Digital Painting in Photoshop

22 03 2011

digital painting 101 thumb
Students (and teachers) may be interested in this series of tutorials for digital painting in Photoshop offered by Ctrl+Paint. Description:

Are you totally new to digital painting? This Digital painting 101 series is a great place to start. I teamed up with to create this 5 part introduction to painting in Photoshop. The first four sections introduce the layout and tools, and the final video is a narrated painting demo to put it all together.

I don’t have permission to embed the videos, but do check them out.
Found via the Drawn blog.

Tall Painting

19 03 2011

How cool is this?

Also check out The Art of Painting in Water

Japan Earthquake Relief & Awareness

18 03 2011

Several students and alumni are communicating via Facebook to organise relief for the victims of the Japanese earthquake. Miyu, a grade 11 student, made this video to help out. (Well done Miyu!)

Tohoku Japan Earthquake Awareness from 12ShirotsukaM on Vimeo.

Since I am on the topic, also look at the turn out of clothing we got at our school today to assist those affected!
quake relief

Japan Quake Aftermath

16 03 2011

I have been living here in Japan for over 10 years now and have gotten used to earthquakes. However, the quake on March 11, 2011 was the first to rattle me. First of all, thanks to all that have contacted me to inquire about my safety. I am safe. Yokohama is located 330+km (206 miles) south of Sendai, though we did feel the quake rather strongly. I was teaching grade 6 art at the time and at first we thought it was a typical minor tremor. However, it continued and increased in strength. The students went under tables as they have been regularly trained to do and were rather calm. Fortunately, no damage was done to the school and no students were hurt. After my class finished, I viewed the live stream of the tsunami. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Cell phones were the first things to fail. Instead, students logged onto Facebook to make contact with family and friends almost immediately. Trains were disrupted and students were not dismissed until a parent came to pick them up. I stayed at school (with students) until 7pm. I then walked home to a blackout in my area to turn off my apartment breakers etc. There was no severe damage apart from a fallen lamp and picture frames. As I had no electricity, I returned to school to use the internet in an attempt to get in touch with my wife. Several staff and students were still stranded, but most found homes to stay in for the night by 9:30pm. My co-worker and I returned to my apartment around 10:30 as he had no way to return to his Tokyo apartment. I finally made contact with my wife around 11pm who was safe.

Our school decided to close for the week, which also fell just before our two week spring break. Since then, we have been following the news, having tremors, following the news, tracking radiation reports and following the news. Several teachers and families took “holidays” early and I can’t really blame them. I am stuck here as my wife still has to work, though she is staying with her parents. For the last 4 days, I have been home alone watching coverage on NHK World.

Though physically alone, I am “not.” Through Twitter, Skype, Gmail and Facebook, I have been able to communicate with other friends here and with friends overseas. Thank you for your updates and messages. It’s hard to answer when people ask why I am not leaving. I originally had a scheduled holiday trip to Canada on March 22. My wife is still working (!) and I am not going to leave her behind. It’s getting hard to get flights. I am still not sure what to do with that scheduled flight I have booked as I was going alone. Hopefully things regarding the reactors get under control.

On this note, I must stress that things in the Tokyo area are rather calm. Of course there are shortages etc., but people are not heavily panicked. Watching NHK World has been a godsend. BBC coverage has also been informative. However, for my friends watching overseas, CNN and Fox have not. I have CNN here and watched it at times. I did not appreciate the dramatic title sequences with their cinematic and emotive musical scores. They instilled fear. I had to reassure my mother Friday evening that I was not seriously affected by the quake after her watching news reports.

Though I do not want it to appear like everything is truly fine and I am unaffected, I do wish to remind family and friends not to start rumours or spread panic like the French embassy incident.

Thanks again for all your comments and warm messages. It has also been pleasing to note how people do pull together during times like these and some of our students and alumni have also been trying to figure out how to help through here, here and other charitable groups. If you can, please try to donate or support a group. Thank you again for your support. Thank you NHK World and Yukio Edano for your coverage and updates and especially to the last 50 workers currently trying to find solutions. No thanks to CNN etc.
2011-03-16a sketchbook

What is good art and what does design mean?

11 03 2011

I first stumbled across Scott Ligon via The Carrot Revolution blog and decided to purchase the book Digital Art Revolution: Creating Fine Art with Photoshop. It’s a rather good read and one I’d like to use in class. But, I also like these videos he has posted on YouTube with some good advice for students, and since I had parent-teacher conferences tonight, I wish I showed them to parents as well.

9 03 2011

If you haven’t caught on to to hub your online content, you may be interested in With this, you may build your personal profile page that points users to your content from around the web. Watch the video below for more info.

All about from on Vimeo.

Doodling in Math Class

4 03 2011

My coworker passed these videos onto me. Have a look at Vi Hart’s site for a series of videos about doodling in math class. Interesting. You can also see the videos on YouTube.

Grade 9 Pastels

2 03 2011

My grade 9 Art Foundation class just finished their unit on pastels, which covers charcoal, soft pastel and oil pastel in about 10 eighty minute lessons. For their summative piece, students were asked to implement various pastel techniques and methods into a landscape composition that they created from photographs from their field studies trip. You can view the week by week breakdown of what we did in class here. Photos are embedded below.

Grade 6 Portrait Paintings

1 03 2011

G6 Portrait Painting AOI
My grade 6s just finished their portrait paintings. This is an MYP unit where students distinguished amongst the various functions of portraiture and created their own expressive portrait in paint to explore issues with identity, culture or emotion. The above picture outlines the unit. Click it for a larger view. If interested, you can see the week by week breakdown of what we did here. The slideshow of student work is embedded below, or you can go here.