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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Collage Portraits

Some nights I have trouble sleeping.  I lay awake, staring at the ceiling.  A few months ago, I experienced one of these nights.  I couldn't sleep, so I decided to tidy and organize my craft supplies.  I found an old box of overhead transparencies.  My school has transferred over to document cameras, rendering the transparency paper pretty useless, so I thought about what I could do with stacks of clear paper. 

I used a bunch a few weeks before to make protractors and other math manipulatives for my class, but I still had several dozen.  Then I remembered an art project I had seen years before while I was student teaching: Collage Portraits.

I had nothing else to do at 1:30 in the morning, so I decided to create.  This is what I came up with:

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Find a picture to use a template.  I don't have any artistic talent for drawing faces.  I can muster a pretty good cartoon stick man, but that's about it.  I found a magazine ad and traced the face onto the overhead paper.

 Step 2: Find and collage your backing colours.  I looked through the magazine and cut out different pieces of pictures that matched the colours I wanted.  As I put them together, I used the overhead sheet as guide for placement.

Step 3: Putting it all together.  When I had the cut outs in the right spots, I put the overhead sheet (with the outline of the face) on top, and glued it down on the edges.

Step 4: Finish it off.  I decided to make a frame out of a different colour to finish it off.  I glued the frame down, and it was complete.

After this one was finished, It was around 2:15 in the morning, and I was still wide awake, so I made a second one, using the same steps.

I was pleased with how they turned out.  I'm not teaching art this year, but the next time I do, I'm definitely going to use this activity with my kids.  It's a mixed media collage project that doesn't require a lot of artistic ability, so the students who say "I can't draw, I'm bad at art" will be able to achieve success.  This could be done using photos of their own faces for self-portraits, and more artistically inclined students could draw any face, without the use of a template photo.

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