My RAY Journey Blog

Rowan Edlington
Sharples High School
Art & Design Pathway

Follow my journey on the RAY programme…

Launch Night!
‘I was really excited for the launch of the RAY programme, but I was also a bit nervous too, because I was the only one who was on the Art and Design pathway from my school so I didn’t know anyone! I learned a lot and I’m really looking forward to the photography session and I feel I will gain new skills. I even made a new friend! Next week is debate evening …


Debate Evening…
‘I was actually looking forward to debate night because I quite enjoy debating and happen to be a bit of a ‘devil’s advocate’ – so to speak! I soon found my group and made a couple of friends from other schools, as well as chatting to those from my school. I really like the diversity of the RAY program, so many different schools and so many different people! The event started with an introduction and then we split off with our group.

First we learnt a bit about Ethos, Pathos and Logos, the three types of debate (Featuring a celebrity, Pathos – Featuring emotions, Logos – Featuring logic and facts). Our first debate was about chocolate bars, Bounty vs. Mars and we had to develop our argument and then the teacher picked a spokesperson. I was the spokesperson for Bounty but unfortunately Mars won. We all got to eat the chocolate bars though! Then within our small groups, we got given a topic, my group was given ‘Should Officials use Social Media?’ – we had to argue against it. It was great fun and I learned a lot. I even got a medal for being one of the debate champions in our group! 




Art & Design

Tonight was the first session of art and design, I knew vaguely what we were doing but never expected it to be drawing with sticks! (As strange as that may sound) After our teacher came to collect us, we split into two groups. One group would start on fine art and one would start on Graphic design. In the next session we would swap over and then swap back and so on in future sessions.

I was put into the fine art group. First we had to select an object – there were various ones such as bones, shells, pressed flowers and even a snake’s skin! I chose a shell. We were taught that we didn’t have to use a brush or pencil to create art, and therefore we were going to be drawing using only sticks and ink. It was quite hard at first, but I eventually got the hang of it! I loved the atmosphere in the room, the group was so varied with different schools and characters and lots produced really great artwork! I can’t wait for the graphic design sessions too. 



Art & Design Week 1

We’re doing graphics tonight! I am really excited because I would love to go into graphic design as a career in the future. We all had our own logins for the computers already, so it was quick and easy to start the lesson. Our group is quite mixed, from people who haven’t done much graphics to people who have done lots, so the lesson was structured in a way that we could work at our own paces which I quite liked.

The teacher started off by going through the basics of Adobe Photoshop with a demonstration on the board. We were then given our options as to what we would like to design; an abstract poster that we could base around any theme – although it was advised that we do something from our school artwork for GCSE, or we could chose a design brief. One briefing was asking us to create a range of packaging for an artisan chocolate company – CocoLoco with exotic flavours! Another was to redesign a book cover for Malorie Blackman’s “Noughts and Crosses”. I chose to do the chocolate packaging. Most chose to do the posters, but everyone had different creative ideas! We started off by researching  and creating pages of ideas, gathering photos etc. for our designs. I liked the options we were given because it meant that we were able to express ourselves through our work. I think everyone enjoyed the session, I know I did, and I can’t wait for next time! 





Art & Design Week 2

It was the second week of art and design and we were doing etching and printing. This is something I’d never done before so I was quite intrigued by it. (It was actually a lot harder than it seemed too!) It was very well explained and I eventually got the hang of it – we were scratching into photographs of our object from last art session (mine was a shell) using sharp etching tools and also craft knives. 

It was quite tricky to peel the outer layer instead of the whole picture, so I decided to just cut around mine and remove the background. I think I managed to get quite a lot of detail into it. Then we all had to cover the photograph in ink; the places with no outer film would absorb the ink and the shiny parts of the photography would not. After making sure we had ink spread evenly all over our pictures, they were put through a heavy roller and printed onto damp paper – careful not to trap our fingers in there! The results were pretty amazing and everyone enjoyed it! 









Art & Design Week 3

This week we were continuing our work on Photoshop in the graphic design project. After refreshing our memories and skills, we set to work on continuing our projects. I had chosen to do the chocolate bar wrapper for “Coco Loco” but most of the class chose to do abstract work. We used various tools and it was really interesting! The two hours flew by really quickly. We also learned how to use Smart Templates on Photoshop to turn our designs into realistic products which was cool because I’ve never done anything like that before. I have learned so much from doing work on Photoshop that will be very useful for my school work too!













Art & Design Week 4

This week we were doing studio photography. Photography is something I have a big interest in, but I’ve not done much of it so I was very excited! There were two groups of us and two activities to do. The first was the actual studio photography, we were photographing everyday objects such as glasses, forks and other kitchen utensils under harsh lighting to create different shadows and effects. We used high-tech digital cameras and many of us got some amazing pictures! Some of the outcomes looked really cool.

The other activity was something I’ve never done before, I’ve heard of the process but never got the chance to try it myself. We were making our own pinhole cameras to develop photos in the dark room. We slotted a piece of special paper into tins with a small hole poked in them, but covered the hole with blue-tac. If we had exposed the paper to light, it would’ve ruined it. Once we had found something to photograph, we were to remove the blu-tac and expose it for around 30 seconds. Some results were amazing! Others didn’t work as well but it was really fun and interesting. I learned a lot in this session and had a fantastic session.





















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