Monday, December 1, 2014

Two-Faced Portraits - 5th grade

The class completed a pretest by drawing a front view face. Afterwards we practiced drawing step by step realistic front and profile views of facial features. I told them realistic art must follow rules to look real.

For the main project students drew their two-faced portrait with pencil on 12 x 18 black paper. We drew down the middle of the paper the profile view of the face, eye, and lips. For the back of the head I encouraged use of a variety of unusual lines, then we drew the front view eye, and lips.  We traced the lines with glue. Once the glue dried four chalk colors were selected as the color scheme and were blended to create new combinations. A fifth color was used for the background which covered the fingerprints. They enjoyed this project immensely. I laminated their artwork.

 I asked my students if they ever broke a rule at home and got in trouble for it. Many hands went up. Next I asked what if breaking rules could make you rich and famous? The students wondered about this.  I shared the story of Pablo Picasso who drew amazing realistic art as a youngster. Then, as a young man he grew bored creating realistic art with all its rules for real colors, real shapes, and real proportions. Yawn!

Picasso broke the rules (art rules) and freely created faces with crooked eyes, wild skin colors, and ears in strange places. If he even bother to show an ear. He was free from rules and that's what made him feel alive. When people saw this new art, they wanted him to paint their portraits just like that. Picasso became rich and famous for this unusual art style .


  1. I may be teaching an art class for kids soon and love this idea for a project. Thanks!

  2. The students really, really enjoyed working with chalk and blending the colors! Have fun with it!