Thursday, October 16, 2008

October Surprise

Last night was the final night of my first series of coloring classes. It's a class for Seniors in the Illustration department.

I'd raced through comic book coloring over the seven weeks, starting on Day One with a history lesson, the relationship of ink on the press to the channels in the file, and pushing them through correct scanning and file setup. I made the students physically hand-code printouts of 30-year-old Fantastic Four pages, and then made them replicate the work on-screen. They learned to finish a file correctly and got the almighty lesson of "JUST CUZ IT LOOKS GOOD ON YOUR MONITOR DOESN'T MEAN IT WILL LOOK GOOD ON PAPER." They learned about value and how the little numbers relate to the actual colors. They learned to suppress blacks when transferring files from RGB to CMYK.

Then we raced through gradations, brushes, filters, and coloring for the web. They made their own brushes and turned in three finished pieces at the end.

13 of the 14 students finished. Most of them did excellent work. A couple were *really* good.

And last night, towards the end of class, one student made a barely audible comment about being clueless in Photoshop.


"I didn't know anything about Photoshop before I came in here."

"What about the rest of you?"

A few of them had played with it on their own. One had taken classes before he transferred to SVA.

I was gob-smacked. They were Seniors in an art school. I'd assumed a certain awareness of basic Photoshop skills, and consequently had driven them hard, with high expectations. Meanwhile, most of them had barely ever touched the program.

But they hadn't complained and they'd done each assignment. And done them well.

I wish I could post their work here. Some of the kids barely knew how to use a computer at all, and here they'd all kept up as I raced through their lessons.

I couldn't be more proud.


Sue said...

Congratulations - you are a much better teacher than you give yourself credit for. You were teaching advanced Photoshop, which I know firsthand is very hard to grasp, even if you know the basics. Good job!

Marie Javins said...

Thanks! I'm still a little stunned.