For a few weeks my Maker class has been working on a unit called The Power Of A Pencil. In this class we learned how to use our Apple Pencils and the technology on our iPads, such as Sketches Pro and Keynote. It was fun to play around and doodle on these apps, and we got to experiment with different tools.
This unit had a driving question that we thought about in the back of our mind as we sketched. The question was
How can we use our pencils to enhance our learning?
Since we only had a few weeks to work on this project, it wasn’t super complicated, and we learned pretty fast. This question will be the driving force behind this blog post, and I will attempt to answer it.
Now, on to the actual art. We had 6 Milestones to complete during this project, all different types of art. Many of them came out Everyone Can Draw, a book with lots of cool art projects to make on iPads.
Milestone 1: Word Art
The first Milestone was Word Art. We wrote our names with interesting lettering, pictures, and colours, using tools in Sketches Pro. We had to show that we were comfortable using the tools and the pencil, as well as making the art fun to look at. Here is my Word Art:
I used the watercolour brush to paint to letters and the trees, and then the sanding tool to create the illusion of snow. At the end I filled in the background with the ‘Fill’ option. I like how it came out, but if I were to do this again I might have made it a bit more even, and used more tools for the lettering to add different textures.
Milestone 2: Sketch-Noting
For the second Milestone, we learned about Sketch-Noting, and how it can be a good way to take interesting notes in class, at meetings, or pretty much anywhere where you have a pen and notebook (or, in our case, iPad). We experimented with different lettering, symbols, and transitions.
For the Milestone the class watched a video on Mindset, and drew sketch-notes about it. Here‘s mine:
I’m not sure that this particular exercise was my favourite, but it was interesting to learn about. And who knows? Maybe I’ll use them in class someday.
Milestone 3: Portraits
By the time we got to the third Milestone in this project, we were a bit more comfortable with the pencil and the tools, so we were ready for something a bit more challenging: portraits!
Portraits are really fun. I like to draw people a lot, so I was excited for this one. We also got to trace photos that we already had, so it became more relaxing, instead of focusing on making every line perfect.
I really like how it came out. I used a pencil to trace it, playing with different opacities to make it lighter or darker. Afterwards I darkened the shadows, and used a watercolour brush to add colour. In total I think I used 7 different layers in Sketches Pro, which in my opinion is a lot! I like using layers because then if I screw up I can fix it without ruining the entire drawing.
Milestone 4: Still Life Fruit Bowl
The fourth Milestone was to draw a still life of a fruit bowl (the title is pretty self-explanatory). My group was given a bowl of bananas, which was fun, but maybe not the most interesting. The first task was to photograph it, and then we traced it in Keynote and made a little animation (or, as I like to call it, a Bananamation).
This is mine. It is kind of mesmerizing to watch.
After that, we moved on to the still life itself. At this point I was away on a trip (you can learn more about that in my SBC Week 5 Music post), so I missed this class and only finished part of it. Here is my half-completed drawing of bananas:
As you can see, it’s not finished yet. I traced it with a pencil and then added colour with the Fill tool, smudging it to blend the colours together. It looks kind of weird now, but maybe someday I’ll update this post with the completed drawing.
Milestone 5: Logo
I completely missed this one, so I don’t have much to say about it. All I know about it is that my classmates designed logos for businesses that they invented, which sounds like fun to me.
Milestone 6: Final Piece
Since I’d missed so much of the class, I decided to use my portrait as my final piece, because I was happy with it and I didn’t have time to create another one. I just added a signature, and voila! My final piece was complete!
Here it is! I will be proud to display it on the wall next to my classmate’s art.
So that concludes my post about The Power of a Pencil! This was a fun project, and I’m excited for our next Maker adventure!