03 December, 2013

4th grade warm/cool colour portraits

I am super proud of this 4th grade class and the work they've been doing on their warm /cool colour portraits.  
The unit is mainly about colour; primary, secondary, tertiary etc, but I wanted to push it further than that.  I wanted them to understand more about contrast and the effects of warm and cool colours, opposite colours etc.  I remember how liberating and exciting it was for me when I first saw the power of colour.  I also wanted them to have a basic grasp of the proportions of the face.

We did realistic sketches of their faces using mirrors.  I talked about eye, nose, mouth etc placement and am constantly challenging them to really look.  My favourite thing at the moment "is our neck as wide as our chin or as wide as our jaw?"  

I also showed them some expressionist portrait paintings and talked about how the face didn't need to be realistic, but to be effective I still wanted them to think about placement of facial features.  I also kept pushing them to use colour to show up certain aspects of the face such as the nose and the shading around the eyes etc.  I have mirrors on hand for them the whole time.And warm and cool colours, and contrast....too much?  Remember, these are 4th graders.  NOT AT ALL!  I am loving the work they are producing.

I wanted them to go big (that's when those face proportions come into play more) and they are working on black matting board with oil pastels.  I have 2 more classes I'm doing this with, and I can't wait to see their work too!

I took these photos while they were working today and about 70% of the class  got to the finished stage by the end of the lesson.  They look AMAZING.  I found that going back in with white to add detail really helped them.  I'll have to post some more photos next week.


  1. They are really cool.

  2. love this, they look great... might do something like this with Bethan's class one day. Her teacher LOVES art x


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