Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Digitally Colored Grade 2 Self-Portraits!

This is a self-portrait lesson started out traditionally, then took a high-tech twist using iPads and a new-to-me app that I love!

Like many self-portrait lessons, students began by learning about the proportions of the face, and drew themselves in pencil. 

Teaching facial proportion, and having a good foundational understanding of it, allows artists to take creative risks through altering those proportions- think of comics and caricatures- exaggerating a specific feature or area to communicate an idea to the viewer.

But teaching proportion in self-portraiture does not have to be repetitive or boring! This lesson is getting students very excited, and several students are reporting working on self-portraits at home right now. 

When they were finished with their pencil drawing, students outlined in black markers and erased the pencil. Why is this lesson exciting to students? Because of the next part- we colored them digitally on iPads, using an app I found recently, called Colorscape! (Other art teachers: if you have used it with your students, tell me about what you did with it! )

Artists used iPads to take a photo of their artwork and upload it into Colorscape, which turns each drawing into a digital coloring page. 

Students experimented with virtual paintbrushes, pens, watercolors, and paint bucket tools in the app to color their work digitally.

 The original drawings are shown side-by-side here with the finished Colorscape work.

This self-portrait lesson could not have been any cooler!  It was also worked incredibly well for different developmental levels. The iPad technology worked universally for the student population, allowing students to really use virtual materials and tools at their own level.

Students who were ahead could continue to experiment with tools and techniques, and produce multiple finished images, such as these:

This app also works very well for non-digital end-products as well. Several students in other lessons (like landscapes, for example) are using the app in art to take a snapshot of their work and color it digitally to help them make decisions about which media to try on paper- such as whether to use marker or watercolor on their landscape, and what colors to try in each area. I look forward to students doing lots more with this technique!

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