Tuesday, April 14, 2009

12 year olds...as they see themselves.

We are just finishing a unit in Self-Portraits at school. We spent a lot of time learning how to draw every part of the face and then learning how to be effective observers when studying their own faces. Using a mirror and a strip of cardboard to take measurements, they drew themselves more or less life size. They worked initially on white paper and sketched themselves in pencil. After they did peer evaluations offering each other advice and getting the final get go from me, they traced over the pencil with a sharpie.
All remaining pencil  was erased thoroughly, and if the paper was in a little bit of rough shape from erasing, I made a copy of it on the copy machine. We were working on 11" x 17" paper.
I also made them a copy in 50% reduction so they will have a mini-me to put into the sketchbooks  they made at the beginning of the year, along with some information on the history of the self-portrait.
They all have very serious looks on their faces, don't they? That comes from staring into a mirror non-stop for 1  1/2 weeks.
I told them they could smile, but then they'd have to draw their teeth! They didn't want any part of that!

Then, there's part two. I had each student select a piece of colored paper that was the closest to their skin color. I made a copy of their portrait on the copy machine onto the skin colored paper.
Then I also made them a copy of of their eyes from the original drawing. They spent a period studying the COLOR(s) of their eyes, shading and reflections. They used colored pencils to make their eyes as realistic as possible

The eyes on the skin-colored paper were cut out with an x-acto knife and the colored pencil eyes were taped behind the eye holes.

And that's it ! Voila!  I think they did a fantastic job!!!!!

Below are some self-portraits done by artists you may have heard of.....such as this one.....
Vincent Van Gogh.....he did this self-portrait after he cut off part of his ear, washed it, wrapped it up and gave it to a certain young lady in a brothel. (She must have been thrilled.)(How romantic.)

Down here is a self-portrait done by Salvadore Dali, the greatest Surrealist EVER ! If you know what he looks like, this looks just like him ! (Don't worry, his mother loved him.)

This is a self-portrait of Andy Warhol.  Now, I like Andy Warhol's work, but honestly, this is a silk screen of a photograph. I don't think it showcased his drawing skills, which he had, but this was typical of the type of work he did at that time.

And then there's Pablo Picasso. Ah yes, Pablo.
Now here's a dude that needs to lay off the caffeine a bit.

All in all, I think my kids did a darn good job!


Anonymous said...

The kid's drawings look great! You do an amazing job with them...really!

Debbie said...

Your kids did a great job. Better than some of the masters:)

joanne said...

The kids did a fantastic job. How fun that must have been even if they look like they are not enjoying it much I am sure they did!! Great job you do with them.

ittybittyandpretty said...

a godd teacher can produce results that speak for themselves. my 3rd graders (mostly 7yrs turning 8)made lovely prayer mats... stitched around the outside of some calico and then cut out a fabric cross to place in the centre. very simple, individual and effective.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

Fantastic work, Jamie did a self portrait at school recently but half was a black and white photo and then they had to complete the other half... it was very good..

I like the work of Matisse, I based my end of year show on him (many moons ago lol)

Keep up the good work
X Alex

mary evelyn said...

thank your students for me for sharing their work, they did a great job! i remember having to draw a self portrait of myself several times throughout school, and i don't think i came close to their work. well done!

Balisha said...

What a great project. I'll bet they will remember it forever.Teachers like you are inspirations for these kids.

FoodFunFarmLife said...

Wow, I can't believe these were done by 12 year olds - they are so talented ! Thanks for showing us the step-by-step process, it's so interesting to see :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great project. I am happy to have found your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine.

Bobbi Heath said...

These are awesome. I imagine they are very realistic. I love the idea of using the colored paper and colored pencils. I agree, you must be one of the inspirational teachers that kids remember forever.

Thanks you for your comment on my blog this morning, much appreciated. I have some news on the C Marine front. If you send me an email we can chat more (email address on my blog and profile).

Kris said...

Your students did a wonderful job on the self portraits. As for the other artist....Picasso scars me. :)

Have a happy day


OhioMom said...

The kids did a fantastic job! Kudos!!

Mary Ellen said...

Unbelievable job by 12 year olds! There are probably lots of artist adults who wish they could do this well. I have to tell you what a terrific teacher you must be. Your students are lucky, that's for sure!

cam said...

I wish C. and S. had you for their art teacher!!! Maybe this summer we can have a draw a long!!!

Shadow said...

Your kids did far better than I ever could and you were right about the traffic cones. You should have heard the whoops and hollers... ;)