I just finished a unit on abstract self portraits with my 6th graders.. I
made 3 strip examples (like large comic strips) each with 4 steps and then
had them divide a 12x 18 sheet of paper into 4 strips. We did the first 3
together and the 4th was for them to practice by themselves.
In the first step I showed how to do a realistic portrait in 4 easy
steps-teaching proportions, parts of the eyes etc.
In the second strip, we did an abstract portrait going from realistic to
abstract in 4 steps.
In the third strip we did a cubistic portrait going from realistic portrait
with only straight lines to complete cubism in 4 steps.
They then did a self-portrait in either the abstract or cubistic style. We
also discussed adding things in that described your personality (one girl
made an extra large mouth, some kids hid things in their portrait that they
liked or enjoyed).
Next we talked about color symbolism. They finished the portrait in either
oil pastels or magic marker. In this case they didn't mind using
unrealistic color as the portrait wasn't realistic anyway.
I was amazed at the 60 very different solutions they came up with for this
assignment. They were amazing. Some of the students didn't like it because
they wanted to do realism ( I did let 3 girls do realism because they were
able to articulate to me what the assignment was, that they understood it,
but preferred realism and why)--the rest had to do abstract or cubism.
I used Picasso and Juan Gris as examples. We had a very cool critique