Monday, May 14, 2012

The Book Project

Grade 2 Classroom Art Project, I was invited in to do an art project with my sons grade two class. The concept is that class groups create a work of art, for sale to help raise money for the school. I have had an idea that I have wanted to try for a while now. I thought that a class could jointly create a story in picture book format. It was a risky project to take on, as there was a limited timeframe to create the work, I had never tried something this complex with a class before and if the results were not saleable then I wouldn’t have the time to create an item for the auction.
I started by talking to the class about character design and story development. The some of the children came up one at a time, drawing elements on a single character on the white board (i.e. head shape, body, hair, face features…etc). Once we had jointly created a character I asked the children to individually go off and draw a story scene from their imagination based on the character. Students sitting in groups tend to borrow ideas from each other, so themes in drawings appeared as they created their images. One table draw ninjas (boys of course) another table draw magicians…etc. After the first session I took the drawings away and ordered them in to a rough visual narrative. In the second session I showed the students the images that I had been able to select for the narrative and suggested themes that would assist in the narrative flow. The students went off once more to draw their own images. By combining both sets of drawings I was able to create a wordless visual narrative that was driven by the ideas from the children. The resulting book will be auctioned in 2 weeks.
I have included pictures here that demonstrate the transference of the childrens drawings into the finished book. You will see that some images have had minor changes made to allow the story to flow. Others are made up of several students work and some have had elements added or extended. The children worked in grey lead pencil to made transferring the images easier and I have hand coloured all the pictures with water colour to give the book consistency over the different drawing styles. This has been a very rewarding project to work, I would like to refine the projects concept further and create more of these storybooks with student groups.