Thursday, May 7, 2015

Abstract Cubist Style Self Portraits

After having drawn their self portraits from observation, using mirrors, 3rd grade artists looked at portraits painted by other artists, including Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso, Self Portrait (1907)
We noticed that while both artists painted self portraits, Picasso's looked a little different. Students noticed that his self portrait had a lot of sharp lines and angles, his features looked exaggerated and too big for his face, and the colors were not as carefully mixed or painted.
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Dora Maar (1937)
We looked at some other portraits by Picasso and made similar observations. We also noticed that the eyes faced in different directions! One looked like it was looking forward and the other from the side profile view. Picasso also used colors that were not very realistic, as they are so bright, and sometimes he used more than one color to paint the same area.

Students learned about Cubism, an art movement developed by Picasso and Georges Braque. In Cubism, artists looked at the world in different ways. They would break up the subject into many different shapes and look at it from different angles. 

Students then began their own Cubism inspired self portraits, which started off similarly to our self portraits from observation, with a head, neck and shoulders. However, students could take more liberty with their shapes and colors. Using oil pastels, students colored in their hair and top, but left their faces blank.
Next class, students used different colored pieces of paper to add their facial features, considering how they could make them abstract and different from the way they might normally approach them. We experimented with making one eye look forward and the other look sideways, and students used many different colors and techniques with their oil pastels.
After arranging the pieces around the face, students glued them down and added a background, considering color and pattern in an abstract way. Here are some of examples of creative Cubist style self portraits!
Giovanna, 3rd Grade
Alec, 3rd Grade
Katherine, 3rd Grade
Anon, 3rd Grade
Tracy, 3rd Grade
Sidney, 3rd Grade
Elena, 3rd Grade

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