In this project, we covered more color theory, color mixing, the proportions of the face and collage. It was a fun endeavor and one that I'm sure I'll be doing again in years to come. My art classes are 30 minutes in length with my younger students so each portion of the lesson I had to break down in small bites.
The project began with a group of helpful fourth graders that come in each morning and help a poor hot mess of an art teacher out. They sorted through all of my washable markers and found the that were on their last marker-y leg, so to speak. I soaked 'em over night in a cup of water and the next day, placed the warm colors of "marker juice" on one set of tables and the cool on another.
The kids could decide what color they'd like for their background and commence splatter painting. We had chatted briefly about Jackson Pollock and watched a short clip of him in action. The kids were super excited about this process and very curious about the making of marker juice. Y'all don't even know how many donated markers the kids have brought in for the cause.
We MIGHT have ended up with just a coupla rainbow freckles with all that splattering.
The following art class, I read the book The Colors of Us. Because of our color mixing background, the kids were familiar with the basics of how to create secondary colors with primary. For creating the unique flesh tone of each child, the kids were given red, yellow, brown, white and black. We talked about the various flesh colors in the book and how the young girl in the book created each one. Then the kids put that knowledge to work and painted a piece of 9" X 12" sheet of paper that was their flesh color.The following art class, we used that flesh colored piece of paper to draw our self portraits. We talked about how the head is shaped like an upside down egg. The students traced a head-shaped template, drew a neck and did a little guided drawing with me. I had mirrors out so the kids could look at themselves as we drew.
From there, we cut out our bald self portraits and glued them down to our splatter painted background. Using mirrors and our color-mixing knowledge, we painted our hair. I loved seeing all the different hair styles!
We have been reading the book I Ain't Gonna Paint No More (which is so much fun to read, the kids adore this book!) and we talked about how sad we'd be if we didn't get to paint anymore! Each of the kids then chose a super messy and painty piece of paper to create their shirt.
While they worked on that, I called them by table to come and see me to do one last crazy thing: mix paint on our hands!
I had three trays of the primary colors set up. When the kids came up to me, they had to tell me what secondary color they wished to mix and, as a great post-assessment test, they had to figure out what primary colors to use! One hand went in one primary, the other hand in another, rub those hands together like you are putting on lotion and VIOLA! Secondary color hands! These were then promptly printed on paper. The best part was each kid gave me a great big ole painty high-five when they were finished and heading to the sink.
Our final step was to cut out our hands (without cutting off digits), glue 'em down and sign our name. I can't wait to hang these happy faces in the halls at school.
What are some of y'all's fave books to read when teaching self portraits in the art room?