Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Self Portraits for a New School Year

We've been using the self portrait mirrors in my grade 3 - 6 art room this fall to create our newest self portraits.  It has been going well, because the mirror tiles are mounted on cardboard and they are propped up tent style on the table.  I have taped the edges with duct tape and secured the bottom with a string that will only let the mirrors stay open at a desired spread. 

self portrait mirror and sample work

On the first day I introduced the rule of 1/2  for the placement of the features.  We also worked on the primary and secondary wedges of a personal color wheel.  I showed everyone how to find a colors complement by finding the color directly across on the wheel.  The children drew their self portraits in pencil and most finished within  the 40 minutes. 

Next class period, I demonstrated the mixing of 2 complementary colors plus a little white would give a variety of neutral colors.  I assigned the color combinations by table so that the paint palettes could be shared.  I was very happy with the variety of  grayish backgrounds that resulted from our color mixing.  In my opinion, the most beautiful ones came from the yellow & violet mixtures. 
mixing neutrals from 2 complementary colors + white

As we move along, the next steps will be to block in skin and hair with tempera paint.  We will wait for the paint to dry and in the following class periods we will go back in with crayon, and oil crayon to add texture into the hair.  I think that for the irises of the eyes we will used blended colored pencil.   Perhaps we will enliven the skin with some subtle blending of chalk over the dried tempera. 

Our skin tone mixing palettes go onto a large tray and are covered by a plastic garbage bag for the night.  We will re-used these tomorrow. 

I think some of these colored pencils might work great for lip and eye detail.  We'll use them over the dried tempera.

I hope these finishing touches will really put a personalized touch on our self portraits for this school year.  The students will be free to create any kind of shirt.  I would like to encourage bright colors or patterns for the clothing.  It will be fun to see what they come up with for the shirts, because our school usually has a dress code of solid color polo shirts and the colors are limited to just white, navy, and red.

I'm anxious to show you the completed results soon.  Stay tuned for more info.  Later, after the projects are loaded onto the Artsonia website; I'll provide a link to take you to our portrait gallery.

No comments: