Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Leveling the Art Playing Field with Cubism

I always adore projects that stretch my "high performers" while provided opportunity for my struggling artists to feel some real achievement.  This is one of those lessons.  We've been talking about Pablo Picasso and Cubism, and warmed up with our fun Picasso Dogz lesson, so everyone really had a handle on the cubist style.  (We'd also watched this clip several times).  I started by giving each student a 6" x 9" piece of paper and had them draw a Cubist face with pencil.  Students had to show it to me and get approval before the next step (because we all know that sometimes they draw so very small).  After their drawings were approved, they flipped them over and covered the back with a layer of oil pastel:

Once the oil pastel was on nice and thick, I gave each student an 18" x 24" piece of white drawing paper with their name already written on a corner in Sharpie (because at one stage later many of them of them look alike) and had them place their Picasso face on the paper: pencil side up, oil pastel side down.  Now the magic happens! Students traced their drawing, leaving an exact copy on their paper in oil pastel.  Fifth graders LOVE THIS.

When they've traced their own, they look around the classroom at other faces they like and borrow from them (or me, but they can only use one of mine).  They end up with three faces total (like Picasso's "Three Musicians").

In process, but this one shows that sometimes, if a face
has been used multiple times another layer of oil pastel
must be added for the transfer to be successful.
When all three faces have been transferred, students use simple shapes to make bodies for their people and put them in a fun situation (the movies, shopping, sports . . . )

Finally, color is added with marker, crayon and/or colored pencil:

We've still got a tiny bit of touch up to do after Winter Break, but here's where we are now:

Eating tacos!

I think they're at the mall?
But I love the faces on this one.

Dabbing with a Santa hat.

This belongs to a student that I'd like to
slow down a bit, and work on coloring completely,
but she did break up her background in an
interesting way.

Love the soccer players!
She was gone the last art class,
or she would be done.

Can't wait to see this one finished!
It's been a great lesson for me for several years, and it really does level our art playing field!

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