I showed them the Mona Lisa as a famous example of a portrait then provided mirrors so they could really look at their own features, a pencil to sketch an outline, oil pastels to color the entire page (background too), heavyweight watercolor paper, and q-tips for blending.
Most of the kids dove right in, studying their faces in the mirror then drawing and coloring. One child was only interested in drawing “transformers,” another got a little lost in working with smudgy intense oil pastels for the first time. He covered one sheet of paper with a few patches of color then started on a new one with just black, telling me it was a rainbow. Finally, when everyone was done, this rainbow child refused to let me take his picture home with me so I could frame it for him. “I have like 29 frames at home,” he told me. Yes, this is where the presence of their lovely, calm and authoritative regular teacher would have come in handy…
Anyhow, here are some of the pieces the kids created and let me take home to mount onto construction paper for them. Few of them remembered to do the background work so I took the liberty of painting a light watercolor wash over them to help them look a little more finished (both sides needed to be painted in order to avoid paper curling).
|I love the vivid colors on this one -- she really pressed hard to achieve that intensity from the oil pastels|
|This young lady was extremely detailed all the way down to the Puma logo on her shirt|
|This little guy didn't want a self-portrait without light sabers|
|This clever young lady remembered to do a background and also discovered she could blend multiple colors to get her hair just right|
|and for the grand finale... my darling son decided to do a nude|