Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meaningful Art: Self-Portraits

I don't know about you all, but I feel that art is one of the harder subjects to plan. So much of what I find online asks for huge amounts of prep work with very little student activity time. It can be very tempting to have students do a simple cut and paste project or eliminate art altogether to focus on the all important "core subjects." BUT, I feel that art can be such a wonderful subject and students really enjoy it, so this year I decided to design meaningful and engaging art lessons.

My first attempt at this was oil pastel self portraits at the beginning of the school year. I found some wonderful examples on Deep Space Sparkle.

 The original lesson plan is over two days, allowing students to focus on the face the first day, then the background on the second. My schedule allows for only one long art block, so I decided to go for the gold and do it all in one day.

I didn't give my students a lot of direction. I showed them examples through my projector and asked them to make observations about what they saw. When they commented on the use of color, the imaginative representations of eyes, lips, etc, I wrote them on the board as guidelines for the assignment. My only "rule" was that I didn't want to see any white from the paper when they finished. I did a quick demo on how to use the pastels (don't press too hard) and guided them through making an oval to start the shape of the face. After that, I left it up to them.

Not bad, huh? I have some budding Picassos methinks...

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