Saturday, June 29, 2019

Self-Portraits that Look into the Future

Are you looking for a way to make self-portraits with your fifth graders? Well, here is a great lessons you can do! You will also be able to teach contrast along with portraiture. And how about using watercolors, too. And, oh yeah... you will also have the kids thinking about their future. All in one. Not bad for one lesson.

We start off using a tracer for the head shape. The kids always have the option to change the chin shape, or widen the head shape. It's up to them to make that choice. After I give them an overview of the proportion of the facial features. I use an Educreations video that I've created for this.

When we start of drawing the sun glasses, I let the kids look up/research different styles on their Chromebooks. They can use a real style they've researched or make up a style of their own. Or a combination of both.

We then work on the nose and the lips. After those are put in, we draw in the ears for those students who will show them on their portrait. After the face is completed, we draw the neck and shoulders. I encourage them to keep their shirt style some what plain. That will give contrast to the detailed design inside the sun glasses.


We then spend a whole class period going over hair styles. The kids get a handout that I've created with different styles. You can see the handout here.  They can choose one of the styles on this handout and this handout or create their own.

After the portrait is drawn, the pencil is traced over with a black Sharpie. The sun glasses are colored in solid black.

Next, comes the watercolor background. The students get to pick one, two or three analogous colors to blend together for the background. The kids used a color wheel to guide their color choices. They are to  only paint the background. Which creates the contrast between the black and white portrait and the colorful background.

Lastly, give each student a chance to really personalize their self-portraits even more. What is that place they really want to visit. in the future?  A scene of that place is then drawn inside the sunglasses with colored pencils. 

Give this lesson a try! You'll be happy with the results. And you'll get to learn a little bit of what your students are looking forward to in the future.

If you try this lesson, let me know how it turns out in the comments section below.

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