I thought it would be a good idea to save my ten-year-old granddaughter from afternoon-club at school. Isabel and Hattie visit once a week anyway, to play and have supper, but suddenly Izzy had an extra afternoon and I thought some computer skills would be useful. Isabel is an artist, so Photoshop seems a fun thing to do and a good option.
I decided from the beginning that we would work with Isabel’s own artwork and her own photos. This is the 10cm x 10cm oil painting she did with me for her mother for Christmas.
We started by measuring a sheet of A4 and making a blank page the same size in Photoshop, then cutting the daisy out with the lasso tool. She used the magic wand to get rid of extra bits of green.
What nice names the tools have!
Using the eyedropper, Isabel selected some green from her painting and poured the paintbucket over her paper. Then using Alt key (duplicate), she put flowers all over the page and decided to call it Meadow of Daisies.
She tried a few different fonts before she was satisfied. After that we just played around with alternative background colours, but the green came up trumps.
The half-hour was up and Isabel still wanted to play, so we made another page, this time with just her name and one flower on a mauve oval. Next Tuesday is her second lesson and I’ve committed to seven lessons to take us through to the Summer Holidays, and then we’ll see if we want to take this further.
What sort of skills should a 10-year-old child have to learn Phhotoshop?
Isabel is a normal little ten-year old with hardly any keyboard skills but she plays on the i-pad doing minecraft. She loves my Instagram and keeps looking at tags like “Baby Animals”, I discovered that I am now a follower of Higgles-Piggles, some guinea pigs! Also, when I showed her how to manipulate photos on the i-pad I saw she liked doing it and that made me think we could try Photoshop.
These are the principles I am going to try to follow:
- This is meant to be fun, so there will never be pressure to remember anything or to do what I think looks better. She knows it is a ‘formal extra lesson’ and that I am wearing a ‘designer-tutor hat’ rather than a ‘granny hat’ (bonnet?) In other words she is not here to watch TV or play on my i-pad, but to do 30 minutes of Photoshop.
- Isabel loves drawing and taking photos so we’ll use these as much as possible, bringing in the scanner as a tool. I’m going to try to avoid downloading from the web because I feel it is a bad habit for artists to use the internet as their first resource.
- We have two computers side-by-side and I hope to take over her mouse as little as possible, and show her the next step on my lap-top. She gets the big screen of course.
- I’ll work by repetition but will have planned a specific project that looks totally different each week. She is going to so-love the cloning tool!
- I aim for the lesson to be thirty minutes so if she wants to play on the computer after that, we can always make some duplicates and do bizarre designer decisions for a laugh.
- I am prepared to print her work – the cost is worth it, because it will give her such a good sense of achievement. We’ll do everything on A4 and spiral-bind it at the end.