Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring 1142: The Monogram Exercise

As designers, we all started somewhere. For most of us, that meant getting an education. This semester, I've had the opportunity to teach, not one, but TWO sections of our 1142 Graphic Design Essentials course. This is the foundation course for the Graphics Technology Program. While some students are taking this course with the intentions of completing the program, others are taking it for fun, as an elective, or just to brush up on their skills. Regardless, it is always humbling to one day look back on your early works and to see just how far you've come.

One thing I always stress to my students is the importance of trial and error... of experimenting... of learning what works and what does not. Ultimately, they have to find their own methods and their own process. When we first start learning software, I provide them with brief, in-class exercises that are designed to get them to do just that.

Enter, the monogram exercise...

This exercise was given to the 1142 students when they were fresh to Illustrator. I asked them to "design" the first or first and last letter of their names. They were not given any detailed, step by step instructions... this was purely exploration time. The end results varied, but the ultimate intention was that they begin to get familiar with the software and various tools by their own means.

Feel free to comment, critique, or make suggestions for future exercises :)

Anna Ware

Johnny Barragan

Mike Sirizzotti

Cory Rodis

Damien McLoughlin

Kristie D'Agostino

Elaine Eichner

Kathleen Carroll

Melissa Miller

Melissa Castro

Catherine Alexander

John Blair

Michael Barton

Brent Hazelton-Glenn

Rosie Suarez

Alice Moulton

Amanda Kost

Tyler Rolling

Johnny Ocasio

John Mulgrav

Terry Richards

Saturday, March 19, 2011

GRA2201 - Assignment 3 & Project 2

The objective for Assignment 3 was primarily to work with the new CS5 Mixer Brush Tool. Students were to create a digital painting from a nature related photo using only this tool. Unlike previous assignments, there was less focus on the technical aspects and more on effort, creativity, and attention to detail. The goals of this assignment were:
  • Understand the way the Mixer Brush tool works
  • Working with the Mixer Brush tool settings
  • Applying realistic painting techniques
  • Attention to detail
  • Working with stock photos
 This assignment coincided with Project 2, which as a self portrait digital painting. Below are a few examples of Assignment 3 and Project 2.


Christopher Reichert

Dianna Lugo

Dorothy Timmer

Ricky Lester


Christopher Reichert

John Coffey

Dianna Lugo

Christian Perez

Ricky Lester

Monday, March 7, 2011

GRA2201 - Assignment 2

For Assignment 2, the students of my Electronic Imaging course had to create an illustration made entirely of brushes, and ONLY brushes. Each student was randomly provided with a different theme for their illustration. They needed to use a minimum of 5 different brushes plus create their own custom brush. The custom brush needed to be created from a stock photo or illustration, but the other 5 brushes could either download them from the internet or custom created. It was important to use high resolution brushes (1300px or bigger). Assignment 2 focused on the following skills:
  • Creating and saving custom brushes
  • Utilizing online resources to download brushes
  • Working with and adjusting brush settings
  • Practice image composition
  • Working with and organizing layers
  • Using brush blending modes
Christian Perez
Ricky Lester
Josh Murphy
Luella Keroumi

Eric Rummells
Edward Hughes
Dorothy Timmer
Zuleyka Dones
Diana Lugo
Brian Plaza
Sean Thompson
John Coffey