December 7, 2012

emotional self-portraits

I taught this lesson last year and it turned out to be one of my favorite third grade projects.
Let's be honest.
Drawing people can be hard.
Drawing people can be scary.
I am pretty sure my junior-in-college self stated something like that to my painting professor a few years ago.
She pushed me to do it anyway.
And I loved her for it.

Kids have the same fears.
People are hard and scary to draw.
But this lesson is fun.
It breaks down the process into easy steps.
And before your know it, your kids are rocking portrait drawing.

Day 1
Have a discussion about what emotions are. 
I printed out a huge list of emotions. (like this)
 Have you students pair up and show off the emotions that you call out.

Then I give them a template like #1.
The students choose an emotion they want to draw and write it at the top of their template.
Using the doc cam, I take them step by step how to break down the features on the face.
I also have a cartoon emotion worksheet (like this) on each table so they can note how eyebrows and wrinkles help show emotions.
Student draw their portrait in pencil. (#2)
The last step of the day is to outline everything in sharpie. (#3)

Day 2
After outlining in sharpie we tape our template to nice watercolor paper.
We start tracing everything except the guidelines.
Students are told not to shade anything in with their pencil.
Once the tracing is done, students are given sharpies to outline their pencil line.
Now they are asked to use the sharpie to fill in the eyebrows, pupils, and nostrils only.

My favorite part of the project comes next!!!
We start to discuss how different colors help us represent different emotions.
We sit down for a few minutes and watch all these short videos.
Color In Motion (click on the door that says "the movies")

Students are to pick a colored sharpie that best represents their emotion.
They use they sharpie to create a line pattern in the background.

Day 3
Grab these and begin watercoloring. (here)

These are a conversation piece in the hallways for sure!

Bonus: Have your kids write a story about why they are showing that emotion.