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Lesson Plans

Re: Beginning Computer Art Assignments

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Robert Alexander Fromme (rfromme)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 09:17:37 -0500

Howdy, Kim and ArtsEdNetters,

At 10:36 AM 7/18/98 -0700, Kim wrote:
>I am looking for ideas for beginning computer art assignments for my high
school students. This is the first year that they will have access to
programs like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Corel Draw. I have
accumulated the list below but would like any additional suggestions that
you could provide.
>-Design a business card, letterhead, envelope, flyer
>-Design a bottle label for a particular product
>-Design a menu cover, napkin, etc. for a restaurant
>-Design a clothing tag
>-Design an ad for a company

These sound ok if you want to give the kids a traditional introduction to
commercial design projects. Another simple project is for them to design a
logo for a new electric car company, organization or club. Have them
re-design an image of the school mascott or that of a professional athletic
organization or the olympics. You may want them to design tags, headders and
buttons for a web site. These projects also teach the kids to use many of
the basic tools.

Do you have a scanner, digital camera or can you do Image captue witrh a
CamCorder? This equipment can give you flexibility and your assignments can
allow for more freedom and expression from the kids. Of your tools,
Photoshop (with its layers and filters) will allow for many interesting
results on assignments susch as:

a self-portrait using front,3/4 and side view for the student in the same
image. See:

Another self-portrait Idea we use involves the addition of Power Goo (but
your students can use the spherize, shear, wave and other effects filters in
Photoshop) to distsort photos of themselves, resize and create a surreal
totem pole or other struscture and then place it in a natural environment, See:

or use the noise and pixelate filters to do something like this:

Another possible assignment would be to ask the kids to design an assignment
for the next semester's class. You can outline which Photoshop tools you
want them to use as part of the learning objective in the project and list
several ground rules for content and then turn them loose to see what they
can come up with. This gives them the freedom to explore all kinds of tools
in the software and puts them in the position of being part teacher part
student as they think through your request. Have them write down the
process for other students who want to try their assignment. On of the Zen
methods of teaching is "not teaching" and this is an example of it. The
kids will learn more from your refusal to set their course then if you
simply tell them what to do and then grade what they have done. Often
brighter and more experienced students are held back by the restricitons of
our assignments. This lets them work at their own pace and improve the list
of course assignments in the comming years when they discover something new.

The web is exploding with all kinds of digital images which can give the
computer art instructor ideas for new assignments. Fori Ideas, check out
the altered historical images at:

Throughout art history, we find artists who use take work from the past and
give it a new twist for meaning in their contemporary culture. The computer
and applications susch as photoshop are great for that kind of expression.

Look over some of the images in links at Squirrel World at:

and other links. Some of the projects are quite simple, such as:

Well, get on the web and have fun looking. use one of the search engines and
key in things like, digital art, digital art projects, digital art
assignments, computer art assignments, computer art projects, digital
gallery, digital artist, computer artists, photoshop tutorial, photoshop
techniques, photoshop idea, etc.