Using computers ICT in the Art Room: Students' Work

I have set out some practical examples of using computers in the art room. This is not meant to be a gallery or exhibition of best practice, but a guide to HOW you might use the computer as a tool to make better art. Much of the work was done using cheap software on old computers at least ten years ago, yet I still find these methods as valid and purposeful as they were then and whilst the computers get fancier and faster, the underpinning learning principles are the same.

Using the computer to create design development ideas for painting

In these examples Adobe Photoshop and/or Corel Paint have been used to help students to improve their designs for abstract paintings. This method really helps students to improve their designs. They simply scan in a piece of drawing or artwork then use the filters and abstraction tools in Photoshop to create design ideas. They print these out then select their favourite one to use as a design for a painting. I use this method myself in my own paintings. I take a photo of the painting on my smart phone then try out new colour or composition ideas to see what works.

In this example a beautiful coloured pencil drawing has become a vibrant abstract painting using Photoshop filters. Stage 1 is the drawing, stage 2 is the filter abstraction in photoshop and stage 3 is an acrylic painting based on the printout.

Coloured Pencil Drawing

Using Photoshop filters on the drawing

More Photoshop filter work on the drawing

In the examples below, Photoshop has been used to turn simple collages into very abstract works of art. In the first example, the students produced a collage from observation, then used the computer to abstract it:

Abstract Image One

They then produced this abstract painting:

Abstract Image Two


In these next three examples, large scale abstract works are photographed. The students are then able to experiment with different colour ways and compositions:



Using the computer as a design tool

In these examples Corel Paint has been used to help students to improve their designs for Batiks. However, the outcome might just as easily be a print or another art form. Students scan in their artwork in the form of simple line drawings, then use Painter to create colours and texture effects. The computer allows them to move the elements of the design around to discover alternative ideas and colour ways. You can use other software for this, it doesn't have to be done using Painter. The final designs are then printed and used to create the design for a Batik.

These are the original scans of students' line drawing. They have then manipulated these drawings using Corel Paint:

Line drawing imported to  Corel Paint

These three images show the final designs for Batik work:

Batik work produced from Corel Paint

Using the computer for Digital Photography

In these examples Adobe Photoshop Elements has been used with simple filters to create interesting effects:


Here a student has combined photographs of the Eden Project and Big Ben to create an apocalyptic composition:


A photograph of a frog has become a humorous caricature using Photoshop:


Using the computer for Graphic Design

In these examples Adobe Photoshop and/or Microsoft Publisher have been used for Poster Design, leaflets and Book Covers:


Using the computer as a painting tool

In these examples Corel Painter was used to create a chalk picture. Some simple line illustrations were scanned in then played around with to create designs for a picture. The background was made black to simulate the effect of black sugar paper then the chalk tool was used to make the painting. The student used a cheap graphic tablet for this work that cost less that fifty pounds:




Using the computer for Illustration

And finally, here a simple cartoon that has been scanned and turned into an excellent illustration using Photoshop:


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