Monday, March 17, 2008

I Love This Job

I've been helping the kindergarten and first grade kids to make portraits. Mostly we talked about the proportions of the face. Also we looked at each other's faces as we talked about each feature one by one. We looked at the wrinkle above the eye made by the eyelid. Also we saw that our lips have curved shapes in them, like "smashed letter Ms." We talked about how people's nostrils actually DO show, but they don't look like pig nostrils.

I showed them how I draw features, one by one, and how I put them all together. As we worked through the face, I tried to stress that they could try drawing MY way, or if they like their own way better, than that's how they should draw.

We also talked about how to show emotion through the face. We moved our eyebrows up, down and around. Also our mouths. I asked them to imagine how the person they were drawing might be feeling, and then try to show us those feelings in the drawings.

We traced over our drawings with fine tipped permanent markers and next week we'll paint them with watercolors. We're going to talk about warm and cool colors, and expressing feelings through colors. We're going to look at some Matisse portraits to talk about color.

I didn't know what to expect when I started this. The kids are so young, I didn't know if all of the measuring would go right over their heads. Or if they'd get really frustrated when their drawings weren't "perfect." (What is perfect anyway?)

But oh oh my. Their drawings are so amazing! I think they are so beautiful. Seriously, I think many adults try to mimic their drawing style. I want to snatch up all their drawings and just keep them. Oh, they are great.

The kids don't always measure correctly, as you can see. But really, I think their drawings, with just 20 minutes of talking about features and proportions, are so much more advanced than they were before. And they have so much character. I think they are lovely. I've included a slight close up of my favorite one. Look at that nose and the mustache and the teeth! Genius. I love this job.


kirsten + aaron said...

wow, those are amazing! K & 1st? wow.
i really wish tessa could come to your art class - i'm being lame in that area.

Jeanne said...

Alisa you are a great teacher. I wish you could have taught my kids. Oh yeah you are my kid. Great job.

Lucy said...

Oh Alisa, I cry everytime I read your posts here. You are a master! You understand so much about children already. It is so great that you given exact direction in such a safe environment where they are still free to it their way. I wish my kids had you for their teacher! Can't Todd teach here in Missouri!