I won't give up my Painter 5, but I'd put Painter Classic on every classroom
computer in the school--if I had any say in the matter.....They indicate it
is for grade 6 on up, but I would start it with the third graders and
skilled second graders. Show them which "buttons" to start with and let
them go from there. What you need is a program that can be "played with"
with a minimum of instruction, but which is sophisticated enough to deal
with their widest explorations. Painter is my choice--by far and away.
I also found a site--can't spot it at the moment--with very nice landscapes
done with Paint Shop Pro--I had no idea it had that kind of capability....
It seems to me that almost any project you would do in the art room could
have a computer component. Let an individual or a small group do the
project on the computer, then compare and contrast the results --e,g time
required, ease of making variations or changes, potential for unusual
and/or creative results, the visual and other qualities of the results, etc.
Great opportunity to do some serious talking about media, careers.
Let one group do their "sketching" and planning on the computer--again,
describe, then compare and contrast--a great way to get students to
verbalize about their creative experience.
The Missouri Art Education Association web site
(http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Dell/9575) has several dual-media
projects with suggestions for tradtional and computer versions.
Feel free to e-mail me, Mike ( or is it Nanc??), if you have more questions.
"Adobe Photoshop is excellent...<snip>
I have reservations recommending it, though, and it's not because of the
software quality. Photoshop is, in my mind, the best< snip>
However, if you are purchasing it for use with sixth graders, I might look
towards a more "user friendly" program. It takes some time to learn how to
use Photoshop, and I have even seen adults begin to look lost in training
classes for the software. If this is for Junior High students, might I
recommend Kai's Photo Soap. <snip>
On the illustration end, I would recommend MetaCreation's Dabbler for Junior
High. It's a step above the basic paint programs, and can allow the artist
create some special effects. For High School, there's Adobe
Illustrator...high tech, and again, gives the students an idea of what it's
like to work in the current graphics art market.