Here are my fifth grade students finishing up their global influences self-portrait drawings. On the last day of this unit, some students are working to complete their self portrait drawings, while others who have already finished using iPads to photograph their finished work and upload to Google Drive, while others are logging into Google Classroom via laptop to submit their completed work and complete their artist statements.
I originally saw this idea on NCHS Art-Elmore, Ms. Brown’s Art, Lessons from the K-12 Art Room. I thought this would be a great fit for my fifth graders as an introduction to our grade level big idea of Globalization. We spent some time talking about where artists get their inspiration, and how artists symbolize these influences in their work. We viewed and discussed artwork by Giuseppe Arcimboldo and Octavio Ocampo, as well as contemporary artists Nikki Rosatto, and Pat Perry. Students brainstormed categories of influence, selected five categories that were relevant to themselves, then sketched objects or ideas that fit into each of their personally selected categories.Next I photographed students in profile so that they could trace their basic profile outline from a photograph printed in black and white on 11×17 paper on the copier. I also demonstrate a variety of marker drawing techniques including layering colors, hatching, crosshatching, and stippling to create value.Students worked on their drawings for three one-hour class periods. Some of my favorite solutions to this artmaking challenge included students who chose an original profile pose that added to the expressive quality of their drawing, revealing even more about their personalities than the more traditional silhouette poses. I love that this lesson gives students the framework and confidence to create a self portrait drawing while leaving room for students to express themselves in original ways. Each of the drawings turns out unique and is a great illustration of the student who created it.