Friday, September 13, 2013

poppin portraits.

The 4th graders will be making a lot things pop this year to contrast and in their first project they did it in a couple different ways.

We looked at the work of Swedish artist Petra Borner for this lesson. Petra makes some wonderfully intricate works out of cut paper. I love her shape and color sensibilities. While looking at a few of her pieces, students identified the various ways Petra made some parts stand out from others. What they discovered is that they all involved contrast of some sort. It could be dark v. light, thick v. thin line, pattern v. no pattern, or the use of opposite colors.

I talked about the 3 pairs of opposite colors found in the rainbow, and that they would have to pick one of these pairs to use in their painting. As a reminder, I pointed out the my 3 rows of tables were broken down into the opposite color pairs. 

In our practice and project, we focused on her (and their) use of thick line v. thinner lines, and her (and their) use of opposite colors. In order to show contrast proficiency for this project students must have used one pair of opposite colors correctly and used a thick line to separate the face from the background.

I guided the students through the drawing process, emphasizing that they should draw softly so mistakes or adjustments would be easier to make. I also stressed that Petra's image was the inspiration for their project. They were free to change it to make their piece different from hers and their classmates. I showed them how they could alter hairstyles, hand gestures, facial features, and patterns.

Students then traced all their lines, making sure the profile outline was the boldest one. When students were ready to paint, I demonstrated how they could make light and dark colors by adding more water to their tempera paint.

The hand gestures were definitely the hardest part for most students, but they all persevered and did a great job with them:)

There were many interesting individual takes on this portrait assignment. Great job 4th graders!


  1. These look fantastic - they all turned out so differently! I just came across your blog tonight. I love your ideas :)
    Doodling Around in 6th Grade

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