This project has been my students' favorite both semesters this year! It is a fun way to teach them how to draw portraits AND mix paint. They are so intimidated by the self-portraits at first, but after I made them draw themselves three different times, they became more comfortable and they could easily see their improvement from one drawing to the next.
We began this project by discussing the proportions of the human face and drawing a self-portrait step-by-step. Teaching them all the tricks is my favorite part! At first they don't believe me, but when I say to them, "Did you know your eyes are in the center of your head? Yes, they are half way down your face, not higher! And did you know that the distance between your eyes is the same width as one of your eyeballs, no matter how big or small your eyes are?! And did you know the corners of your mouth sit directly below your pupils? Yes, our mouths are that wide!" I love it when they realize that even though we all appear so different, we're really all the same no matter what we look like.
Once students chose their favorite of the portraits they drew, we discussed the significance of human emotion and how we can use not only a facial expression but also color to express these emotions. Students created color wheels and learned lots of art vocabulary until they became color mixing experts! They chose colors that expressed the emotions in their portraits and created the masks on brown paper bags.
Their final task is to photograph themselves with their masks on to tell a story about this person and why they are feeling the way that they do. Stay tuned for those fun photos!