A Busy Summer

Carrying on this blog’s big obsession with the hype around Jessica‘s ‘Young Brit’ win, many of you may not have been aware of Jessica’s appearances in various media since her win. We’ll start with with the smallest first; Jessica had a page feature in the Gleniffer High School Newsletter as well as her Gold Award achievement.


Then following on the knowledge that Jessica had reached into the Top Ten entries in the country, she was then interviewed by the Herald. The photographer managed to capture an absolutely brilliant photograph of Jessica, relating it to her artwork, she sits underneath an umbrella, which lends itself for a nice juxtaposition (relating to/comparing) to the broad lines of the house roof.


And lastly, Jessica was given a whole page feature in the Paisley Express. It contains a great interview with Jessica, some stupid words from my good self and another really nice photo that had been taken in our Art Classroom. Well done Jessica. You deserve all the praise and attention. I know that I and the rest of the Gleniffer Art Department, as well as Mr Nicholls (Head) himself are all very proud of you.


“Thank You For The Music”



Continuing with our look at great intermediate units. Rebekah M (S3) has worked extremely hard at getting her musically themed unit together. I really like how she has specifically chosen related media for each instrument. Soft instruments with soft materials, delicate sounding instruments in delicate styles etc.


Juggling your interests can be a hard thing to do. Sometimes one of them has to give, though throughout this year Rebekah and I have tried hard to keep her interests up and in continuous momentum. By relating her unit to her interest in music, Rebekah was able to enjoy her year a lot more and although she missed a few periods of art to music lessons, she was still driven enough to take her work with her and catch up in her spare time. It is for this reason (well that, and the fact that I really like these sheets) that Rebekah deserves ‘Artwork of the Week’.


Customised Rockband Drumsticks Competition


This is the first ever ‘The Art Classroom’ competition and being a little bored over the summer holidays I decided to jazz up some boring Rockband Drumsticks. The Drumsticks themselves are official Rockband sticks, the logos are partially hidden with artwork, though be assured that they are the real deal. Each stick is individually customised with unique artwork, hand-drawn with permanent markers, sharpies and permanent inks. The left stick reveals a hand reaching from the flames towards skulls emerging from the smoke, it’s tip oozes black ink, dripping down the shaft. The right stick shows a skeletal hand, like a gruesome x-ray.




So you may be asking how you win this quirky prize. It’s easy, just answer the two questions below in an email to theartclassroom@googlemail.com including your name and address with its postcode by the 1st August 2009.

Competition Questions:

1) When you mix the three primary colours in equal portions you get a tertiary colour. What is the name of this colour?

2) Which Rock Band performed the awesome hit ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’?

The Small Print:

• BOTH answers must be emailed to theartclassroom@googlemail.com along with your NAME and posting ADDRESS (include postcode).

• All answers must be received before 12pm on 1st August 2009, any received after this date will not be included.

• The winner will be chosen by random from the correct entries received.

• The prize will be posted before or on 4th August 2009 and will be sent to the winners address via recorded Royal Mail post.

• The Rockband Drumsticks may wear or smudge with use.

• The Art Classroom has the right to inform others of your win.

• Your email, address or other details will not be used outside of the competition. All entries and details will be erased after the winner has received their prize.

• The winner will be notified after 6pm on the 1st August 2009 via email.

• There is no age restriction.


Bighead Music Video

At last we have the exclusive preview of ‘Bighead‘, one of two music videos that was produced by the Gleniffer High School Film Making Club. The music, an instrumental called ‘Concertina’ by Scary Thoughts is completely conceived on a Gameboy Classic using the software ‘Nanoloop’. The footage has been heavily edited in iMovie giving it an aged effect, and was all shot within a week of filming. The head took 2-3 months to finalise and weighed a considerable amount. Kirsten, our star, could only keep the head on for several minutes at a time.

(Please note that the video is heavily compressed and the aged effects may be hidden, a non-compressed video will be uploaded soon showing all the effects and detail in its HD glory).

Pretty / Ugly



It’s been very strange that Beth W has not had an Artwork of the Week yet, she made an amazing sports collage that was exhibited in Paisley Museum, she created a great Skeleton Bride for the Day of the Dead and never seems to do any wrong, her work is flawless. It is for this reason that I have had to acknowledge Beth now, even if it is a little late.

Beth decided not to keep her artwork which has been very beneficial to the school and myself. Her sports collage and skeleton sculpture are decorating the art corridor wall, while her Jekyll and Hyde book (above) is now part of my own growing collection of strong pupil work.

So why do I like this cover so much? The pencil side is beautifully sketched, in fact it almost made Beth and I cry when we had to cut it in half for the cover. The depth of the eye along with the shadowing around the nose makes the portrait very intense. Although the drawing looks at lot older than Beth, its resemblance is accurate. The monster side is disturbingly simplistic, its stretched nose and bloodshot eye show a diseased and unhappy Hyde rather than a strong, cliched one. The type is also cleanly cut after many attempts.

I don’t understand why Beth chooses not to keep her own work, though I’m glad, for my benefit, that that is her choice.

Heather B (S1) – As Prolific As Studio Ghibli



After receiving a serious amount of creative work from Heather B that would make an elderly artist proud, I had to make an entire new category to draw people’s attention to pupils like herself. ‘Pupil Spotlight’ will be an irregular feature that will highlight certain pupils that are extremely productive and talented.

Heather B, although being a young S1 pupil, has produced triple figures worth of images and animations, expanding her skills and experimenting within the medium of manga and anime. She sent me a link to a folder with nearly eighty images and shorts, all of which were absolutely incredible. It has taken me a few weeks to finally get around to publishing some of my favourites, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it was worth the wait.

Using a mixture of sketches and computer colouring, using a tablet and drawing with a mouse, Heather mixes her traditional drawing skills with her computer knowledge to her advantage. The above image has been drawn by mouse, which I’m sure, some of you will know how tough it is to get anything worthwhile out of that tool.

The video below is a little 2 second sample of Heather getting to grips with animating a little creature’s face. Notice how the blinking eye and fluid motion of the chatting mouth make the little guy look and behave realistically.

Below, another eye study. By getting the eyes right on a character you can bring them to life. As human beings, we are prone to looking towards the eyes upon first contact. Therefore, for any character to make a impact, the eyes must be believable.


Heather does not only push her skills in drawing linear and simple line characters, she also spends a lot of time working on giving the impression of style and subtlety as evident in the orange and tree studies below.



I’m sure you will agree that there is a lot of talent exposed in these images. I know as a fine artist and designer that using tools such as stalling software and crashing movie editors, uncontrollable computer mice and frustrating pen tablets, that sometimes it is a good thing to achieve any kind of output, but to actually achieve the output Heather is producing now… is staggering. Below you will find a few images of how one of Heather’s images comes together using a variety of sketching and layout, designing and impressionistic computer painting, then composition and combining.

Len sketch (tablet)

Len Kagamine Gender Bended (Tablet)