Poppy Art

An interesting dilemma today – year 1 children, using 2Paint a Picture teach them to use different size brushes, improve their mouse skills and, as it was Remembrance Day at the weekend, draw some poppies.

And what is the dilemma? Should I just let them loose and see what they produce or should I show them how they can very quickly produce a poppy with a few quick “blobs” of different sizes. Do I let them be creative or do I direct their artwork?

The answer? I’m still not sure. Five year olds need the opportunity to play and be creative but we also want them to learn skills. I hope I enabled both. Click on the picture below to have a look at their results and see what you think.

Sliced heads

Art Resources – Logotype Maker

Logotype Maker is a free web tool that you can use for making logos for printing, web pages, videos, etc. It is very easy to use, you enter some text and it randomly generates some logos. If you don’t like the ones you see hit the refresh button and you get some more. If you select the settings button (the cogs icon) for a particular logo you can then edit it by changing the colour, text, font and image. You can even upload your own image for use. Once finished you can bookmark it or save it as a png, pdf or a zipped file.

red kite_700_300

Here’s one I made earlier!

Art Resources – Aviary

I’ve been meaning to search out some good online art tools for some time and then, today, a fellow blogger has produced a blog with some examples of art tools that can be used effectively with Interactive Whiteboards. My particular interest was in finding art tools that pupils could use from home as well as in school so that they could continue to work on projects. So over the next few weeks I hope to provide some of my suggestions.

My first offering is Aviary. The main Aviary page provides a basic photo editor which is very straightforward to use but it also includes a more advanced set of tools including a photo editor suite (Phoenix, Peacock and Talon), a design suite (Raven, Falcon and Toucan) as well as an audio package (Myna and Roc) – you might notice one reason I was attracted to this suite in the first place, the birds! There are some good tutorials that are graded according to your ability, a Hall of Fame with some stunning examples of what can be done with this suite including some animations.

If you click on the Education tab you will find “a safe, private environment to use the Aviary tools with your students”. First you will need to set up a teacher account for your class and then add students.  Next you can create projects for your class with start and finish dates and a description of what you want them to do. Pupils can then login and work. Although it is a private environment the teacher can extract a bit of code for any of the produced artwork and embed it into the school website or VLE so that the work can be viewed by anyone. See the example of me!
.csharpcode, .csharpcode pre
font-size: small;
color: black;
font-family: consolas, “Courier New”, courier, monospace;
background-color: #ffffff;
/*white-space: pre;*/
.csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; }
.csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; }
.csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; }
.csharpcode .str { color: #006080; }
.csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; }
.csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; }
.csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; }
.csharpcode .html { color: #800000; }
.csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; }
.csharpcode .alt
background-color: #f4f4f4;
width: 100%;
margin: 0em;
.csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; }

I’ve played with a number of the tools so far and I have been impressed with the range of editing tools and the ease in which I can produce new works. I’ve not used it with a class yet and, as you can see, I am not an artist so I would welcome any comments from you if you have used it