Thursday, August 13, 2015

In the Art Room: My Fave Portrait Lessons

Hellllo, friendly faces! For my Back to Art Teacherin' feature today, I thought I'd share with you my very fave self-portrait projects! Last week you saw my fave landscape projects so I thought these fresh faces would be a nice follow up! So, without further ado-ness, let's get the self-portrait party started!
These first grade royal self-portraits are so stinking cute and were super fun! Not to mention, my wee ones learned so stinkin' much! Pattern-making, portrait drawing, relief-style crown design, whew! These artists are now in fourth grade and seeing these self-portraits just makes me so proud. They are still as awesomely artistic as ever! 
Last year, my third grade artists had the opportunity to sing and record a song to go along with the book A Beautiful Oops! In preparation, we sang and painted oops-es. We also learned how to draw a proportional self-portrait to be placed over our paintings. I loved how colorful and happy these turned out! More details about our recording session and the process of these pieces here
Love the splatter paint! 
Teaching kindergarten can be a wild and crazy ride. The key is to harness the crazy. This project was completed near the end of the year after we'd covered line painting (in the background), collage (for the clothing), rainbow order (see that palette?) and the proportions of the face. It was great to see all of their knowledge come together in one good looking project! All the details you could ever need on teaching portrait drawings to the littles, here
Y'all remember about 5-ish years ago when there was no Pinterest and we all had to use that gray squishy thing between our ears? WASN'T THAT A TERRIBLE TIME?! And y'all remember when that one genius art teacher did that one genius rainbow self-portrait project that I think just about every art teacher in the universe did (I know I did it!!). Well, this "We are the World" self-portrait number was a take on that. It was a big beautiful undertaking that you can read about here
Putting this together was a bit of a beast. Thankfully, I had some super amazing practicum kids from a local university put the thing together. Otherwise, it'd prolly still be sitting on my floor! 
Another big portrait-making undertakin' was this dealio:
The Gallery of Gratitude was one of those projects that just made everyone smile. Who doesn't love to see a child's drawing of them along with their words of appreciation? This was a great project do to before Thanksgiving. 
Not to mention we learned about portrait drawing, capturing someone's likeness and colored pencil usage.
When this display came down, I made sure everyone got their portrait and I've seen many teachers, faculty and staff have them hanging in their rooms and offices. How fun! 
My units are usually based on a culture. So many of our self-portraits give a lil nod do the culture we are studying. These second grade self-portraits were all about the kimono and the konichiwa! 
And these were all about Paris! First grade had a fun time flying high with this project
 I love teaching about Ancient Egypt as much as the kids love learning about it. This is one of those self-portrait projects I repeat each time we venture to Egypt because it covers so much! 
 We really got into the correct proportions of the face and shading. 
Last year, we were pinched for time in self-portrait-land for both kindergarten and first grade. Having eight snow days will do that to an art teacher! So we went the quick and easy route: we used multicultural colored contraction paper for the face which we drew in oil pastel. Then we cut that out and glued it to another sheet of paper that we painted hair and a background on. That took us two thirty minute art classes! Like I said, quick and easy. 
And happy as can be! Y'all have been so great about sharing your ideas...I'd love to know what your fave self-portrait projects are! Thank you in advance, kids. 
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  1. i know you do a metric ton of hard work, but every time i come over here my eyeballs flip and my brain wishes i'd chosen a different career!!

    1. Oh, gurl, I have a feeling you would be awesome at any chosen career but as an art teacher, you would be amazing!! You'd run circles around me, I've no doubt!

  2. I want to follow Cassie around for a year to see how she manages things. I guess they call them Student Teachers.

    1. Ha! You'd find out what a total and utter mess I am! And how much coffee I consume! AND ALL ABOUT MY HOARDER WAYYYYZZZZ. Trust me. It's madness up in here!

  3. Me too! I want to follow Cassie around for a year!!! Cassie....... Do you have any tips in your past posts about grading? For example, shortcuts that won't make grading so crazy?? THANK YOU !!!

    1. My tip on grading is: DON'T DO IT! Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Or put it in the hands of the artist. Self-scoring and self-assessment. I'm not even kidding. You don't have time to mess with that mess! I believe in keeping it simple and putting the load on someone else. It's how I live my life ;)

  4. WOW.....YOU HAVE SET ME FREE! I do have a self assessment points rubric. I'm going to stick to that. I still have to record and report grades however.....ugh.


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