Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An Art Project Good for Ages 5 to 64--Step by Step

The artist has to look at life as he did when he was a child. If he loses that faculty, he cannot express himself in an original, that is, a personal way. (Henri Matisse)

Today I was trying to think up an art project that would work for both my 5 year-old grandson and my 8 year-old granddaughter. Using a light box seemed like something they could both use for tracing, and sharpies are always fun no matter what age. I put those two activities together with the concept of creating a self-portrait. To my delight, the children rose well-above my expectations. Noah's self-portrait is above. His less steady hand and creative framing made his art so authentic. Then his idea of coloring his lips red, really perfected this sweet picture in my eyes.

The first step was choosing a photograph from the many we have on the computer and printing a full sheet. Next we did a simple outline of the head, hair, facial features and shoulders directly on top of the photo.

The next step was setting up my large light box on the studio floor where we could all sit around and trace the felt-tip markings on our photos onto nice drawing paper. We did this in pencil, so any errors could be erased. After we had our pencil drawings, we went over the pencil lines with felt-tips.

The final part was decorating our portraits, making frames or designs or patterns. This was a very unscripted part and the children followed their own ideas.

Marin enjoyed this so much she decided to do another portrait using the same method, but this time using watercolors to finish her picture.

At the end of the day, we played around substituting our portraits for our heads in these photos.


Ruth Armitage said...

You are such a good Mi-Mi! I wish I'd had a grandmother like you :)

Anonymous said...

Great project, always the teacher!

Sheri S.

Anonymous said...

You are so creative! Love it!

Anonymous said...

WAY COOL!!You and your grandchildren did "killer" job! I am in Idaho at our cabin...McCall. My sisters' grandkids are joining me next week for art projects. I don't have a light box but will come up with a way to do self portraits...FUN!!! I love teaching kids.


Anonymous said...

WHAT A FUN DAY!!! Marline

Margaret Godfrey said...

WHAT A FUN DAY!!! Marline