Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First Grade Portraits in Oil Pastel

I love these first grade self portraits. They embodied everything kids art should be...colorful, whimsical and adorable.

I used plain white construction paper and good old oil pastels. Trick is not to give the kids a pencil. Instead, we started with a black oil pastel and ended with a black oil pastel. I think this is the secret to ensuring the art will be done in a couple of session. Otherwise, children wielding pencils can become perfectionists very quickly.

Start the portrait by drawing a large letter "U" in the middle of the paper, then add the hair. I spend some time drawing on the white board showing the kids proper hair placement. Do the same for the facial features and before long, the kids will be ready to begin coloring their masterpieces.

Want to make the portraits spectacular? Encourage as much as you can, the importance of coloring in well. Also, add patterns to the background, instead of leaving it blank.

For more detailed photo tutorials, templates, and handouts, check out the
Deep Space Sparkle "Fun with Portraits" PDF lesson plans. Click here for more details.


Unknown said...

Patterns?... Did someone say patterns? You know how I much I love those! Great project!
I know what you mean about those "pencil perfectionists".

sara said...

These are great portraits!

Katie Gonzalez said...

I love these portraits! They are so expressive, and each student's personality shows through!

Lisa said...

These portraits are amazing!!! Very individual and special!

Patty Palmer said...

Thanks guys! I love them as well. You could do the very same activity with tempera paints. Hope you try them!

wenderful said...

Wow! I'm so excited to have run across your blog! I'm teaching my son's second grade class art this year. You have some wonderful ideas! We're doing Eric Carle animals tomorrow. I hope they turn out as wonderful as I'm imagining. I'll be back!

Patty Palmer said...

Good luck Wendy! I love Eric Carle and I know your son's class will too!
Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

These all look great, what a great idea to fill in the background, we'll have to try that.

TeachKidsArt said...

I'm looking for a fixative that works to keep a finished oil pastel painting from smearing so easily... any ideas???

Patty Palmer said...

Re: Fixative
You know, I don't have any problems with oil pastels smearing. As for chalk pastels, well that's a different story!
In any case, you can find chalk and oil pastel fixative at any craft store. It says what it is right on the label and can be found in the art supply sections.
For a less expensive option, use hair spray (the aerosol kind). I find it leaves little dots on chalk pastel but should be fine for oil.

Julie said...

hello wonderful person!
I am going to do this lesson with 1st graders this week- any great book recommendations to accompany this lesson?thank you!

Patty Palmer said...

Hi Julie,
This project is Matisse Inspired, so I suppose any kids book devoted to him would be good.
Good luck!

Unknown said...

It seems to be very childish. I love your work. Kids would love it. I recently saw an excellent design from Brent Bailer Gallery and was quite impressed with it.

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