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!