Category Archives: 603/04 Art

Replying to an Email

Make sure that you’ve read and completed the first part of the assignment before you try this one. You won’t be able to do this right unless you correctly send the first message!

Part one instructions

After you send me the email described in part one, I’ll send you a Reply, which I then want you to Reply to.

When I send you my reply, you’ll see it in your Inbox. It’ll look something like this:

Click on it to open the message and read it

There are two ways to reply:

with the first curved back arrow at the top:

or with the button at the end that says Reply

You need to be able to see my message because I want you to cut out the parts that aren’t relevant to your reply. To do that, you’ll need to click on the three dots to Show message history:

You should now see my message below a line. If you missed it above, read the message. You’re going to select ONE of the questions I asked and respond to it.

Emails can get super long and annoying if you don’t cut out all of the old and unnecessary bits from your reply. Getting in the habit of erasing all of the parts EXCEPT what you’re responding to is super important!

Leave the information about who sent the message when alone. Highlight the parts of my message that you don’t want to reply to and delete those. All you’ll be left with is something like this:

You should also delete your original message which you’ll see below. Highlight and delete:

Then go back up to the top, above the line, and write another email with a greeting, the answer to the question, a signoff, and your name.

It should look something like this:

Once you’ve got that AND ONLY THAT, press Send and send it back to me! I probably won’t respond this time (but I might) but I will give you a mark for doing this correctly!

How to Email

It’s time you social media DM experts finally got around to writing a proper email. Email is a very common, very valuable method of communication, but a lot of people don’t know how to do it well. We’ll make sure that you do after this assignment.

Go to your Outlook inbox

The first step is to click New Message

The email address you are sending the message to goes in the “To” box

There are two ways to input a destination for the email. You can type in the email address VERY CAREFULLY! If even one letter is wrong, your email could end up being sent to someone you don’t even know, or it could just not go through.

You will also have an address book, which makes it easier to email people you have corresponded with in the past or people who are part of your school community. All of your teachers are already in the address book! All you have to do is start typing in a teacher’s name, and it will pop up.

BE CAREFUL that you choose the right address! When you type in rob, you will also see Mr. Robertson, or another similar name.

If you wanted to send a copy of the email to someone else as well, you could put that in the CC (Carbon Copy) box. (you don’t actually have to do that here, but just so you know)

You can even send a “secret” copy to someone using BCC (Blind Carbon Copy). I use this option when I’m sending a message out to all of the parents in a class. When I do it this way, the parents don’t get to see the names and email addresses of everyone I’m sending the message to, which is super important for privacy reasons.

The next important box is the Subject line. This needs to be kept short and needs to tell the person you are emailing what it is that you are emailing about. You do not write a whole sentence in there, just a few words that tell the person why you’re contacting him/her. Click in the Add a subject box:

MAKE SURE YOU PUT IN THE CORRECT SUBJECT LINE HERE! I’m going to get over 300 emails, so you have to help me out and make sure you do this exactly right or your email will get lost in my cluttered inbox and you will not get the marks!

Your subject line should be your room# and then Outlook Email. (e.g. 601 Outlook Email or 819 Outlook Email, etc.) You can copy and paste the words below and add your room number and a space if it’s easier

Outlook Email


Next you will greet the person you are writing to. Most of the time, we use the word Dear, but you could also use Hello, or Greetings, or something like that. Again, if it’s easier, you can copy/paste from here:

Dear Mr. Robson,

Leave a blank line and then start writing your email.

For your message, I would like you to tell me about something you’re interested in or something you know a lot about, and why you enjoy it. Tell me all about your favourite video game, book, anime, ice cream flavour, or whatever you want! I want to know a bit more about what you like.

Your message doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences. You could do something similar to this:

Then leave another blank line and sign off. Some common ways of signing off are:


You can also use things like Thank you, All the best, See you tomorrow, etc.

Then you’ll leave another blank space and write your name: (just your first name is fine, but you can put the whole thing if you like. Your full name is more formal and sounds more “proper” but you would be more informal and friendly with someone you know.)

Your complete message will look something like this:

If you want, you can take some time to make your message look better by using some of the formatting tools available at the bottom:

Read your message over to make sure that your email makes sense and doesn’t contain any obvious errors. Spelling doesn’t really count for this assignment, but your email will ALWAYS look better if you try to spell things correctly and format everything right.

Once you’re done, click Send!

Once you’ve done that, I will send you a message back, which you will Reply to for the second part of the assignment!

Cartooning – Drawing Faces

Continuing on with the basic comics that we created previously, let’s look at how to draw a great cartoon face.

Work with a good pencil and have a good eraser handy. Just draw this on any piece of paper (blank paper will work best, of course.) One you are FINISHED, just take a photo with any device and send it to me or tag me in your drawing if you post it on Instagram and you will get marks for it.

Watch the tutorial below and try to draw the character as you go. PAUSE the video as often as you like to complete each step and go back if you need to. (you can skip the first 3 minutes and 35 seconds or so – that part’s boring…)

You DO NOT have to draw the exact same face that you see in the video! In fact, I’d prefer if you didn’t. You may wish to draw this exact face the first time then go back and draw something more original for the one you hand in to me.

Take your time and do your best. Don’t be afraid to start again if you need to, but remember that you are still learning and practicing, so it’s probably not going to be perfect right away.

Let me know if you’re having trouble! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Online Learning Access

Your first priority this week is to work through the packages of printed materials that were made available last week.

If you missed it, lost it, or need another one for any reason, you can find those here

Teachers are moving to adding instruction and assignments online. To access those, sign in to OneDrive the same way you would for Computer Literacy and look in the Shared area, just like you would to hand in work for me.

If you need any help, feel free to email Mr. Robson ( misterjrobson at

Contact info for GWMS staff can be found here

You may also send me a message on social media if you need help. Find me just about anywhere under the user name @misterjrobson



Your sign in is the same as your computer (first initial dot last name) but you ADD on the end


Click Next

On the next page you will put your password in. Your password is: first three letters of your first name (capital on the first one) first three letters of your last name three numbers

ex: Geowat190

If you are using your own computer or account, you may wish to stay signed in to avoid having to log in every time

If you are on a SHARED computer, you should probably click No (although you shouldn’t really be sharing a computer these days if you can avoid it…)

When you first log in, you will see a section called My Files. These are files that only you can see unless you know how to share them

To see information from teachers and give teachers your work, click Shared on the left hand side

Here you will see a number of files and folders that have been shared with you (these are being updated, changed, and added to regularly, so check here every day!)

Some folders are just information for you to pick up, like this French Resources folder. You go there to get information that will help you do your work

You will see some folders with a subject name and your name on them. These are your personal folders where you may go to hand in or do work. Anything in that folder can be seen by your teacher.

You may also see a number of class notebooks. Explore these to find information and assignments from many teachers. Work completed in that notebook will be visible by your teacher (no need to hand it in)

Comic Book Art part 3

Here are a few more tips about how to make your comics look as good as possible. Take some time to learn these tips before you start drawing your comic!

Creating big block letters:

Planning out your comic to tell a story:

This next one is kind of unnecessarily long. It’s all about “inking” or drawing nice, dark outlines for your comics. All you need to remember is PIE

The final one of Dave’s videos is fairly self-explanatory. It goes over creating panels for your comics. To sum it up, you can download them off of the Internet, trace items to make the lines, or just draw your lines freehand.

Comic Book Style Drawings part 2

Last time we looked at creating a simple comic book character. This time, I want you to be a bit more creative and make up a character that has something to do with your life or your day so far. If I were doing this, I’d have to create something to do with music or computers.

Once you have your character and an idea, it’s time to start telling your story by coming up with some dialogue.

Warhol’s Iconic Diptych

Besides the Campbell’s Soup paintings, perhaps Warhol’s most iconic images are the ones where he used the same image over and over and just changed the colour. Here are a couple of very famous ones:

This technique can be found all over the Internet, applied to many different images

Using techniques similar to our last portrait, we’ll create our own series of images like this. This time, however, we’ll use a photo of a famous person or character. You’ll have to choose a significant character and explain why that person/character is important to you.

Because we’re looking for pictures of famous people this time, we likely won’t find them on Unsplash, so we’ll have to use good old Google Images.

Try your best to look for HIGH QUALITY images!

When you search for your famous person/character, click on Tools

Then under Size, click Large

Find a photo where the person stands out from the background. If you have a simple, plainly coloured background and the person stands out from it, it’s going to be easiest. Sometimes you don’t find the best photo that way, so you’re going to have to choose wisely.

I chose a photo that I really liked. The background is pretty plain, but my subject doesn’t stand out very well, so it isn’t going to be as easy to cut out as I’d like.

QUEBEC CITY, QC – JULY 06: Neil Young performs at Festival d’ete de Quebec on July 6, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Andy Warhol Style Portrait (Photoshop)

As discussed in my previous post (HERE) Andy Warhol was famous for taking photographs of people and adding colour to create vivid portraits. In this project, you’ll turn a photo of yourself or me into a work of art!

If you would like to work with a photo of yourself (recommended), you should ask Mr. Robson to send you one. If that’s already been taken, you will likely find that photo in your Documents folder.

For a photo of me, you can click HERE. You need to click on one of those photos and DOWNLOAD that photo

By now you should have done the GWMS Pride Poster project, so you should know some basic things about using Photoshop. If you have not completed that project, please do so before attempting this one

Once you’ve got a photo, you’re ready to begin. Open Photoshop Elements and choose the Photo Editor mode

As always, make sure you are in EXPERT mode

And make sur that your Layers panel is showing

We’re going to create a New Blank File. There are a few ways of doing this:

Beside the Open button at the top left of your screen, there’s a little triangle. Click that and choose New Blank File…


Go into the File menu and choose New, then Blank File…


Ctrl + N

As with the GWMS poster, you can choose whether to make your poster tall and narrow (Portrait Orientation) or wide and shorter (Landscape)

The photo I’ve chosen is in Landscape orientation, so I’m going to make mine wide. Mine will be 10 inches wide and 8 inches tall, with a Resolution of 300 Pixels/Inch. Please choose the Transparent background:

If you want your Portrait in Portrait orientation, you’ll set yours up like this:

The first step is always to save your work properly, so Go into the File menu and choose Save As… (or Shift + Ctrl + S)

Put it in your Documents folder and call it Warhol Portrait.

The first thing we’ll do is place the photo of you or me onto the background, so go into the File menu and choose Place…

This one does not really have to be stretched to fill the background. I’m going to resize mine later, so for now I’ll just hit Enter OR click the green checkmark to Commit current operation

I’ll move my photo to cover that blank spot at the bottom of the page so I’m not floating in space. Just click on the photo and drag it down.


The gap at the top is not such a problem. You can ignore that if you wish

I’m going to stretch my photo a bit so that I fill up more of the background. You don’t really have to do this but I think it looks better. When stretching your photo, please hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and pull DIAGONALLY from the CORNER!

If you stretch or squish your photo from one of the sides it will not look natural and you will lose marks!

Mine now looks like this:

Once again you can hit Enter or click the green checkmark to Commit current operation

Now we’re ready to start making changes to the photo. Right now, you’ve got one layer and it has the name of the photo file

I want to rename that layer. Double click on that name to highlight it

and change it. This is the original photo of you, so either name it after yourself (or me) or just call it “original”

I always like to leave a copy of the original photo untouched to refer back to later, so we’ll be working with a copy. We need to duplicate this layer.

3 ways:

Right click on the layer and choose Duplicate Layer…


Go into the Layer menu and choose New Layer Via Copy


Ctrl + J

Now you’ve got a copy of that original layer

I want to rename that new layer as well, so we’ll double-click on it and call it “portrait”

To make sure that we don’t mess up that original layer, we can lock it. Select the layer so that it’s blue in the Layers panel

Then up above there’s a little lock icon. Click that and the layer will be fully locked so no changes can be made to it

You can also turn on or off the layer’s visability to make a layer visible or invisible. That bottom layer should be invisible. Go beside the layer thumbnail and click the eyeball

When a layer is turned off (invisible) it has a red line through the eye

If you just turn off that bottom one, you won’t notice any difference, because the top layer is blocking it. To see a difference, turn both layers off (if you want)

And now all you’ll see in the middle of the screen is that checkerboard pattern that indicates that there’s nothing there

In order for us to work with a layer though, it needs to be On/Visible, so make sure the top layer is On and the bottom layer is Off


First we need to remove the background from the portrait. The best place to start is with the Quick Selection Tool. This will work nicely if you have taken your picture against a plain background, which is why I always take my photos against the white wall in the hallway.

The Quick Selection Tool is in the bottom right of the SELECT section of your toolbox


just hit the letter A on your keyboard to activate it!

When the tool is active and your cursor is over top of the image, it’ll look kind of like a little target/crosshairs

Just click and drag on the wall. Stay away from yourself!

You will start to see a flashing line appear around yourself and the edge of the image. This flashing line is often called “dancing ants.”

I stopped and missed part of the wall on mine. As you can see, I need to ADD more of the wall on to my selection

At the bottom of the screen there’s a section of tool options. This tool has 3 options: New selection, Add, and Subtract. To add the rest of the wall, I’d need to be clicked on Add:

And then I’d go draw on the wall on the parts that are not yet selected.

But let’s say I selected too much and have part of my body selected by mistake:

In the example below, I’ve got the top of my head selected. If I deleted that, I’d lose the top of my head. Not what we want. I’d have to switch to Subtract

And then go draw on my head to remove that from the selected area.

A good selection looks like this:

Make sure that those dancing ants go around all of the areas of the wall in your photo. Depending on how you were standing/posing, there may be other areas you need to Add to your selection as well.

Once you’ve got the wall perfectly selected, you can just press Backspace or Delete on your keyboard to erase the wall.

You may see this box pop up:

Just click OK and then press Backspace again

Now you should see a cutout of your subject with a transparent area around it

Your layers panel now looks like this:



This section only applies to photos where the person has dark hair or clothing. If you have a photo of someone with blonde hair and light clothing, you could skip this section.

My hair and clothing are very dark in my photo. When we make our “art” those areas will be black, and I can’t really paint colour over anything that’s black, so you may wish to lighten those areas. I’ll show you how to do that so that you can add colour to dark areas IF YOU WISH

First, Deselect to get rid of those dancing ants (Ctrl + D)

I’ll start by lightening the colour of my clothing. Again I’ll use the Quick Selection Tool to do this (you should still have that active)

Start by trying to select the area that you want to lighten

You may have to either Add to selection if you miss a part or Subtract from selection if you start to highlight too much

A proper selection of my clothes looks something like this:

Once you’ve got the area properly selected, you will go into the Enhance menu and choose Adjust Lighting, then Brightness/Contrast…

You’ll see this slider control box

Brightness is pretty obvious. It makes the area lighter or darker. Move it to the left, it gets darker, move it to the right, it gets lighter




Stay tuned for more instructions…



Besides being a talented artist, Andy Warhol was a bit of a nut. He did some pretty strange things for the sake of his art and making a name for himself. He loved to push the boundaries of art and what was acceptable and became rather famous for doing things that were unconventional…

eeewww! Pee paintings? See, I told you he was nuts!

Besides his soup cans and bananas, Warhol was perhaps most notable for his portraits of himself and of other people.

Here are a few famous examples

Probably the most famous of these is his portrait of the iconic actress Marilyn Monroe

Warhol took an existing photo of Monroe:

and applied his silkscreening process to it to come up with his stylized version. As with many things that he did, there was some debate over whether it was true “art” because he was working with an image that he did not create and just applied colour to it.

Today we’re going to do the same thing! The first thing you need is a photo. The project works best when you use a photo of someone with very light coloured hair, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

If you want a picture of yourself, let me know. It’s always fun to do it that way!