Saturday, May 28, 2011

We're a Colorful Bunch



Months ago, I stumbled upon this project at Art Lessons for Kids and tucked it away in my brain. With the Elementary Fine Arts Gala approaching, I decided it was time to create this (elementary) school-wide mural of portraits. Since my classes are already color-coded like the rainbow, monochromatic self-portraits were a natural fit.

For PreKindergarten and Kindergarten, this was their first exposure to facial proportions and self-portraits. For the other grades, it was a review of previously taught concepts. I emphasized value as a way to differentiate among one hue, along with layering colors with black, grey, or brown, and using multiple versions of the same color (my colored pencils have a variety of every color except orange). Younger students used marker outlines to help define the faces. Yellow and orange portraits had the addition of cut paper in two values to create more variety. In 5th grade, we tackled the word "monochromatic." Students were able to break the word apart and guess its meaning. They were recently exposed to the prefix mono- in a choir song for the gala (do you think she can tell I'm a monotone?) so it was very exciting to see their brains make connections about the words.

Every student (except one absent kindergartner) is represented on the murals outside the cafeteria. I also roped in some teachers to create their own 16cm x 16cm self-portrait to fill in a few empty spaces on the bulletin boards. It was great that every student at the Gala had TWO of their own pieces on display (a piece I chose and their monochromatic self-portrait).

I love everything about this project and am already brainstorming ways to do something similar for next year's Gala.

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