Artists Inspire K-5 Students’ Portraits

Artists Inspire K-5 Students’ Portraits photo thumbnail162196

With a strong focus on portraiture, kindergarten through fifth grade students have diligently worked on their artworks. Under the direction of art teachers Trisha Appel and Dara Goodman, the students’ artworks are on display in the hallways at Daniel Warren and F.E. Bellows elementary schools.

Kindergartners created abstract, colorful and patterned portraits, which were inspired by the art of Sandra Silberzweig. First graders drew inspiration from Pablo Picasso for their artworks to create abstract, cubist portraits using metallic Sharpie markers and oil pastel. Meanwhile, second graders, who studied the work of Frida Kahlo, created self-portraits surrounded by items and symbols that were important to them.

Third graders created drawings inspired by Henri Matisse and the Fauvism art movement.
Having learned about facial features and proportions and the different ways in which they can draw those features, they used pencils, permanent markers and water-based markers to create their portraits. As part of the process, the students printed their portraits on top of foil to create a fun, tie-dye effect.

“My favorite part of this project is the students’ expressions after they reveal the color step within their work,” Appel said. “It is so much fun because it is all about experimentation and discovering which colors look best together. Students get really excited every time to see how their work looks after they pick it up from the aluminum foil. They also loved seeing each other’s results and were always amazed.”

Inspired by Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and Cubism, fourth graders drew their abstract portraits with white-colored pencil on black construction paper. They also learned how to use a monochromatic color scheme in their work. When their drawings were completed, they painted the different shapes that made up their compositions in blue and re-outlined different areas in their portraits using black and white oil pastels.

“My favorite part of this project is providing the students with the knowledge of how to create correct facial features and proportions, but letting them be able to abstract their work and have a lot of fun with facial placements,” Appel said. “Students also really enjoyed creating new colors through experimentation and exploration with the materials, which really helps during the learning process, so students can uncover for themselves how to make colors lighter or darker, for example.”

Fifth graders created portraits that were inspired by Chuck Close. They created enlarged self-portraits using colored chalk and oil pastels on large, oversized black paper.