Thursday, April 28, 2016


I think portraiture is a very important idea to teach young artists.  Students are asked to draw people constantly - the illustrate their writing, to illustrate definitions, in poster-type assignments, etc. I approached the concept differently among the grade levels that I teach, so that the idea is always fresh every year.  I don't want students to get bored or be disinterested in a project, so I have customized portraiture for grades 1-3.
First graders learned a lot about proportion and proper placement of features while making self-portraits.  I used this project to show student growth from the beginning of the year to springtime.  They drew without instruction in October, then again with instruction in April. I graded the projects using a rubric and the results were absolutely astounding!  I couldn't be more proud of these young artists.
These pictures show the same student's before and after.

Second graders studied the Statue of Liberty for their "portrait".  While it's not exactly a portrait, the drawing required them to concentrate on placement and proportion of features as well as observational drawing by looking at pictures of the statue.  

Students mixed blue and green watercolor to make the perfect oxidized copper color. They added fireworks with crayons in the background and then painted the sky black.
Third graders took on the self-portrait idea with a totally different perspective.  They concentrated on the art element "space" while drawing themselves falling.  This project took four classes to complete, but it was worth it!

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