Final Project--Inspired by Sleepy Hollow

Photo 221.jpg

For this project I was really excited to be able to work with transfers.  I have become very fond of using a gel medium to do paper transfers in my visual journal, however I have never done any on fabric before.  I decided to work with some imagery from the Student Camp I worked on with Amara and add some more too it.  I wanted to incorporate more Goya as well as some more morbid, ironic touches to the imagery while still maintaining a Sleepy Hollow theme.  

Before applying the imagery, I stained the canvas bag with coffee, paint, and washes of acrylic.  I allowed that to dry before transferring my Photoshop imagery.  I practiced with transfer paper and gel mediums and came out with more issues than I anticipated.  Most of my transfers either smeared or were dull in color.  I lucked out with the final transfer trying to be extra careful with the iron and I think it worked fairly well.  Finally, I added the hatchet to complete the surface plain and add more interest to the overall space using paint markers.

Lesson with Suitable Technology

7th Grade

Time Needed: 6 classes/ 50 min



Focus:                        Action Figures/Superheroes and Illustrator on T-shirts




1.    Demonstrate use of a variety of tools, materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the hardware and software.

2.    Create original two- and three-dimensional artworkds in a variety of artistic contexts.

3.    Analyze and interpret a variety of meida artworks using established criteria.


Motivational Resources:  Pixar's The Incredibles, Marvel characters such as: Spiderman, X-men, Batman, and Superman.  Japan's Amiyuni and Manga characters.



·      SMART Board

·      YouTube clips of Anime and Marvel cartoons

·      Illustrator (Adobe)

·      Paper

·      Pencils

·      Scanner

·      Printer (color)

·      Iron On Transfers

·      Irons

·      T-shirts




            All over the world kids love Super Heroes and action figures in cartoons.  Each country has their own, but they all profit from its existence.  Kids watch the cartoons, buy the clothes, play with the toys, and remember their favorites into adulthood.  This lesson will inspire students to think about their favorite characters from Anime, Manga, Marvel, and Pixar and draw their own character while using the sophisticated computer program called Illustrator.  Most of the initial drawing will take place on paper and then the students will have a chance to learn and use from demonstrations given by the teacher to create their own Super Hero.  The students will then print on Iron On transfers and adhere to a plain t-shirt.

            These characters have been around since the 1930's.  Marvel started their comic book business in 1939 with comics about the Human Torch.  With the dawn of war on America's doorstep there was a huge leap in character development.  Comics almost acted as Patriot Propaganda with their timely characters fighting the evil and preserving safety in our cities.  Superman was prime example of bias judgment towards Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  There was a whole cartoon series dedicated to defeating the Japanese characters in order to save Lois.  The different companies that created comics came and gone over the years, but many generations seem to fall back into them.  Marvel's re-emergence was thanks to the movie industry and is in full force.  What makes Marvel so interesting is the idea that all of the characters from the different comics can come together because they live under the same Marvel Universe.

            Manga is a type of comic style in Japan that was first developed by style of simple wood block prints of people.  This later developed with the age of technology coming into play as well as post-war Japan.  Magazines were able to function via television and by the 1960's most families had one.  Much Manga focuses on Sci-fi themes and stories.  Some of the most popular types are Jump, Dragonball, and Slam Dunk.  These were stories that really attracted older teens and young adults into reading and still continues today. Today much Manga attracts men, women, and children alike.


Day 1:  This day will focus on the discussion and idea building for their drawings.  The teacher should start off by opening some YouTube or direct video clips for students.  While they are watching pause occasionally to ask a question about the character's look and costume.  When the teacher goes on to another clip, ask the students to compare styles in the cartoon itself.  Are the characters lucid and rendered or are they blocky and stylized?  While asking these questions, write the responses on the board to remind the students later on in the class while they work.  For the next portion of class have the students brainstorm in small groups the different role and powers a superhero or action figure has in stories.  They should also include any common symbols that represent these figures. For the final activity of the day the students are to start drawing a basic outline of a superhero that either describes them or something they wish they could be.   Each student needs to develop a figure with costume and symbol that represents their superhero/action figure, like batman has a bat.  Also introduce that these finished drawings will be iron on's after drawing in Illustrator to put on t-shirts.


Day 2:  (will be in a computer lab) Students are to come in and finish their drawings if they have not done so already.  While some students are finishing the others will take their turn getting their work scanned into the computer system.  All images will be saved using their last name and placed into the school's public folder for the day.  Once students have scanned their work into the system, hand out a short tutorial for Illustrator while students are catching up so the whole class is on the same page.  Allow work time on the tools tutorial.


Day 3 (Lab):  Students will log into their computers and wait for the teacher's lead.  The teacher is to show students via the projector how to upload the scanned files into Illustrator. Here the teacher will demonstrate to students how to use the brush, pencil, line, and layer tools/pallet to trace/draw in the program. After about 15 minutes of demonstrating, allow students to work.  The next day or two may only be workdays. Allow students to finish the outlines of their drawings.  If there are trouble-shooting issues, revisit the program with the students to practice with them again.


Day 4: (Lab): After all the outlines are completed, students will be ready to fill some color or add text. This day will be a demonstration about filling color and text.  The teacher should keep in mind an appropriate layout for text with an image.  Remind students to use the order tool for placing text if it is near the drawing.  Work time in program filling color and details.


Day 5: (lab) This day will focus on finalizing the digital drawings.  Students should start printing on their iron on paper.  If all students are able to print, return to the classroom to iron on the shirts.  Leave some time during the next class to finish up.


Day 6: Critique. Instead of having students pin the shirts up to the board, have students put shirts on over their clothing.  Put on some music and have a fashion show.  Not all students have to participate if they do not feel comfortable, but encourage it and tell them to have fun with it.  After this activity, break the class up into groups of 4 or 5 and have the students work on a reflection together talking about each other's designs.  Guide some questions, but allow some time for free group reflection.



Art Production: Students design original character inspired by popular superheroes and action figures of America and Japan.

Aesthetics: Students discuss visual and content details of characters to decide what makes a superhero or action figure.

Art History: Students learn the background of comics in America and Japan.

Art Criticism: Students present personal artwork to peers as well as whole class to get feedback on the strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes of their character design.





















History of marvel comics. Retrieved December 12, 2009 from website:


Philbin, B. G. (2007) A brief history of the marvel universe. Retrived December 12, 2009 from website:


Thorn, M. (2005) Manga-gaku. Retrieved December 12, 2009 from website:


Lesson on a budget (less digital)

8th grade

Time Needed: 7-10 50 min classes



Focus:                        Japanese Bunraku Puppetry and Media Art





1.    Demonstrate use of a variety of tools, materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the hardware and software.

2.    Select a variety of software such as photo-, video- and sound-editing software, to create original projects for expressive intent.

3.    Describe characteristics of Western and non-Western styles, movements and genres in art.

4.    Assemble and prepare personal media artworks for public exhibition.


Motivational Resources:  Chikamatsu Monzaemon and Chushingura. Youtube videos of both artists' famous plays: Love Suicides at Sonezaki, and The Treasury of Loyal Retails.


Materials Needed:

·      Cardboard

·      Newspaper

·      Glue

·      Water

·      Water dishes

·      Paint brushes

·      Variety of Asian style fabric

·      Digital video camera

·      Paint

·      Blank DVDs

·      Computer with iMovie

·      Metal clasps




            In Japan in the 17th century a type of entertainment and art was developed: Bunraku.  Bunraku is an emotional depiction of a story where a puppet(s) act out and dance a story.  There is typically music and a narrator along with the puppets.  Each puppet is run by three puppeteers and two are typically covered by black robes. All three work together to create fluid movements, but the Omozukai (or main puppeteer) leads the primary movements of the puppet.  All puppets pieces are carved and build from wood, and nearly 4 feet tall, which can lead to the puppet being fairly heavy.  Female puppets weigh around 15 pounds and wear a kimono; whereas a male, or ninjo, puppet can weigh up to 45 pounds because of armor. The faces of a each puppet are very intricate.  The eyes, eye brows, and mouths can move separately; however, the puppet never speaks for that is blasphemy.

            Many stories portrayed by the Bunraku puppets deal with male and female interaction and social roles.  Love Suicides at Sonezaki is the Japanese version of Romeo and Juliet.


Day 1:  This day will primarily be used for introducing the art and showing the motivational videos. Students will be given a worksheet asking questions about the visual style first and then the next video will ask questions about the sound and music that is going on in the video.  The purpose is to have the students thinking about the style of Japan in live performances.  Students will then be asked to create their own drawing of a puppet.  The puppet can represent them or someone they know, but the figure must have elements of Japan visible. 


Day 2: This day is to think about stories.  The class will discuss what story elements were noticeable in the works shown the day before.  If the students do not remember, revisit and discuss some key plot points and transitions to a climatic point in the story lines.  Students will then break up into groups of five.  Two students will be writers and three will be storyboard artists.  All of the students can come up with a story together, but two will focus on the portions of the storyboard that are not visible.  Students should make a general outline and then have the writers work together before the storyboard artists fill in the different scenes.  Each story should have:

·      At least two characters

·      An issue going on between the characters (can be big or small)

·      Has up to five props

·      Emotion building music

Students are allowed to take a more contemporary stance on the ideas in their story (so it relates to them) but they need to have some Japanese elements, such as a kimono.


Day 3: Today is primarily for working on the storyboard.  In the last ten minutes of class all students will present, or pitch, their storyboard to the rest of the class.  Each other group is allowed one positive comment and one constructive comment.  The comments will be written on paper after each pitch, and the teacher will collect and recite each comment.  This ensures anonymity and appropriate behavior in the classroom.  The storyboards do not need to be in color.


Day 4: At the beginning of class, each student is to pull out their drawings from the first day of the unit.  The groups are to look at each drawing together and see whose character(s) will best suit the story.  The students will then come back together and the teacher is to discuss the assignment for the day.  He/she will cover what is traditional material for a Bunraku puppet; however, explain what materials the students will be using in place and the process they should follow.  Students will be paper macheing their puppet bodies. Some students will be assigned puppet duty while the others will focus on the costumes.  The class will be separated into two halves: puppet building and puppet costume.  First the teacher will remind students how to paper mache with a demo. Then the teacher will go work with the other half about putting clothing together. Work time for the rest of the day and will continue for three to four days.


Day 5:  Students will all work on the background that works for all themes.  This background should be fairly general and simple.  Students are to use cardboard and paint.  Work on this for two days.  Use two tables in the room for the stage length and build up a few feet for height.


Day 6: Students will come and revisit their stories today.  This day sole purpose is for students to practice working the mechanics of the puppet(s) and the story line.  Students should be in twos or threes with their puppets just like in a traditional Bunraku shows.  Each student should have equal work. One needs to be the narrator, one controls the music, and the other three work the puppet(s). The student in charge of the music will be working in garage band.  This student could have been a costume student who finished early.  This student is in charge of original tracks for the play.  There will be at least one more day for practice and then students will start video tapping.


Day 7: This day is solely for video tapping.  If students finish with their recording early then they will upload the video to iMovie.  Two students from each group will be in charge of the audio sounds added along with no more than three effects.  Leave at least one more day for this and the project should be completed.  For students who get done working early, they can start their reflections and can work on their sketchbook assignments.



Art Production: Students create an original artwork for public viewing using traditional Bunraku ideas.

Art History: Students build and create a performance inspired by Bunraku puppets of Japan.

Art Criticism: Students are to observe and critique the traditional works of Bunraku artists to discover what styles and themes are common from the art form.

Art Aesthetics: Students utilize the traditional Bunraku form and costume to build and create their puppet.  Students also practice and perform in the style of Bunraku.






















Bunraku. Retrieved December 10, 2009 from website:


Johnson, M. (1995) A brief introduction to the history of bunraku. Retrieved December 10, 2009 from website:


(2004) The puppet theatre of Japan: bunraku. Retrieved December 10, 2009 from website:


(2008) Bunraku-classical Japanese puppet art-screener. Retrieved from YouTube October 10, 2009 from website:




MN Standards!!!!!!

Click on the first link down the page a bit. Adobe from 2008. "Art Standards Revised 2008 Final Draft"

Go Bananas!

Screen Shots of Sleepy Hollow


Character Development, Horseman and Ichabod


Awesome Book


"Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek ... and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out ... and then emails the clips for Ryan to see.

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts -- Ryan's text in the book, and Sarah's videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book."


Really cool literature to share with students while they work on projects.  This is a great reading motivator for students that have had a hard time getting into reading. 

Reflections thus far

Day 1 Prep:  Today Amber, Rachel, Brent, and I got together to work on cameraless animation for the coming Tuesday.  Each of us made our own example flip book and thaumatrope to show to the students. Rachel said she would make the zoatrope for Tuesday.  Overall, we just made our examples and figured out what supplies we would need for the students to make successful yet simple flipbooks in the warm up time in the Tweed.  Joelyn said she could gather the materials for us.

Day 1 Camp: Right off the bat it was a mess, and it was because of uncontrolled issues we ran into.  Students arrived early as expected, however there was no where for us to really work with them because there was a tea going on in the Tweed until 4.  We ended up only having about two minutes to explain the project of the flipbook and another minute to talk about the other two projects we could make with them.  The other issue we ran into was the over abundance of teachers in the area.  There were already four of us, then two documenters, and three greeters.  Before we knew it the students had to leave.  Many of them did not come close to completing a flip book.  In our time down in the tweed while the students were in the computer lab, we had one father and son stop and make flip books, but otherwise it was pretty uneventful from that point on after the students left the Tweed.

Day 2 Prep:  Today Amara and I chose our topic: Sleepy Hallow.  We had to pick something with a transformation for an animation project with the middle schoolers.  Most of the stories were very feminine so the two of us wanted to do something that could cater to either sex, and in the spirit of Halloween.  The first artist that came to mind for me when I thought of Sleepy Hallow was Goya.  His artwork is dark using a subdued and melancholy color scheme to set the tone of his paintings/prints.  For the majority of class, Amara and I put together our Project page as we looked up the origin of the story.

Day 2 Camp:  Today we presented our story and Project page with color scheme and motivational artist, Goya.  We ended up having two boys in our group.  We discussed overall story plot.  (We later came up with a set story line to follow because one of the boys bounced his ideas all over the place.  Today the two students started and nearly completed their characters: Ichabod and the Headless Horseman.  I discovered that I need to make sure I burn the product onto the disk, I cannot just drag and assume it saves.  I was able to recover the file luckily so the student's work was not lost.  Sooo Scary!

Day 3 camp:  This day was focused on our other form of animation: sand animation.  We were the first group to go and we headed down with our two students to the Tweed where the process was completed.  The first thing Amara and I discussed with the students was what the sand animation was for, background weather, and then what type of colors we should use.  We reminded them again of the Goya inspiration from the first day so they had a better idea of the colors we were using in the animation.  Both of the students were very skeptical to touching the light table and the sand at first.  I am not sure if it was strange to them or because the materials.  The workshop teachers showed the students a couple examples of sand animation so the idea of using sand as a technique would not seem as strange.  I took stills after Amara would count to 7.  During those 7 seconds, the two students were to do what ever they wanted with the sand.  We ended up taking 25 still frames.  I learned that I should always make sure my battery on my camera is charged because the charging I did the other day was not long enough to complete all 25, but luckily there was a camera available from the other teachers. 

After we finished the sand animation, we had the students come back up to the computer lab with us to finish up character creations.  I had one of the students exploring new tools besides the paint brush to help with the creation of the horse of the Headless horseman.  He got really into because it felt less tedious to him. He almost finished by the end of the work period.  Amara worked with the other student with the final touches of his character.

Day 4 prep:  Today was spent working on backgrounds and discussing what needed to be ready for the upcoming camp day.  Amara worked on the forest, while I worked on a building, stream, and bridge.

Day 4 camp:  Today Amara and I started working with the actual animation in photoshop.  We did a demo of how to animate in photoshop and the "animation studio" in another window in photoshop.  While we were teaching them, I made a horrid discovery.  The Ichabod I thought was actually saved, did not save the entire file, so Ichabod was lost.  Because of this, we asked the students if we could only work on a scene with only the headless horseman.  I promised this student I would do my best to recreate Ichabod.  I had watched him the first day, so it was not too bad to remember what he did. I had a tiny thumbnail to remind me of colors and some simple details.  He told me it was fine, and I apologized for the loss.  He seemed to snap back pretty quick while we worked on the animation of the horseman.  After about 10 minutes of repetitive work both students were bored of copy paste, copy paste.  We told them by next week they could work in iMovie and both of them were more excited about that.  One was saying how he was going to be copy pasting in his sleep if he worked on that for another day anyways.  

Day 5 prep:  Before today I made sure Ichabod was ready for Amara and I to work on the other scenes.  This day was extremely productive.  We looked at the story board that we created with the students and went to town on the animation.  We were able to get almost all of the scenes done during this time. I personally had some work to do on my own, but not an overwhelming amount.  By Tuesday the students would be fully available to work in iMovie the whole hour to complete the animation.  We saved as quick time movies so we could drop the animations in work right away on Tuesday.  We also played in iMovie to find sounds and effects that might be appropriate for our movie and made a list.

Day 5 camp:  Today was all about iMovie.  All of the students had a sample of Garage Band from Joellyn's son, but our group decided that we did not really need that. The entire time was dedicated to this work.  When there was not a demo going on, the two students were sitting at one computer deciding on effects and sounds together.  Each was able to pick at least one effect and a couple sounds for the video.  Both students worked very well together and we were able to leave the last day of camp with almost a completed project.  The only Amara and I had to worry about for the next work day was the text in the title with the students' names.

Day 6 prep:  Today was all about the title being readable.  The problem was when we tried changing the color the program would add additional text in the new color and when we deleted one or both the sound got messed up.  So most of class was taken up because of minor glitches.

Animation with Students SLEEPY HALLOW


For our third project, Amara and I wanted to choose the story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hallow" by Washington Irving.  In the theme of Halloween and to hopefully to gain interest from the boy students we decided to come up with a color theme and general tone for our students to work from.  We based the melancholy colors of Goya to inspire a dreary and dark story animation. There are several variations of the story so we briefly explained our story to the students on the first day and then worked on a overall plot after discussing it with our two students.  We want them to feel like they really own this piece instead of us making them connect the pre-placed dots the whole way through.  After we would talk with them we will plan out a set story board for them to work from in the third class time of the camp.

The story of Sleepy Hallow was influenced by several ideas Irving discovered.  The town is based off the New York town, Terrytown that was primarily a Dutch community in the 1800's.  After living in Terrytown and hearing Dutch ghost stories, Irving traveled to England to later be influenced by German and Scottish folklore.  This is where the idea of the headless horseman sprang from.  The horseman was originally a Hessian soldier who's head was blown off by a cannonball during a battle. Eventually, Irving moved back to his beloved New England town and wrote his story of Ichabod Crane and Elizabeth living in Sleepy Hallow while a frightening Headless ghost haunted the lovely town. 

Puppet Animation Video