Friday, February 20, 2015

making faces:)

This week the 1st graders are revisiting the use of value and secondary colors in art. Many of the classes created MLK portraits with their classroom teachers a few weeks ago, so I decided to apply these concepts to a different type of portrait with the help of an image by Tunisian artist Ayat Taieb.

We looked at this portrait and identified the primary and secondary colors in it. We also talked about how some colors are lighter than others. We also took a few minutes to identify the different portraits I have in my classroom. What the kids discovered was that the look of portraits are not the same- artists can make a portrait in a lot of different styles and use a lot of different materials.

We used chalk pastels for this project, so kids could get practice mixing colors with different materials, so I emphasized that only their drawing tool should touch the paper to prevent unwanted smearing.

Students added white chalk to their paper to make it a lighter value first, then drew their portraits, and traced them with a black oil pastel for the contours to stand out more.

They then added primary colors to their portrait. Once the portrait was filled in, they could mix secondary colors in places.

The final step was to trace the contours one more time, so any lines that got obscured could be brought back to life:) This was a direct drawing lesson, but there ended up being a lot of different personalities present in the portraits.


  1. These are incredibly beautiful! I love the way they mixed the secondary colors. Can you please describe the steps you guided the students through to actually create the drawing portion of the portrait? Are you using an Elmo? I have trouble with classroom management with first graders (I'm a K-5 teacher). Thank you!

    1. elmo? if that is another word for doc camera, then yes:) This is pretty direct. They can see each of the steps on projected on my smart board. we start with the big shapes- a big "U" or 'V" for the head, then neck, shoulders, collar, then the one eye, the eyebrow leads to the nose, mouth, hair,ears, extra patterns and details.