Newfield GCSE Stamp Project 2010

January 21, 2011


A year 10 art class from Newfield School were at the CLC for a repeat of the very successful GCSE coursework stamp project. They created the artwork for the stamp back at school and then scanned it onto the computers. The students then used Adobe Photoshop Elements to crop the pipcture, add the Queen’s head, change the colour, and resize, before creating a sheet of 20 stamps.

We liked the artwork so much that we had a number of pieces blown up and put onto canvas to brighten up our entrance hall.

Hockney-inspired Self Portraits

May 11, 2010

Bents Green Secondary Community Special School year 9 art classes have been spending Friday afternoons at the CLC to work on David Hockney-inspired portraits. The pupils have been looking at Hockney’s photo collages (examples here), in particular those of his mother. They then came to the CLC to create their own versions using photographs of themselves.

As a starter activity they used the fantastic Hockneyizer tool at Big Huge Labs to create automated collages of famous people. You upload a single image and the tool turns it into a Polaroid collage – you can see an example of the CLC on the right.

The students then took photographs of each other and uploaded them to the computers. To create their collages we initially used Photoshop Elements to edit the photos, add frames and arrange them, but this was quite tricky to do.

With later groups I directed them to Picnik, a very simple free online editing website. Here they could crop their images to focus on a particular feature, add frames, effects and change the colours if they wished. They then added all the edited images to PowerPoint, to arrange them for the final picture. I suggested PowerPoint as it is very easy to manipulate images on a slide, and the whole project is one that can be repeated back at school without the need for expensive software or expert knowledge.

Primary Cross-Curricular Music Project – Week #2

February 2, 2010

So the song has been written and recorded in our recording studio, and now just needs a few finishing touches by Mr. Hilton at school. The Locomotion dance is ready to be filmed and the animators have all their characters ready to be brought to life.

Last week the Publicity Group struggled at bit with the unstructured nature of the project, so this week I gave them a very clear task – to finish the T-shirt design.  First I showed them examples of exisiting t-shirts, both old (Beatles) and new (JLS) and go them thinking about what kind of design they wanted. I also showed them how to work with text in Adobe Flash – making interesting patterns and changing the font. I know this isn’t normally the kind of software one would use, but it’s one I’m very familiar with and it is relatively easy to use.

After some paper and pencil planning, the students got on with their final designs which we then voted on. You can see it here – the pupil actually designed it on a website and so I worked with him translating the design into Flash, and losing the less appropriate images and text!

Meanwhile the bloggers were photographing everything that moved and started some interviewing. The school is lucky enough to have Jon Windle, previously the lead singer of Little Man Tate, working with them at the moment, so he was duly interviewed. The audio of the interview can be found on the blog here. Unfortunately their enthusiasm doesn’t stretch to writing up a report on what has been happening each week, something to work on next week!

In all, progress has been made, but it is really tough to ensure everyone is engaged at all times. Year 6 pupils definitely need plenty of structure to their sessions, even when they are interested in what they are doing.

Stamp Design Art Project

December 10, 2008



Year 11 pupils at Newfield School have just finished their GCSE art project to design a stamp. The designs were based around children’s stories, and were completed in a larger format before being scanned into the computer and reduced in Photoshop. I think you’ll agree the final results are stunning.

A useful website for anyone considering a career in children’s book illustration is this blog: An Illustrator’s Life for Me. It is written by a children’s book illustrator and talks about all aspects of her work.



Glogster – Create your own multimedia posters

November 19, 2008

CLC Glog

There are hundreds of new applications appearing on the web every day, but it’s not often you find one that ticks all the boxes for educational use. Glogster is such a one. Here you can create your own “Glogs”, essentially a poster with images, text, video, web links and sound. There is a large choice of backgrounds, types of text boxes, video players etc, to make it a very personal piece of work.

Perhaps most importantly, you can sign up for an educational account, where you can create up to 200 student accounts, and all Glogs can be seen by everyone in your class, but no-one else. There is the option to send messages via the site, which could be used for peer review (and since the teacher can see exactly who is sending what, there shouldn’t be any abuse of the system).

These Glogs would be perfect for presenting information in any subject and key stage, particularly for Modern Languages (reading, writing, listening and speaking all in one project), History (document a historical event, do mock interviews with the key people), Geography (project on the local area, with interviews, photographs etc.), English (interesting ways or presenting information, both spoken and written), Art (could be used in the planning stages of a piece of work, with sketches, commentary, links to artists). It is also a great way to document a field trip or visit.

To see a glog I created about the CLC, click here.

Update – Large video files take a while to appear in the Video box once you have uploaded them, so do be patient.

Young filmmakers at Abbeydale Grange

July 18, 2008

Please be patient – it may take a couple of seconds for the video to start playing.

Two year 10 classes from Abbeydale Grange School spent a number of weeks creating their own animated films during their art lessons. They used I Can Animate software on the Apple Macbooks to film the animation, then iMovie to edit the footage into a film. The students enjoyed creating their animations, but most of the pupils found moving the chracters and props really hard and they now have an appreciation for how long it takes to create an animated film.

Image manipulation and fun stuff with photos

October 16, 2007

You no longer need to buy expensive photo editing software to do creative things with your images. Go to the following sites instead:


This is a very simple site. Upload your image to the page and you can resize, crop, add text and add a number of effects, then save back to your documents.


You need to sign in (which is free) to this site. It does similar things to Wiredness, but you can also add speech bubbles, merge photos and add a few more effects.

fd’s Flickr ToysWarholizer

This site has a large number of ideas for things to do with your images, for example:

1. Make a calendar.
2. Use the Warholizer.
3. Create trading cards.
4. Create a Hockney-inspired photo montage.
5. Make your own magazine cover.