My drawing class just finished up these big self portraits. I’m not generally a fan of grid drawings but these were really more about learning to see value and shape than drawing from observation. In that regard, I think grids can be a strong tool to give students.
I’m pretty pleased with the way these turned out. Some of the mark making that the students came up with is just gorgeous. This was my first time testing out this project and I had them use ink, sharpie, and graphite. I think I’ll try it again and limit the materials to just inks. A lot of the nice graphite work got a little lost in the ink work.
This project is all about seeing details and many of the students really went beyond my expectations with their creativity and persistence.
Oooh, I want to try this. How did you present their options? Just a blanket statement like “Anything goes as long as it’s the correct value,” or did you give them examples?
We spent a few days testing out each material. I gave them strips of paper, had them fold the paper into thirds, and then use different mark-making techniques to find a dark, medium, and light value. I would give them two or three examples then they would have to come up with three or four more. It was fun because they would share ideas and get excited based on what the other kids were doing. At the end we set them all out and stepped back to compare the values.
After my sculpture students finished up their spoon sculptures, they started on this repetition sculpture. For this project they had to create a unit out of paper, foam core, or cardboard. They were required to make at least 20 of the same unit but they could vary size, color, and material.
After the units were made, they assembled them to create 1-3 larger forms. This is the first time I’ve tried this repetition unit and I’m really pleased with the way these turned out! I was pleasantly surprised that everyone was able to come up with something different but still got to play around with repetition and balance.
I struggle a lot with students finishing their projects at different paces- I hate having students who do good work really quickly sitting around while everyone else finishes. I’ve been trying out some new strategies to address this problem. For this project I gave them a deadline and told them that no one could finish more than a day early- they either had to make a second sculpture or add something to their original sculpture. I think this really lead to more creative finishing and more ambitious units and everyone finished on time!