Monday, November 14, 2016

In the Art Room: Royal First Graders

Brace yourself. You're in for an overload of First Grade Fantastical Cuteness in the form of Royal Self-Portraits!
Like, riiiiiight?! I can't even, y'all. These selfies are so sweet it's like a lollypop dipped in Fruity Pebbles dipped in milk chocolate and covered in sprinkles (guess who has a strong sweet tooth? GUESS). My fab-o first grade artists completed these just in time for me to get them shipped off to Artome for their frames. And I'm so excited for these are totally frame-worthy. 

I don't often repeat projects but when I was dreaming up a self-portrait unit for all of my classes, I knew I wanted to give this lesson another go-round. I did have to alter the lesson quite a bit as the format of the Artome frames is half the size what I usually have my students work. Lemme tell you how we created these bad boys, er, royal dudes and dudettes. 
I'll break the lesson down for y'all...keep in mind that my classes are 30 minutes in length. This project took us about two weeks to complete. On the first day, the kids were given a 9" X 12" sheet of white paper and tasked to paint that paper the color of them. Before doing so, we read this great book:
In the book, a young girl paints portraits of her friends mixing up their unique skin color. The kids were given brown, black, white, red and yellow paint. We chatted about tints, shades and mixing up a variety of flesh tones. The kids painted their sheet of paper their unique skin tone. 

The following day, on that sheet of painted paper, the kids traced a head template in the middle of the paper and added two vertical lines for the neck. This was done independently and in pencil. Once complete, the kids met with me on the floor for a little guided drawing. We chatted about the proportions of the face and facial features. We drew together in oil pastel. When using oil pastel, I always stress to the kids to use black last and never to wipe their paper as it can smear the pastel. That was completed on our second day.
During our third art class, we cut our portraits away from the painted paper and glued it to a new sheet of 9" X 12" paper. We had a nice chat about painting hair: mixing the right color and creating texture. Once the hair was painted, the kids put those on the drying rack and worked on their crowns. For that, we used gold painted papers and crown templates. I had cut pieces of metallic paper (I found some metallic origami paper to be just the thing!) and the kids added jewels to their crown. I did chat with them about symmetry and balance when it came to the placement of the jewels. It's always good to pack as much educational punch into those lessons as we can!
Our fourth day, crowns were attached to heads and clothing was created. For our clothes, the kids were given a rectangle for their shirt and two squares for their sleeves. These were decorated with my favorite florescent oil pastels (really, where have these BEEN all my life?!) and attached at the bottom of the paper. 

Finally came the background! We used Crayola's water soluble oil pastels for that. The kids could use either warm or cool colors for the background before adding water to paint. 
Ta-da! You might have noticed that some of my fancier friends added coffee filters for a ruffly collar to their shirt, sparkly earrings and more jewels. They really had a lot of fun getting all kinds of royal for their selfies. 
Finally, they had to come up with a title for their piece. "Princess Cutie Cute" will forever go down in history as my favorite title for these precious masterpieces. I cannot wait to see them framed and in our Artome art show! Love to hear about your favorite self-portrait projects, y'all!
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6 comments:

  1. These are adorable! And so many good art concepts packed in there! Great lesson!

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  2. Melissa Brown11/15/2016

    When they mixed the colors for their skin did they mix the colors straight onto the paper or on a plate first?

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    1. We painted straight onto the paper. For peach tones: yellow first, small amount of red and white to make it light. Add brown for a tan color. For brown tones: brown...white to make it lighter and black to make it darker. Add a pinch of red to make it brownish red. We filled the whole paper...I hope that helps!

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  3. Love these sooooo much!!!

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