Thursday, July 7, 2011

Third Grade Picasso Portraits

I have seen many versions of this project- here is my spin on it:

My third graders learn how to draw a self-portrait. I teach them how to divide the face, which proportions to use and they get to work drawing their portrait from the front. After they have finished, they trace over it with a black marker- pretty basic.

Then I show them how to draw their portrait as a profile. This one takes them a little longer. Again, we talk about measurements, proportion, etc. When they are finished, they trace this one with black marker also.

At this point, they have 2 different portraits, on 2 different pieces of plain 8 1/2 x 11 xerox paper.

Then I give them a 3rd piece of paper. I have them trace their first portrait and then set it aside. Then they take their profile and place that one underneath. They can move it around to wherever
 they think it looks best and they trace that one. They have now combined both portraits into 1 single, Picasso-ish portrait. After they have traced both portraits, I have them take the 2 originals home, so that they don't get them confused.

For the next step, I give each student a transparency. (With the advent of SmartBoards and document cameras, the teachers at my school have given me TONS of transparencies. I used to have to buy them every year, but now I have a supply that should last me for years to come!)

They tape their Picasso portrait to their transparency so that it doesn't move around. I have them trace the entire portrait with a permanent black marker.

Then it's time to color. We use oil pastels to color the different sections that were created by combining the 2 portraits.
 I stress to the students that no white paper (the paper that is still taped to the back) should be showing through, so this helps them know if they have colored enough with their oil pastels.

When they have completed their oil pastels, they remove the white paper from the back and they pick a piece of construction paper that is complementary to their background and I staple it to their project. Make sure that when you staple them, the oil pastel is touching the paper (the shiny side/uncolored side of the transparency should be face up).

The last step is to use gel pens/markers to add patterns. Again, the students use complementary colors to fill in the spaces with a variety of patterns.

I used to use Phooey Gel Markers, but now I can't find them anywhere. They had the best overall effect and lasted the longest when a grade level of 120 students were using them.

For the last few years, I have been experimenting with a variety of gel pens and markers and have not found anything that works quite as well. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. I would love the ideas! Pin It