Color and Value Self Portraits-Middle School

To wrap up the color unit I had the middle schoolers make self portraits.  We used pointillism, a technique used to create value, to create the self-portrait pictures.  The portraits they created of themselves were made using a monochromatic color scheme.  The mixed media portion of the self-portrait needed to contain a variety of elements (pictures, found objects, beads, etc) that represented the student.  All of the elements (unless the students asked for another method and there was no other way to attach the element) were sewn on using a needle and thread/yarn.

The sewing aspect of the project was to teach them both a new technique in creating art, as well as patience and taking care with their work.  Sewing is a difficult task that requires the students to pay attention to their work-or else the work will fall apart.

I would say that this project was both successful and unsuccessful.  The students did a great job on their projects for the most part.  They looked good, and the students who spent time on their piece were proud of their work.  The students seemed to understand monochromatic color schemes better, and it forced many students who rush through work to slow down.  I would say that the most unsuccessful part of this project was the general feeling about it.  The students at this age hate sewing.  They hate having so many stipulations on their work.  They just want to get things done.

As a result I’m not sure if I would do the project again.  I think in the future I might still assign a variation of this project, but plan it better to make it more enjoyable.  I might have them make something that is more pillow or quilt-like, sewing together squares to paint afterwards.  Who knows though… I will have to continue to reflect on more color themed projects for next year.

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