Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The First Years Go Back to the Old School

The last project was all about showing our first year students the delights of traditional, manual, 'craft' skills. Computers are OK but they can't make dummy books, staple, use pen & ink, paint in acrylic using a dry-brush technique etc.

As more and more people become slaves to technology we want our students to see the bigger picture and stand out from the crowd. Yes; it is important that illustration students experience, explore and experiment with as many media and techniques as possible. Yes; graphic design students should be able to perfectly mount work, make 3D models and draw beautiful, freehand curves.

We therefore turned the computers off for two weeks, originality was put 'on hold' and the design and illustration students were given 21 slightly different technical challenges which included:

  1. Making a stab-stitched book with a sequence of square holes on each page
  2. Creating an A5 saddle-stitched book with die-cut holes in the cover 
  3. Window mounting (45 degree bevel) a postcard
  4. Hand cutting a 100mm diameter perfect circle
  5. Embossing geometric shapes
  6. Draw a 42mm square in the middle of an A4 sheet
  7. Construct a three dimensional letter 'A'
  8. Various technical drawings (orthographic, isometric and oblique)
  9. Hand-painted colour wheel, grey scale and tone scale)
  10. Large constructed 'R' (graphic designers)
  11. Various drawn/painted curve exercises (graphic designers)
  12. Copy a 1930's poster in paint (graphic designers)
  13. Copy the work of various illustrators using a range of media (illustrators)
Let's take a closer look...

Eilidh (21) demonstrating the correct stance for using a cork-backed metal ruler with a Swann & Morton brass-handled craft knife fitted with a No1 blade.

Charismatic illustration lecturer Dwayne Bell (33), demonstrates what a compass can achieve to a totally engrossed Kate (21)

Tom (21) has downloaded the audio book MP3 of 'How to construct the Roman Alphabet (Chatto)' and is carefully following instructions.

Beth (21) cuts a perfect circle in a sheet of paper and unwittingly creates a portal in time and space. If you look through it, you can see Telford town centre on a rainy, winter's night!

Cameron (21) shows the correct use of a parallel motion.

Sophie (21) at work on her travel poster copy...

...while nearby, Julia (21) puts the finishing touches to her William Nicholson forgery.

Ben (21) has mastered the difficult technique of using a parallel motion/45 degree set square combo. In the background, Sam (21) looks scared... ...very scared!

One of these 'A's' is slightly better than the other, but can you guess which?

Ben (21) proudly displays his constructed letter 'R'.

The beautifully cut square holes in a stab-stitched book.

Some perfect (and not quite perfect) white cubes.

Insert your own witty caption here...

Some William Nicholson copies (original bottom right) done using waterproof black ink with watercolour tinting.

Missed by a 'country mile'. A 'rubbish' 42mm square with the staff 'master' overlaid to check for accuracy.

Sophie C's (21) finished Alan Rogers poster.

Sophie D's (21) hand drawn/painted curve exercises.

Colour and tone exercises.

Here's a Brian Froud copy - the original is on the right.

Edwin (21) 'knocks off' a pen & ink copy of an R F Micklewright original (right).

Finally, Julia (21) gets close to the Brad Holland original (right).


Post a Comment