we help adults teach art to kids

Portraits

Art Made Easy #013: The Scoping & Sequencing of Portrait-Making

Art Made Easy #013: The Scoping & Sequencing of Portrait-Making

By on Mar 30, 2016 | 3 comments

Creating a portrait in elementary school is a natural part of any art curriculum. Over my 13 years as an art teacher, I taught thousands of kids how to draw portraits–whether of themselves, a friend or an imaginary person. It may surprise you that teaching a child how to draw a portrait is not just about eye-placement or looking into a mirror, it’s also about how to create a piece of art that captures the likeness not just through drawing but with texture and color. In this episode of Art Made Easy, I identify key learning objectives for each grade level, detail what art supplies I love best plus how I select just the right portrait project that engages students at every grade. Make sure to download my FREE Scoping & Sequencing of Portrait Making PDF that details the projects, supplies and learning objectives for each grade level. Just login to your DSS account to access. You can create a free account if you don’t already have one.   LISTEN TO THE SHOW     DOWNLOAD THE FREE PORTRAIT-MAKING GUIDE: To download this free resource, click on the image below. Login to your DSS account and click Add to Cart. Enjoy!   SHOW NOTES – Information about the Summer Art Workshop with Patty, Palmer, Cassie Stephens and Laura Lohmann – Do You Have a Hat? by Eileen Spinelli – Fred Babb Art Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff (This is one of my all-time most inspiring poster books for art-making) – Fun with Portraits II Lesson plans – Fun with Portraits I...

Read More

Father’s Day Portraits Art project

Father’s Day Portraits Art project

By on May 30, 2014 | 7 comments

For the last art project for my third/fourth combo class, I asked the teacher if she had any requests. She didn’t hesitate to say that she has no idea what to do for Father’s Day. Could I create some type of art project to celebrate Father’s Day? We brainstormed for a few moments and then decided that a portrait would be fun. Drawing a grown-up male face isn’t something I’ve done since my Gunslinger and Outlaw Art Project, so it was high-time that another male-focused project made its appearance in the art room. Here’s what you’ll need: 12″ x 9″ white sulphite paper for the drawing 14″ x 12″ colored sulphite paper for background paper strips (I used my painted paper placemats cut into strips) Paper scraps for bow tie Liquid tempera paint: skin, shirt, hair and background colors Waterproof black marker (I like Sharpie Brand) Chalk pastels and markers or color pencils Scissors & glue You’ll need two 45-minute classes for this lesson. DRAWING DAD The classroom teacher asked the students to bring in a photo of their Dad (or Uncle or Grandpa) in which to use as inspiration for their portraits. A few kids forgot their pictures but they were fine drawing from memory. On the whiteboard, we talked about basic shapes for faces (long, square, oval and heart-shaped). The kids drew the shape of their dad’s face with a black marker by focusing on the bottom half of their face (a letter “U”). Eyes are a bit harder to draw as a distinctive feature, so we thought about whether the eyes were close together, were big or small, far apart, etc. The eyebrows were so much more fun to draw and we all had a good laugh talking about some of our dad’s eyebrows. I showed the kids a few different ways in which to draw a nose. The upside down number 7 works well for smaller kids, but these kids knew that grown-up dad’s noses are all different. The mouth was the easiest for most kids as we just focused on a middle line and maybe a line for the bottom lip. I told the kids to just get the mouth line on the paper and the...

Read More

Van Gogh Inspired ¾ View Portraits

Van Gogh Inspired ¾ View Portraits

By on Feb 6, 2014 | 11 comments

By the time I was in seventh grade, I abandoned the frontal portrait view in favor of a ¾ view. I loved how drawing portraits from a ¾ view perspective looked like the school photos we all had. It does take a bit of practice but I believe it might be easier than drawing a frontal view. Third graders are really just beginning to get comfortable with a standard format portrait so I’m not sure what possessed me to try the different angle. I suppose that’s the magic of Van Gogh; he is a constant source of inspiration! It’s hard to describe the process of drawing a ¾ view as you can use symmetry as your guide, so I created a simple diagram to help explain my thoughts. It’s a bit different teaching this view rather than the standard view, but trust me, the kids will love it. How to Draw a ¾ View Face Basically, the child starts by drawing the forehead (#1) on the left hand side of the paper near the top. They will continue this line by creating a small angle and drawing another arc or curved line down towards the chin (#2). This line is rather hard to do so a good technique to use is to draw a dotted line or very light line in chalk or pencil to indicate the mid-point of the paper. Better yet, curve this line to help mimic the shape of the face. The second line is drawn to this mid-point of the paper and then it curves slightly up and goes up the other side (#3). You can probably understand this better from my diagram rather than from my written description. The eyes are the hardest in my opinion. You have to convince the children that they only want half an eye of the left side of the paper. A good trick to use is to draw an oval so that it straddles the contour line of the face. Then, wipe away the chalk eye that is outside the face contour line. The other eye is “normal” and is drawn on the other side of the paper mid-point. Now that the hardest part is done, it’s time...

Read More

Inside the Kinder Classroom: Portraits

Inside the Kinder Classroom: Portraits

By on Jan 28, 2014 | 23 comments

If you’ve been following my blog for any reasonable length of time, you know how much I love Kinders. I love their stubby fingers, their adorable faces and I especially love how much they embrace art. They are in fact, perfect little artistic beings. Which is why I get such a kick out of their portraits. No matter how many different ways you teach portrait making to Kinders, there is always a very predictable outcome of results. Instead of showing you a tutorial, because I have a ton of portrait resources (here and here and this page, too), I’m giving you a glimpse into a typical day inside the Kinder classroom.   DOWNLOAD A FREE ART RESOURCE: THE SCOPING & SEQUENCING OF PORTRAIT MAKING   See how many of these portrait styles you recognize: The It-Was-Going-So-Well Portrait…. You recognize this portrait: the child is following along, doing the best work he can, finishes up but doesn’t know what to do next. So why not color his lips blue? The “Little Miss Creative” award goes to…. We all have these little gems in our class. The uber-creative soul who takes notes from those sitting close-by and is determined to make her portrait the most unique. And she did!   The Twin Portraits The opposite of Little Miss Creative, these children (mostly girls….actually, ONLY girls) vow to make their portraits the exactly the same.   The Give-Me-More Paint Award goes to…. This is the kid who can’t get enough paint, hates staying within the lines and is the future Jackson Pollack in the group.   Color-Me-Crazy Portrait Here’s the thing I just figured out with these types of kids: they don’t quite understand what you mean when you say “color in the circle”. To them, coloring in the circle (look at the eyes) means going round and round and round the circle.  Love the two-tone hair, too!   The Academic These kids are the ones who sit, listen and watch. They follow along very well and create this amazing piece that makes you wonder what grade this kid is in. And they are quite intent on making everything factual. They require specific paint cool choices and often ask for detailed instructions on how to draw...

Read More

Fun with Portraits II Guidebook

Fun with Portraits II Guidebook

By on Oct 17, 2013 | 5 comments

This is my biggest PDF lesson plan booklet to date and is the result of over 5 years of portrait making. I’ve broken down the secrets of teaching a portrait lesson into THREE TECHNIQUES. Each technique is outlined in the guidebook and when combined with various mediums, makes portrait making easy and doable. Simply pick the technique that is best suited to your grade level, choose your favorite medium and start creating. The guidebook includes a list of my favorite products (which happen to be basic and inexpensive), a list of my favorite books to read before the portrait lesson and lots of handouts to make the job easier for you. Portrait making is the quintessential art project for children and is on every standards-based list. Eliminate the guess work of knowing what to expect from each grade level, what supplies are best and how manage the project for quick class turnover. The 46-page Portrait Guidebook includes: Art Supply List (that everyone can afford!) THREE DSS-Proven How to Draw Portrait Techniques How to Draw Hair for Girls-Handout How to Draw Hair for Boys-Handout (curly and short hair included!) Two Head Templates to make portrait making easy for developing artists How to Draw a Face Guideline Paint Prepping Strategies How to “Draw” with Black paint Crown Template Crown Drawing Guide The Nine Lessons are: Oil Pastel Portrait Liquid Tempera Paint Portrait Chalk pastel Portrait Mixed-Media Portrait Emotion Portrait Paint & Chalk Portrait Fairy Tale Royals for Lower Grades Kings & Queens for Upper Grades Expressive Portraits featuring artist Fred Babb  ...

Read More