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A few tips:
Do the first layer onto heavy paper or poster board--this way the first
layer doesn't have to be solid. You can leave spaces between pieces which
get bridged by subsequent layers of shapes. We trimmed around the poster
board when the piece was dry to retain the irregular edges of the wood (or
matboard) shapes. You can also use waxed paper underneath the first layer.
I had the kids paint the bottom layer with a dark color and a stiff brush,
trying to get into all the cracks and crevices so cardboard didn't show. I
know Nevelson used a monochromatic palatte but for Picasso, we drybrushed
lighter colors on top. The dark under coat really brought out the depth of
Some of the students chose to further embellish the portraits with collaged
elements after painting. The free form quality is very dramatic on the
The Surgeon's Motto: "Never say 'oops!', always say 'there!'