Don't Slow Children by John Foster Dyess

Semester break is over at Meramec Community College and this is my Friday blog, which I use as a teaching tool. A semester long assignment that I have been giving my illustration students, for about eight years, is a “Journal of Seeing” ,where the students observe and record images that surround them in real life not virtual life. I am sharing ,in today’s blog, a digital construction that I created in 2005, using photos I took of street signs. The following is a step by step process I used to create”Don’t Slow Children.

Slow Children street sign

I didn’t know,when I took this photo, that I was going to use it in a digital painting.I just took the photo for reference for some future use.

Do not enter sign

Another reference photo that I used in “Don’t Slow Children”.

Don't Slow Children ,step one.

I combined the two street sign photos in photoshop. Somehow the running child photo got damaged by my computer. I really liked this accidental happening and it became an important part of the final digital image. I added the words Slow Children on several layers and painted them using various color painting modes,like Hard Light and Soft Light .I added the Stop sign and I just kept playing in Photoshop until I got the desired effect.
I entered a framed print of “Don’t Slow Children” and was accepted in a juried show at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild. This image was also used on a cover of a book titled “The Art Tteacher’s Book of Lists”written by Helen D. Hume.

The Art Teachers Book of lists by Helen Hume

The title came from my belief that, when teaching children, we don’t slow down their education by teaching them our own misguided beliefs.,but let them soar and run and discover the joy of living.




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