Tag: art edu

Portrait Colored Pencil + The Memory Project

I have spent much of my life creating art. Growing up with an art teacher mom greatly widened my creative boundaries. She always had art supplies, new ideas, and fun projects for us to work on.

However, while my art making career does reach far back, for as long as I can remember I have also struggled with and have tried to avoid portraiture. In contrast, my art teacher mama spent much of her free time creating beautiful watercolor portraits, and even attempted to teach me her tricks a time or two, but the process never clicked for me.

My aversion to portraiture was tested in college, but for the most part I was able to skirt around assignments. However, my career choice of art education forced me to come face to face with my greatest art aversion, you guessed it, portraits.

I knew that in order to create a well rounded curriculum I would have to teach my students portraiture, and myself along with them. It took years of practice, learning new techniques, and teaching it to others for things to start to sink in. While it still doesn’t come naturally, it comes more easily, and I have added more and more portrait based assignments to my classes over the years.

One new addition last year was The Memory Project. We worked with The Memory Project organization to create portraits of children in areas of need. Once the portraits are completed we send the originals to the organization, who in turn sends them with representatives to hand deliver the works of art to the children portrayed.

Everything about this project touches me to the core. It incorporates my love for art, sharing that love with others, and it teaches students how they can use their talents for good. They have to take time to create a work of art that they will have to give away.

My students and I had such a good experience last year I decided to make it an annual project. Last year we focused on acrylic paintings, you can find the lesson plan for that here, but this year I opted to make myself even more uncomfortable by throwing in another material I don’t naturally get a long with, colored pencil.

THE SUPPLIES

  • 9″x12″ or smaller sheets of quality drawing paper
  • Memory portrait pictures (multiple copies, the same size as the paper)
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Erasers

THE TECHNIQUE

My students start by selecting the child they are interested in recreating. I then make copies of their pictures for them to reference. Before jumping right in I have them create thumbnail sketches of different facial features and practice blending various colored pencils colors to get the right skin color. You can find a worksheet to help guide that process here.

After they have some practice under their belt, we get started on the base sketch. Because we are sending these portraits out to the children they portray, I allow my students to choose multiple options to get started. They can use the grid method to create an accurate base drawing, they can punch holes through the picture and make dots to follow on their paper, or they can free hand. You can learn more about these options in my Memory Project painting pack here.

Once they are confident in their drawing and have all the correct information, they get started with the layers. I tell them to start light and slowly build layers up. They block out shadows and mid-tones first, working towards the highlights. I recommend coloring in a circular motion to mimic the soft, even look of skin. They should aim to color along the contour, or outline, of their shapes to give it a three dimensional quality.

I recommend starting with the skin tone first before jumping into the hair because the hair overlaps the skin. I also think it’s important to work on every part equally, rather than 100% completing the lips before moving to the nose (for example). Instead, build your piece up as a whole.

After creating a base layer start adding darker and darker colors, build in the hair, clothing, and other details.

Consider what to do in the background. Did their subject note their favorite color? Is there an interesting background in the photograph they want to recreate? What would enhance, not distract from their portrait?

Similar to coloring in the subject, the layers should slowly be built up. If too much pigment is put down at one time the surface will become burnished and look shiny. It’s hard for more pigment to stick to this burnished surface and often layers need to be removed with an eraser in order to add more color.

While portraits still aren’t my favorite subject to create, I am glad I have developed the skill set and some confidence in introducing the concept to my students. It’s important to offer them a well rounded art education and portraits are a part of that!

Check out a time lapse video of my piece below!

Read about some of my other portrait projects here.

Check out portrait resources on my blog shop (grid lesson here) and my TPT (acrylic portrait project here, portrait with words here, charcoal self portraits here, altered self portraits here).

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about one of my recent projects! Share the post on your social media outlet of choice and help me spread the word about all things art making. Thanks for stopping by!

Teachers Pay Teachers: Semester Long Painting Curriculum and Yearlong Advanced Art Curriculum

I have been posting a lot about Teachers Pay Teachers lately, but lately TPT has been my life. For another summer in a row, I have spent all summer planning, typing, and compiling lesson plans, PowerPoints, worksheets, and resources into new TPT products. Last year, my August and September earnings funded a ten day trip that took my hubs and I to Munich, Berlin, and Amsterdam. This year, my August earnings have more than doubled, and my hard earned money is being put into our front yard landscaping, replacing molding around windows, and repairing our roof. Although these are less fun items than a European vacation, they are all in preparation for our next bundle of joy, baby girl Panetta, due November 27th. These things have all been possible because I decided to start putting a few of my lesson plans on a teaching website.


One major goal I have for myself is to create an entire high school art (adaptable to middle school art) curriculum. This would include yearlong and semester long curriculums for Introduction to Art, Painting, Drawing, Advanced 2D Design, Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics, Sculpture and Ceramics II, Advanced 3D Design, and Advanced Placement Art. Last summer, I compiled my yearlong and semester long lessons for Introduction to Art. It has been my biggest seller the last year. This summer I was able to compile my semester long painting curriculum and my advanced 2D art (which is also adaptable for AP Art breadth) curriculums. They are both doing well, and I am getting a lot of great feedback. I am halfway through my Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics curriculum, and can’t wait to tie everything up in a nice bow and get it posted to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I hope by this time next year my high school art curriculum will be complete, and I will be onto my next TPT task.

My painting curriculum includes:

-Semester long timeline
-Supply list
-Syllabus
-Get to Know you handout
-10 student handouts
-1 teacher aid handouts
-2 technology tie activities
-9 lesson plans
-12 PowerPoints
-6 rubrics
-5 grading checklists
-5 critique sheets

The lessons cover the three main types of paint: watercolor, acrylic, and oil (oil can be substituted for art teachers on a budget), as well as mixed media with the visual journal project I incorporate in every class.

With this curriculum students create a sketchbook, full of painting techniques, testers, and reference material, as well as 5 take home level paintings, and a visual journal book. With every curriculum bundle I include a timeline, so you know what to teach when and how long it will take, as well as a supply list.

My Advanced 2D Design art curriculum includes:

In all this art unit includes:
-Course Syllabus
-Tell Me About You worksheet
-Yearlong timeline
-Supply list for all 14 projects
-2017 August-December calendar for AP breadth adaption
-14 completed projects
-10 Lesson plans
-9 PowerPoints
-4 handouts
-2 printable posters
-9 sketchbook handouts
-8 critique sheets
-10 project rubrics

This class is a full year course and is the last art class before students take Advanced Placement (AP) Art. It helps prepare them for the rigor of AP and they create work that is AP quality they can use in their portfolio. They create artwork using a range of materials: pencil, charcoal, watercolor, acrylic paint, oil paint, and mixed media, and participate in many group discussion and critiques. This curriculum also includes a timeline to adapt this to a semester long course, to fulfill the AP Art breadth section of the portfolio. I also have a printable 2017-2018 calendar as a resources for AP Art students.

I am really proud of all the work I have put into my TPT store, and even more proud when my work literally pays off. I you haven’t yet, check out all the amazing things TPT sellers have to offer! Support a fellow educator and get so many great resources for your classroom.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about art, TPT, crafting, and all things creating on your preferred social media site. Thanks for stopping by!

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Teachers Pay Teachers: Principles of Design Worksheet Pack

So far this summer I have enjoyed a break from my normal teaching schedule, a trip to South Africa, Hilton Head Island, Smith Lake, and I’ve been getting extra snuggles from my little man Cooper. In addition to traveling and snuggling, I have also been working hard to get new items posted on Teachers Pay Teachers. Last year my August and September earnings from the website funded a trip to Europe for my husband and I. This year, and for the foreseeable future, I hope to save my earnings for a home renovation. It’s a big goal I have set for myself, but I am confident with a lot of hard work I can get there.

My last post, over two months ago {whoops} focused on one of my newest Teacher Pay Teacher products, a revamp of my hand drawn elements of art worksheets. Today, I finally got my final worksheet of my principles of design pack added to the website. Check it out here.

This pack includes eight worksheets. Each worksheet focuses on a different principle of design. I created worksheets for balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, repetition and pattern, rhythm, unity, and variety. On the front of each handout there is information on different ways you can incorporate that principle into your artwork.The back of each worksheet has an activity for the students to complete to test their understanding of the information on the front. I use these in my Introduction to Art classes, which are added to their art notebooks and checked for daily grades at the end of the semester. Now that I have two versions of the elements and principles worksheets, I plan to use one set in my Intro class and one set used as a reminder for an upper level course.

These sheets were created for grades 4th-12th grade. Some have more complex ideas, and may not be suitable for younger than 4th. I would encourage use of these in levels as high as AP art, when the elements and principles are one of the bases for grading the portfolios.

I loved making each of these. Each were inspired by a piece of my life or a simple occurrence at the time I was designing them. My emphasis worksheet is an obvious reflection of my love for chickens. My repetition and pattern worksheet was created on a very rainy day while I was vacationing at Smith Lake in Alabama, which inspired the cloud and water design.

If you haven’t checked out products on Teachers Pay Teachers yet, I strongly encourage it. There are some amazing, creative teachers out there and you are helping to support another person directly involved in education. It has also helped me become a better teacher because I find myself cleaning up my lesson plans and PowerPoints to make them better sellers, and better teaching tools in my classroom.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! I recently did a major design overhaul, I hope you enjoy the cleaner look. Help me spread the word about my Teachers Pay Teachers products, and in turn help me expand my house to fit my expanding family, by sharing this post with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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