students were given three  A4 sized worksheets that shows three basic superhero body types: the lean-male superhero body (like Spiderman), the bulky-male body (like Superman) and the female figure (like Wonder Woman).

Lean Body Type

Lean Male Body Type

Muscular Body Type

Bulky Male Body Type

Female Body Type

Female Body Type

They were asked to scale up one of these sources into a cardboard paper measuring 15 cm x 35 cm.

Thumbnail Design to Final Drawing- Once they have done the scaled-up drawing, the challenge is to transfer their thumbnail costume design on to the scaled body type. We had a short discussion to recall the basic drawing approach when adding details on shapes and forms. They were reminded that each of the arms and legs are cylinders. So, each line that indicates the edge of a part of the costume should be a curved line. If you forget to bring this up with students, some of them will always draw a straight line when doing this part of the project, which is a no-no.

Curve lines are always preferred when drawing edges of any type of clothing.

Curve lines are always preferred when drawing edges of any type of clothing.

Colouring in Tonal Gradation- Once the final scaled-up drawing is done, students were instructed to colour their drawing with coloured pencils. They were also reminded to colour the design from light to dark based on a light source coming from either the left side of the figure or the right side.

Light to dark tonal gradation based on a light source coming from the left side.

Light to dark tonal gradation based on a light source coming from the left side.

Inking- The final procedure involves the inking of the lines of the drawing. They were shown samples from comic book pages to give them an idea on how the lines should look like. Here are the awesome results.

From this:

Mr. Magician: Sketchpad Research (top left), Resources (top right) and Thumbnails (left to right, below).

“Mr. Magician”: Sketchpad Research (top left), Resources (top right) and Thumbnails (left to right, below the sketchpad).

To THIS!

Mr. Magician Final Design

“Mr. Magician” Final Superhero Design by Neen

From this:

“Lea” Sketchbook Research, Resources and Thumbnails

To THIS!

“Lea” Final Superhero Design by Min

From this:

“Ape Man” Sketchbook Research, Resources and Thumbnails

To THIS!

“Ape Man” Final Superhero Design by Sun

Next Saturday’s Post: The final part- 4th Meeting: EXHIBITION and SELF-EVALUATION.

SOURCES: 

  • Superhero Designs by student-artists, Neen, Min and Sun from my Year-9L Class.
  • Superhero Body Types – http://robertatkinsart.blogspot.com/2013_02_01_archive.html
  • Albrecht Durer print – http://www.albrechtdurerblog.com/surprise-discovery-in-man-drawing-a-lute/
  • Tonal Gradation sketch –  http://pci-art9.wikispaces.com/
  • Scaling Lesson Video by Taya Helena
  • Tonal Gradation Video by Youtuber – tabletopmoviemaking
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2 thoughts on “Design a Super Hero 3: Project Period and Final Design

  1. Pingback: Design a Super Hero 3: Exhibit Present Evaluate | teacher lem's art class

  2. Pingback: Papier Mache Action Figures by Year 9 | teacher lem's art class

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