One of my favorite programs to work with is Photoshop Elements (PSE). I usually start teaching the program to my students when they are in 3rd grade. They get the concept of the paintbrush and how to drop color into a section using the paint bucket -- but some of the other tools are little trickier to explain.
A few years ago, the art teacher at my school was doing a project based on the work of Romero Britto. His work is colorful and vibrant -- and the kids LOVED the project inspired by his work. As I was looking at some of their creations -- I thought about how simple it would be to recreate the style of his work using PSE and the Magic Wand tool.
First I started out by having all the kids complete a guided tutorial. We each opened up a black and white drawing that I copied out to all of the lab computers. We discussed what we saw and how Romero Britto uses line to divide the space. Some of my students compared this to a stained glass window.
We then used our paint bucket tool and filled in the space. We reminded each other that Romero Britto's work is very colorful and vibrant. We also remembered that he uses non-traditional colors in paintings.
The next steps is where the fun begins. I teach the kids that the Magic Wand tool creates a "force field" around the color that is selected. By choosing the Magic Wand and then clicking on the yellow area under the purple sun -- that area gets selected. I tell the kids the moving lines remind me of marching ants. After an area is selected using the Magic Wand tool, I then select the paint brush tool and change the brush tip, size, and color. Then I start drawing my pattern or design.
Students then repeat the process until all the colored areas are filled with interesting patterns, polka dots, or stripes. Romero's work is very happy. I encourage children to create images that bring them joy and happiness. Check out some of our students work!!