Wow. If you could have seen me trampling over stools and tables at the end of our classes last week, frantically trying to get a quick snap of these beauties before they were swept away into trunks of cars, and raced like precious cargo straight to the frame shop! We were sooo in love with these!
This project was inspired by contemporary artist Sandra Silberzweig – an artist we first discovered a few years ago while ogling over an art teacher’s blog (apologies to who that was, I tried to find it but can’t remember!!) -it’s been on our “to do” list for a few years and I have to shout to all the art teachers out there who might be reading this, you can literally teach this to kids age 4 to 99 and each and every single one of them will be a “sure thing” – absolutely stunning!
Before blending the chalk.
We used a favorite medium and process – layers and layers (and more layers) of chalk pastel mixed with a little oil pastel on heavy black poster board. We first studied Sandra’s work, noticing how all the features were “connected” and then instructed them with a simple shape to get going.
Just noticed a little cryptic message in this one ^^
Drawing with a white China Marker, the instruction needed from us was pretty simple. We started with the U for the chin, the neck, then the enclosed “candy cane nose”, the other eyebrow, and then their mouth attached to their nose & chin with a line. The eyes were absolutely key so we really studied her style there. We intentionally didn’t want to show the whole face in the frame, so we started by drawing open almond shapes then a line for the lid, and upside down rainbows for the iris. They filled in their portrait with unusual lines & shapes (don’t settle for a boring zigzag!), then layered and blended warm chalk pastels on one side of the face, and cool on the other. We encouraged them to mix colors from the same palette on top of one another (and not to mix cool with warm), resulting in a very deep, rich tone. They chose a part of the eye to color with white, and then lastly traced back over most lines with a black oil pastel. Ta da!