Vector Silhouettes Day 3: Posture & Body Language

Today’s essential question: How can posture and body language illustrate the interaction between characters?

Today we will continue working on our vector silhouettes. Make sure any photos you take do not awkwardly cut off body parts. If part of a foot or hand is missing, you will have nothing to trace when you bring your image into Illustrator!

Here are some strong student examples from last year. How has each character’s posture or body language helped tell a story?


Image Credit: Lily


Image Credit: McKenzie


Image Credit: Subash

Today we will:

  • Finish taking our reference photos or drawing our reference sketches
  • Finish our official project proposal blog posts. This should include:
    • written description of your concept (can be copied and pasted from previous classes’ blog posts)
    • final reference photos or sketches

Vector Silhouette Day 2: Creating Our Reference Images

Today’s essential question: How can I create strong reference images to later trace over in Illustrator?

Today we will either create our reference drawings or take our reference photos. Make sure your image uses the most powerful point of view for the concept you are trying to convey. The examples below illustrate what I am looking for.

Sample Reference Photos (you must take the photos yourself – do not use internet images created by someone else):
Same Sketch (use a Sharpie to color in the silhouette so we can make sure you have an appropriate balance of positive and negative space):

Image Credit: Lily

Today we will:

  • Either create our reference drawings or take our reference photos
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • The reference photos/drawings created during this class
    • Written description of your concept (can copy and paste from last class’s blog post)

New Project: Conceptual Vector Silhouette Inspired by Kara Walker

Today we will introduce our next project, Conceptual Vector Silhouettes Inspired by Kara Walker.
We will use Adobe Illustrator to communicate a message about a social issue of our choice.


Kara Walker is best known for exploring the raw intersection of race, gender, and sexuality through her iconic, silhouetted figures. Walker unleashes the traditionally proper Victorian medium of the silhouette directly onto the walls of the gallery, creating a theatrical space in which her unruly cut-paper characters inflict physical and emotional violence on one another. (PBS’s Art 21). More background information on Kara Walker is available through TheArtStory.

Read about Kara Walker’s recent statements regarding the current political climate in the NY Times and Quartz.

Here are some examples of Kara Walker’s artwork:

Project Requirements:

  • Vector black and white silhouette imagery created in Adobe Illustrator
  • 11×14, 14×11, or 12×18 (depending on desired dimensions)
  • Illustrates the complexity of a social issue of your choice
  • Balance of positive and negative space
  • Choice of one of the following:
    • One detailed scene with figures and an environment
    • Triptych (three artworks that should be displayed together) of simpler silhouettes

Today we will:

  • Brainstorm project ideas for our conceptual vector silhouette project
  • Create a new blog post with the following (this will count as a 10 point homework grade, so be sure to fulfill all requirements):
    • A written description of your concept. Not sure what to write? Start by answering these questions, but make sure your final blog post is written in paragraph form:
      • What social issue will you illustrate?
      • If this is currently a contentious issue, what side/argument of this issue will your artwork portray?
      • What imagery (figures, environment, props/accessories) will your artwork contain?
      • What will be happening in your artwork?
    • A sketch of your planned design (you will later trace over this in Illustrator, so be sure to add the appropriate amount of detail)

If you do not finish all the elements of your planning blog post this class, post what you have in order to receive a participation grade for the day.

Movie Screening Day


Today we will screen our movies:

If you have not yet written an artist statement about your trailer, please add a 150 word artist statement to the same blog post with your finished trailer. You can talk about your concept, how you made the trailer, what you found challenging or easy, and how you solved any challenges you faced.

Final Video Editing Day


Today we will finish editing our movie trailers. We will upload our finished movie trailers to YouTube, then create a final blog post with the following:

  • link to our final movie trailer video
  • 150 word artist statement about our movie trailer

Ms. Lawson has left feedback for everyone who has posted their progress to their blog. It is on a yellow slip of paper in your class folder. The following people have not posted any progress in weeks, and therefore did not receive any feedback: Danny, Avery, Aquan, Seth, Jaden, Carleton, Raul

Movie Trailers: Sequencing, Pacing, & Title Screens

Today’s essential question: How can I best set up the sequencing and pacing of my movie clips to create the best possible movie trailer?

Today we will continue editing our movie clips in Premiere. The first half of your trailer should include longer clips that set the scene. As the trailer plays on, the clips should get shorter to imply a faster pace and create suspense. You may wish to include text slides in between certain clips to further your story.

Shaborn’s project is well on its way to success. Notice how the clips get shorter as the trailer goes on. How might his project benefit from some text slides?

Today we will:

  • Continue working on our movie trailers
  • Export our progress so far and post it to YouTube
  • Create a new blog post with the link to our YouTube video progress

Editing in Premier: Audio & Text

Today’s essential question: How can I add text and audio in Premiere?


Here are some tutorials that show how to add audio and text in Premier:

After today, we will only have two classes left to finish our movie trailers. Please plan your time accordingly.

Today we will:

  • Continue editing our video footage in Premiere
  • Create a new blog post with a link to our footage so far