Happy October! Fall is such a beautiful and inspiring season. It's also a very contemplative time of year for us. We were recently thinking about the art of animation and how fun it is to explore. Animation is a great art unit that connects with other subjects across the school curriculum. Here are some tips, activities and resources you can use to begin building an animation unit for your art program.
1. Character Development
Well developed characters are the heart of great animations. Share a list of some of your favorite animated characters (as shown below) from comic books/tv shows/movies with your students and have them to make a list of theirs. Lead them in a discussion about the lists. Ask questions such as "What qualities do you like about the characters?" or "Which character has the coolest design?" Meanwhile, you can connect some of the examples that students share to the Elements and Principles of Art.
After the discussion, they can create an original character. They can draw or paint the character or use an iPad/computer to create it. Encourage young artists to keep their character designs simple. For artists in grade 3+, they can also design a movie poster highlighting their original creations.
2. Create a Simple Storyboard & Animation
Illustrating a story board is a great way to help young artists develop critical thinking skills. After you share some examples of storyboard art with them, they can plan out a simple 4 frame storyboard with their original character. A storyboard is a visual organizer depicting action scenes in a story. You can also display examples of comic book/strip illustrations to further explore how storyboards work.
Young artists can further use their characters to create a simple hand-drawn animation like a thaumatrope, flip book or stop-motion animation. Here's a simple 2 Frame animation that we created with a simple character.
3. Learn About Important Black Animators
While there are prolific Black animators who blazed a trail like Floyd Norman, Frank Braxton, Leo Sullivan and Ron Husband, there's a whole new generation of Black animators creating eye-catching stories with dynamic characters.
Creatives like Bruce W. Smith, Taylor K. Shaw and Peter Ramsey are adding their talents to a variety of exciting animated projects. You can learn more about these phenomenal artists by visiting www.CBR.com to read a fantastic article detailing the multimedia projects they are affiliated with.
There are many more art lessons that you can add to your animation unit including 2D/3D computer animations, animation in multimedia presentations, video game animation, animation careers. etc. Make sure to explore our website to find more resources connected to this topic. and share below in the comments about how you explore the art of animation in your creative space.
Hello! We hope your new school year is off to a great start and your art supply stock is abundant. Collecting and experimenting with new art tools is such a fun experience. Check out this short list of some of the art supplies we enjoy using in our creative space.
Oil pastels are so cool to draw and color with; they are great for blending. If you're looking for good quality alcohol-based markers, then the Chameleon Pens are the way to go. These markers work well for creating gradients of color.
We purchased this lovely watercolor set from Sis Art Supply and love that the set comes with a water brush pen. Kwik Stix are great for younger artists to use. They're vibrant and a little less messy than liquid tempera paint.
This Creatology Bright Couleurs Vives paper pad is great for collage projects. Capitol Chic Designs created this lovely paper pad. You can get both products from Michaels. (They are available as of the first release date of this blog post.)
Elmers Craft Bond glue stick and liquid Glue-All are the main adhesives that we use in our art studio to create personal works of art. They work great on a variety of art materials.
We definitely keep a smaller paper trimmer at hand for various creative projects. Make sure to explore our website to find some great art products. From 8/31-9/2/21 use the 10% Off Sale coupon to save on your entire order. What are some of your favorite art tools? Let us know in the comments.
Hello! We hope you all are having an enjoyable and healthy summer. As we head towards the end of summer and back to school, we want to share some of our newest art resources connected to some of our favorite summer activities and children's picture books.
Going to visit family at our annual family reunion was one of our favorite things to do in the summer. The colorful children's book Family Reunion by Chad & Dad Richardson and Ashleigh Corrin reminds us of those wonderful experiences. Make sure to also check out our Family Reunion Collage Art Lesson which is inspired by the book and art of Synthia Saint James.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall is one of the cutest stories from our children's picture book collection. Taking our children to the pool and seeing their excitement was wonderful to watch. Our new Swimming Pool Collage Art Lessons are a great resource to use with the young artists in your family. The lessons are also inspired by the Pool Series of paintings by the prolific artist Derrick Adams.
While we were saddened to hear of the transition of award-winning artist and book illustrator, Floyd Cooper, we are so grateful for the gifts he shared with the world. His inspiring illustrations enhanced a vast array of children's picture books including the story, A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story written by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan. Visiting fun amusement parks and carnivals is definitely some of our favorite childhood memories from the summer. Make sure to purchase and download out Colorful Carousel Art Lesson to add to your art lesson library.
What are some of your favorite summer activities?
We didn't want the month of June to end without sharing a simple creative art project for Black Music month. This simple Jazz Royalty collage has cross-curricular connections to music, math, and social studies. Furthermore, it's inspired by the amazing pianist, singer, producer, composer and actress, Hazel Scott.
Hazel Scott was a beautiful musician who spoke several languages and hosted her own television show in 1950. She also appeared in numerous movies while speaking out against racial inequality. You can learn more about this phenomenal artist here. Check out the steps below to see how we created the collage.
Jazz Royalty Art Collage
There are so many things that bring us joy. This year we are ecstatic about our upcoming creative activities connected to Juneteenth. Click on the poster below to learn more about our upcoming Juneteenth celebration. We love partnering with amazing creative entrepreneurs to share high-quality events. We also enjoyed creating the Juneteenth Wall Hanging Art below; continue reading to see how we created it.
This paper wall hanging is a great activity to add to your Juneteenth celebration. Each participant can write a word to add to the art. You can also make a new piece each year and display them at subsequent Juneteenth gatherings. Feel free to tailor the activity to fit your celebration.
Here's how we made our Juneteenth Wall Hanging Art:
Materials We Used
Make sure to explore the products below and share below how you will celebrate Juneteenth.
Juneteenth Coloring Set
Celebrate Juneteeth with this coloring set. There are four coloring sheets displaying symbols for this important time in American history. This set can be used along with your Juneteenth curriculum and works for ages 4 to adult.
This Set Includes 4 Designs:
Juneteenth Commemorative Plate Art Lesson
Our newest art lesson is inspired by Juneteenth. Use this art lesson as an individual or group project.
This Resource Include:
Ae we enter Mother's Day weekend, we wanted to share some works of art/photographs featuring artistic mothers as well as express our gratitude for all of the wonderful mothers in our family and all of the women who do great mothering in various ways. Thank you for your unconditional love and unwavering dedication.
Make sure to explore our website to find more creative art resources inspired by mom and that are connected to the artists featured in this post. Have a wonderful weekend!
Prolific Black Visual Artists Coloring Book
Upgrade your art curriculum with our Prolific Black Visual Artists Coloring Book by Alicia L. McDaniel. Featuring 26 fantastic Black visual artists, this art resource will work with for young artists ages 3+. The coloring book will also enhance your Black Lives Matter curriculum. Just purchase, download and print.
This Coloring Book Includes:
Elizabeth Catlett Art Lesson Set
This exciting art lesson set is inspired by the art of great artist, Elizabeth Catlett. There are three art lessons in this set:
1. Art History Question Activity Sheet
2. Re-imagine Her Work Drawing Activity
3. Symbol of Pride Paper Mache Sculpture Lesson Plan (with colored step-by-step photographs
Spring is here and we are glad! The trees have bloomed and the daylight is longer. Here are some of our favorite latest creative discoveries to help you spring into creativity. Click on each image to learn more about the featured inspiring creator.
"Sacred Flower" Ceramic Sculpture by Chukes
Make sure to also explore some of our Spring related art products. What's some of you favorite Spring inspired products? Comment below
Spring Into Art Banner
This colorful 8.5" x 44" banner will enhance any Spring themed bulletin board or display. Print on card stock, assemble the sheets together and laminate the banner for added durability.
Open this PDF file on a PC computer and select the print option under the file menu. Then select the poster or tile option before you print.
Principles of Design Bulletin Board Trim
Decorate your art bulletin board display with this colorful trim inspired by our popular Principles of Design poster. Each principle is inspired by a floral theme and will be a constant reminder to young artists. Download and print as many copies as you need. Print on card stock, cut out and laminate each strip for added durability.
Principles of Design Poster Set
Based on our "Principles of Design" poster, we created a set of individual posters that feature each principle. They are bright and colorful and will enhance your classroom. You can also use one per week or month to build a bulletin board display. Print on card stock and laminate for durability.
While we normally focus on the achievements of real-life Black creative heroes during the month of February, this year we decided to also focus on some of our favorite fictional superheroes. There are so many visual art lessons and careers within the world of super hero storytelling; everything ranging from illustration to fashion design to special effects makeup to animation and so much more.
Unfortunately Black representation featured in comic books/graphic novels, video games, television shows and films were grossly lacking in mainstream media in the 20th century. As a young artist, I was so excited to see any fictional superheroes or comic book characters who were also Black. While Black representation in this genre is improving, we have a long way to go before we experience true equity. Meanwhile, here are a few of our favorite Black fictional/real-life superheroes both in front of and behind the camera.
First of all, we want to honor the legendary entertainer Eartha Kitt. She's a true icon/superhero and one of the first Black actresses seen in the Batman television series in the 1960s. Her work helped pave the way for other Black actors in this genre.
The popular character Storm from the 80's X-Men animated series was one of my favorite characters to watch as a child. As an adult the Cyborg character from the animated show Teen Titans was one of my favorite characters to watch with our children. While the styles of animation/charcters for each show are different, the color schemes in these two illustrations are similar.
We recently learned about the amazing art/illustrations of Afua Richardson. She is critically acclaimed for her work in the World of Wakanda comic book series and featured on the amazing HBO show Lovecraft Country. Click this link to learn more about this phenomenal artist.
Award-winning costume designer, Ruth Carter designed the eye-catching African inspired costumes for one of our favorite superhero movies of all time, Black Panther. Furthermore, the talented hair stylist, Camille Friend created beautiful hairstyles that were sculptural and inspiring for the film.
Both the Black Panther comic book series and movie is one of the greatest examples of Black representation in this genre. Furthermore, the movie poster is a fantastic example of graphic design.
Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse is also one of our favorite superhero movies that features an Afro-Latino main character. This animated movie is a wonderful example of all of the elements and principles of design. Make sure to explore our website to find more art resources featuring amazing Black creative heroes. Who is one of your favorite superheroes? Comment below.
Happy 2021! Now is a great time to focus on the words and work of Dr. Martin Luther King. In the art room, we have the pleasure of exploring visual creativity that expresses our admiration for Dr. King, his life and powerful words. Use the images below to lead your young artists in a discussion about various artistic renderings of Dr. King. How are the images below similar and different? Which piece do you enjoy the most? Which artist captured the essence of Dr. King?
Make sure to purchase and download our latest art lesson celebrating this iconic leader. Inspired by the work of renowned visual artist Faith Ringgold, this lesson is a great way for young artists to practice portrait painting. Also explore our website to discover more art lessons inspired by Dr. King and the artists featured in this post.
Season's Greetings! This holiday season is especially meaningful as we continue to deal with the challenges and blessings that came with 2020. Since Kwanzaa is one of our favorite cultural celebrations we decided to share some Kwanzaa inspired art lesson ideas that you can do with your family. We hope that you all have a peaceful and blessed holiday season.
Simple Kwanzaa Wreath
Click on each image below to learn more about and purchase each product.
Art For The Creative Soul
Hello! Welcome to our Blog. We enjoy sharing art lessons inspired by amazing Black visual artists and creatives.