Okay, here is the lesson I was yakking about in my last post. Mrs. H and I decided super hero self-portraits would be a nice display for the parents to see on Open House Night.
We went with the #2 super hero version as I thought it would be the easiest for this class, and keeping everything on one sheet of paper would be easier to keep together.
18x24 white construction paper
brushes, water cups
I showed a powerpoint on cartoon super hero characters and we talked about realistic portraits versus cartoon portraits, how cartoons/comics are more stylized and simplified. We noticed that the super heroes usually had bigger heads than normal, bigger shoulders and longer legs and muscles! We looked at famous super hero symbols and all the accessories that super heroes can have. Then we started the drawing. I was probably a little ambitious to start with this kind of drawing project as the first art lesson with a new 2nd grade class. But these kids ROCKED it. I was amazed.
Before we sat down to draw we all stood and modeled several super hero "poses" and what kind of names we might have as our super hero alter ego. Then we took out the pencils (which I almost NEVER use in art class at school in the beginning of the year). I did try to come up with some tricks to help them with their drawings. As most kids at this age have trouble filling the page with artwork, drawing proportions anywhere near normal and drawing lightly with a pencil. That's just developmental stuff, but I still encourage all students to break out of those developmental art stages and stretch themselves.
I had them fold their papers in half both lengthwise and width-wise. Then fold again the upper half width-wise one more time. You can see it in the photo below.
Of course all along we are talking about "drawing so you can barely see your pencil line" but that doesn't really get through to them yet. :-) In that upper half of the paper we used the second fold to draw the oval head using the "T" shape in the middle to help center the head and facial features. I made several kids erase (eek!) and draw bigger heads. We then made "skeleton lines" for the rest of our body (with the intention that they were done lightly so they could be erased - HA! )Since we were drawing our super heroes a bit exaggerated we used the middle horizontal fold as the "waist or hips". We drew horizontal lines for the shoulders and hips so they could see how to give their heroes more dimension and shape, rather than the typical stick figures. Then we outlined around the "skeleton" with our pencils and made the "skin"- giving shape to their muscles and joints. For the most part, their proportions (while supposed to be slightly exaggerated) were not too shabby.
At this point we talked about their backgrounds - were they flying or standing on the ground? Were they in a city or over a rural area or in the sky? Pencils went away and they brought out their crayons to color their super hero and create their backgrounds.
All along we talked about what their names might be and what super powers they might have so that they could start drawing in accessories or a background that fit their hero.
I think I did have some project rules too: They were supposed to have a logo for their super hero, mask, some kind of cape. Most of them also added boots, belts and gloves. I wasn't too rigid on the rules this time as long as they got the big ideas. They also could not have guns or knives in their artwork.
This lesson took two days for drawing and coloring and then painting.
Here are some ideas that we generated that helped us create our super hero personas.....
NAMES....we thought of some super hero names and realized most super hero names come from the same "formulas".
#1 ADJECTIVE + Girl/Boy/Woman/Man (ex. Wonder Woman, Superman)
#2 NOUN + Girl/Boy/Woman/Man (ex. Iron Man, Hawk Girl)
#3 COLOR + NOUN (ex. Green Lantern, Black Widow)
#4 "The" + JOB or NOUN (ex. The Hulk)
#5 ONE WORD (scary animal or dynamic word) (ex. Wolverine, Flash)
The names kind of led us to possible super powers and vice versa.....here are some super powers we came up with: smiling, doing homework, telling time, eating vegetables, reading, playing soccer, singing, creating art, jumping rope, elastic arms, loving nature, being nice to animals, babysitting, passing all tests, making lightning bolts....really this went on for quite a while. I mean, there are a lot of possible super powers out there in this world in case you didn't know!
Accessory ideas came next because you kinda have to know your super powers to know what kinda swag you need....mask, gloves, belt, boots, cape, wings, eye patches, cyborg parts, shield, hammer, crown, rope, glasses, rockets, webbing, bracelets, mermaid tail (hey, you never know!)....
Background ideas were the final part...
#1 In the City (buildings, skyscrapers, roof tops)
#2 Over Land or Water (far away landscapes, farms, towns, ocean, rivers, lakes, trees)
#3 In the Sky (clouds, sun, rainbow, weather, rain)
The kids can't wait to show their parents and see if they can guess who they are.
Are these not the coolest group of super heroes or what?
I am so excited!! My first art lesson with M's 2nd grade class is tomorrow. Of course that means I need to drop all the work I have piled up and make some samples.
But no - not only one sample - but yes,many samples.
Let's be honest here. This is a lot more fun than work.
This above is ME in super hero form. I look pretty cool, don't I?
Here is my third version.
This one involves more cutting and more gluing.
But equally fun. Hmmmm....which one should I use for my first lesson. Anyway, here are the details.
#1 Newspaper Background glued on first on top of 9x12 paper. 9x12 white paper used for body and "pow" and "zap". Markers except for a light brown crayon for skin color. I was simulating what supplies the kids would have in class. Cut & glue. Very cute and Pop Art like.
#2 My standard wax resist and watercolor. 12x18 white construction paper. Experimented with folding the paper to help give them guidelines that are less visible than those dratted pencil lines. I have yet to find an under 5th grader who can really "draw very lightly with your pencil". :-) Used crayons this time instead of oil pastels since I am still gauging this class' art exposure level. I was worried about smudging until I could see their coloring abilities. I also experimented with "drawing a skeleton" for their figure. They will have background choices to draw in with crayons (pencils will have been put away by then!) and then the magical water color over it all. I'm thinking this one might be it.
#3 Similar to #2 but made in 3 parts. Might be too much to keep together this time around with 2nd graders. Again crayon and watercolor wax-resist. Head done on 9x12 paper cut in half. Body on 9x 12 paper. Background on 12x18 paper. Background was the only piece with watercolor. Cut out the body parts and glued them on the background when dry. Looks a little more like he is coming out of the background. Pretty fun too.
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