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Graphic Translation

“The process of graphic translation produces drawings of instant recognition and startling visual interest. Graphic translation is as much art as it is design, and focuses on the creation of an image with the visual means of abstraction, reduction, and interpretation with point, line, plane, shade, and shadow.” – Kimberly Elam

I recently entered college to study Graphic Design and one of my first projects was to turn a shaded object into an abstract design. I chose a metallic robot and found it quite fun to translate my drawing into something that looked like an icon (on Adobe Illustrator :)) . The main purpose of the project was to focus on shape and shadow and learn the relationships between different parts of an object. Here is how it turned out:

Since it was so much fun, I decided to ask my older students to do the same with tracing paper and a sharpie only. I think it worked out quite well. I chose relatively simple objects so that they would have enough time to complete the drawings in one class.

I also gave them a Graphic Translation Handout . It explains the steps required in this project, including using lines, shapes, dots and patterns to produce the final design. 

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Materials:
– Shading Pencils
– Sharpie Markers – Fine, Thick
– Tracing Paper

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Decorative Corn

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My students have done a fantastic job in creating their autumn harvest paintings. This is thanks to the frugalcrafter Lindsay Weirich’s tutorial on How to Paint Decorative Corn in Watercolour/Pen & Ink-Craft for Thanksgiving

This is a watercolour project that works well with children in grades 4-8. It is simple to put together and can be interpreted in many different ways.  Similar to the tutorial, I first showed the students a demonstration on how to draw the shape of the corn and husks, outline with a fine sharpie and finally use various colours in their painting palette. It was a lot of fun!

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Materials:
– Fine Sharpie
– Watercolour Paper
– Watercolour Paint Set

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Rainbow Giraffes

“There are people who can achieve huge success in life, while adding a bit of fun and a splash of colour to this increasingly grey world.” -Peter James

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Check out these cute giraffes, a fun activity to start off the day! All you need to give your students is a pre-cut giraffe figure with yellow and pink construction paper. Then, you can prepare smaller rectangles of different colours for your little ones to cut into small strips. Dont’ forget the spots too- Glitter or scrunched up tissue paper would look amazing : )

Duration: 15-30 min

Materials:
– Assorted Construction Paper
– Black Permanent Marker
– Tissue Paper
– Glue

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The Mystic Owl

“A bird sitting on a tree is not afraid of the branch breaking.
Its trust is not on the branch, but on its wings.” 235241861000202.jpg

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Materials:
– Paper
– Shading Pencils
– Pencil Crayons (optional)

owlShading projects can be boring sometimes, so I try to find images where students can focus on various shading techniques without worrying too much about drawing the proportions correctly. I chose this owl because it is made up of simple body shapes and intricate details. There are not too many black areas, but a good contrast of dark and light. That way,  students can take the time to experiment with different tones and sizes of their pencil markings without making everything look too dark. 

Variations of this project can be made in the background by introducing other objects and splashes of colour. If this picture is too difficult to imitate, you can also find a more simple drawing (like the image on the top left) or use other animal examples.

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Earth Day Foxes

Looking for a simple animal craft activity? Take a look at these cute foxes that we made on Earth day! All you need is some assorted construction paper and pre-cut blue circles for the earth. You can also add a tree or plant beside the character to give it more context and colour.

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Duration: 20 – 40min

Materials:
– Construction Paper
   -> Body (orange, black, white)
   -> Earth (blue)
   ->Tree/Plant (brown and other colours)
– Green Tissue Paper
– Glue

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All About Me

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” -Jessica Guidobono

There is definitely a healing process that goes on when you create something about yourself. When I was young, I loved to draw “me” with my friends and family members. Later in high school, I found that my favourite art projects were always the ones where I got to express aspects of my personality.

So every year, I ask my students to create a self-portrait. It’s not just a great way for me to know my students better, but a tool to help children build their self-image, self-esteem and find joy in expressing themselves. After all, art is about self-expression!

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This All About Me Project consists of a short and simple description that young children can fill in to describe themselves. If you like my template, you can download it here: All About Me- Description

Duration: 20-30 min

Materials: 
– Pencil/eraser
– Crayons or Pencil crayons 
– Markers

Optional:
– Tissue paper
– Newspaper 

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