Wacom’s digital art solution for primary and secondary schools opens a new space for creative teachi

The background and significance of implementing the digital art teaching in primary and secondary

Painting is very enjoyable for every child. Students can express their feelings with painting. Regardless of the different levels of their paintings, they get a lot of fun by painting in this way. However, when older, some of the students in higher grades are inclined to realistic painting since their perception of the world is gradually similar to adult’s, but they cannot paint what they want to express due to limited ability, so that they may lose their confidence and gradually lose their interest in painting.

At the same time, with the popularization of computers, endless computer games are put forward and students, interest in computers has skyrocketed. Some students are indulging in online chat rooms and computer games all day, and this affects not only their studies but also their physical and mental health. Why not put the two things together and use the computers for teaching and creation of digital painting?

Furthermore, as the education reform is progressed and IT application in teaching is diversified, the original means of education cannot meet the demands of modern students. The combination of art education with IT brings new content and vitality for art teaching. Painting, as a necessary basic skill for art, is undergoing a spontaneous, huge change under the influence of modern technology.

In foreign countries, the computer is among the more mature tools for art creation, but is still at the development stage in China. The major art institutions have set up the majors related to computer art, and have trained a large number of creative talents engaged in animation, film and television and games. However, its application in basic education teaching just started a few years ago and still on trial, and this will result in a deviation of the basic education from universities’ demands.

Basic art education is not a professional art education, but a general art education for people to understand life and find the beauty of nature and life, and express their feelings for life with some simple basic knowledge and skills. What students learn is not professional art but general art, which should include the contents conducive to students’ future life and physical and mental development. After all, we do not cultivate artists. Students, who are hearing and seeing what is happening in life, are earnest and curious to explore and enjoy life. They enjoy playing, games and painting, and regard all these things as relaxing ways to live and to release themselves from unhappiness and tension in an innocent way. The art education based on students’ such interests and combined with digital painting (computer painting) will be twice as effective and half as strenuous.

The Art and IT Curriculum Standards (Outline) has specified the direction of novelty and diversity for IT education and art education. Therefore, either an IT teacher or an art teacher must combine the advanced education ideas and methods with the actual teaching, to create an atmosphere in which the students can independently and creatively study. And computer teaching materials will be developed according to the actual teaching, while the flexible and diversified teaching and learning forms, in which students’ active inquiry takes the dominant position and is combined with collaborative learning among students, will substitute for cram teaching.

The conditions for digital art curriculum of primary and secondary schools:

Computer classroom: At present, almost all the domestic primary and secondary schools are equipped with computer rooms, which have been merely used for teaching of IT and now are also used for teaching of other subjects. These schools have already had the hardware conditions for digital art teaching and related study on digital painting.

Digitizer: Wacom Bamboo One Small CTF460 Digitizer (recommended for students)
A painting digitizer for beginners, specially designed for primary and secondary schools
Lightweight 16:10 screen with an appearance in ultra slim design
Enabling a more real feeling of writing on paper
Read speed of 133pps, at which continuous lines can be quickly drawn
Support switching between left-handed and right-handed painting
An education package including 10 digitizers and 11 pens, and extra nibs, nib replacing devices and a pen tether for free
Three-year maintenance warranty

Display screen: a-Si TFT active matrix LCD screen

Work area: 346.23 x 195.53mm

Digitizer induction method: electromagnetic induction method

Sensitive pressure levels: 512

The digitizer has a high precision and high resolution, and the cordless, battery-free pressure-sensitive pen needs no battery and its stability and service life are greatly improved.
The digitizer is designed as a flat plate, and the pen can be manipulated without being affected even at the fringe of the LCD screen, enabling a comfortable feeling like writing on paper.
The pen bin at the top of the pen can be used for storing a pressure-sensitive pen. You can also use the pen tether to fix the pressure-sensitive pen to the main body of the digitizer in case of accidental dropping of the pen.

Painting Software:
The Qiyi Painting King (online version for a computer room) has complete functions and can be easily installed, operated and maintained; enables a high speed of image transmission; fully supports all Windows operating systems, and with higher stability and compatibility, can be very easily used.

Convenient installation: it can be installed on all Windows operating systems while the operating system need not support any network protocol and carry out any setting (such as IIS).
Convenient setting: you need not validate the digitizers one by one, but just plug the dongle to the server and then, all the digitizer can be used at the same time.
Supporting quite a number of users: supporting 60 (or 100) users in full compliance with all schools’ demands.
Foolproof maintenance: a teacher can maintain the system and network without a professional.
The teacher terminal is provided with the features of students (classes) management, works management, works evaluation and other practical features for an online art classroom.

With respect to the advantages of combining the new technology with painting teaching
1) Digital painting has many advantages compared with traditional painting.
① Digital painting enables unprecedented convenience and creativity for a painter to break through the limitations of traditional painting tools. On the computer, a painting can never be a bad work because there are a variety of convenient tools and techniques that allow you to flexibly modify and re-edit a digital painting. When you paint on paper, a mistake may result in a disastrous consequence. You need not worry that this would happen for digital painting, because a majority of software is provided with an undo command. Primary school students are inclined to make more mistakes in a painting as they are not fully physically and psychologically developed, and digital painting can remedy this deficiency.

② Traditional paintings cannot be copied in bulk due to the restriction of materials, so can be shared only in a small range. The traditional paintings of a primary school student, except that a small number of them are probably showed in other schools, can be only showed to the art teacher other than himself or herself. In this way, the traditional paintings cannot be showed and shared. However, with digital paintings, no matter good or bad in quality, all can be shared face-to-face with others around the world through the Internet, and as a result, the students, confidence can be enhanced.

2) Development of computer drawing software and hardware enables a good condition for digital painting.

With the development of computer hardware and software, using computer to paint has become possible. So far, a lot of software can be used for mimicking nature paintings. The Qiyi Painting King is a domestic unique, patented, excellent tool that provides a variety of brushes making more choices and creative possibilities for digital painting. Using the Qiyi Painting King, you can easily create a watercolor painting, charcoal drawing, pastel drawing, ink wash painting, all are incredibly like real ones. Using the Qiyi Painting King, you can use different strokes in different parts of the same work, to produce various visual effects, and this is impossible for   traditional painting. In addition to the default brush, the Qiyi Painting King allows you to customize brushes, enabling you more freedom of creation.

Development of computer hardware, such as the computer CPU with speed faster and faster, the hard drive with capacity larger and larger, the memory with price lower and lower, all are enabling a good condition for digital painting. As a milestone, the digitizer appears. It is commonly known as a pressure-sensitive pen, which is alternative external hardware for a mouse. With the digitizer, hand painting with software becomes easier and more natural, while the most natural line strokes in different shades, size and thickness can be made without any artificial trace.

3) Digital painting teaching plays a good role in promoting traditional painting teaching.
Digital painting is a convenient and efficient way of painting, but we do not abandon traditional painting. The convenient and efficient digital painting that can be re-edited enables us to well prepare for traditional painting, and is especially appropriate for creating a sketch.

4) It can properly guide and cultivate students’ good habits and physical and mental development.

Some students gradually lose their interest in painting. This is because they have the perception of the world gradually similar to an adult’s and want to paint more realistic paintings, while having a child’s ability of painting so that they cannot paint what they want to express. At the same time, with the popularization of computers, the Internet can be conveniently accessed and various games put forward to attract the attention of quite a number of students who are stuck to the computer all day. This seriously affects not only their studies but also their physical and mental health. Digital painting teaching can remedy these deficiencies. It enables students with insufficient ability in painting to create excellent works with a computer. This will enhance their confidence and thereby elevate their interest in painting. The students’ earnest interest in games and online chats can be properly guided to be in painting, so that they can use a computer properly.

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