While the fourth and fifth graders finished up their (very complex) surrealist montages, the younger students worked on a couple of projects involving faces, one way or another…
First, the kinders and first graders viewed some portraits my Matisse (especially “Portrait of L. N. Delekorskaya”), noticing the strong black outlines, bold colors, and simple forms. Then we drew a really BIG face together, step-by-step (I got the step-by-step instructions from Art Projects for Kids), and traced all the lines in thick black marker. The second week, we got out the crayons and the kids were encouraged to color in their faces with bold, bright colors. I love the way all of these turned out so differently (even after following the same directions to draw the face)!
The 2nd and 3rd graders learned about Maori tiki carvings. First, we learned that tikis came originally from the Maoris of New Zealand (not Hawai’i!), that the term “tiki” comes from Maori mythology in which Tiki was the first man, and that posts were often carved with huge faces to mark important sites or with scary faces to ward off evil spirits.
We also talked about bilateral symmetry, and I told them we would be making symmetrical faces inspired by the Maori tikis (this was another great project from Art Projects for Kids). The directions for the students were to fold the (brownish) paper in half to find the center, then to draw facial features any way any way they like, as long as they are symmetrical! Pencil drawings were then traced over with black Sharpies. The second week, they colored in whatever features were to stand out — again, using any colors they liked, as long as everything stayed symmetrical. We got such a great range of styles in our faces!