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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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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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Up Up!

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” – William Feather

IMAG2871Here is a fun project that combines architectural drawing, shading and watercolour! It is inspired by my friend’s art piece where she drew a gorgeous house with pen and added colourful balloons using Lindt chocolate wrappers. Of course, I did not have so many wrappers and decided to ask my students to paint in their balloons : ) To make it more fun, I chose interesting nature-themed buildings for my students to look off of. They could also draw from their imagination.

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Materials:
– Long Sheet of Paper
– Different Types of Shading Pencils
– Watercolour
– A handout of houses/buildings

 

Check out these lovely examples 🙂