Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994


Paige Conn's Art Room

Self Portraits a la Andy Warhol
Fifth Grade Lesson

Paige Conn teaches at Fredericksburg Elementary School in Fredericksburg, Texas. Welcome to her Art Room. Paige was inspired by a lesson she found in Arts & Activities Magazine (see September 2004). Paige took digital photos of each student. They held a lamp to cast shadows as they stood in front of my pull down screen. Students experimented in front of a mirror with their expressions first.


Paige downloaded the photos and turned them into black and white images -- then played with the contrast and brightness, trying to get as many interesting shapes as possible. She found it more interesting when outer lines of the sides of the face were faded. While Paige did this step for the students, those of you with computer labs could have the students manipulate the photographs.


Andy Warhol inspired self portrait      Andy Warhol inspired self portrait      Andy Warhol inspired self portrait

Andy Warhol inspired self portrait      Andy Warhol inspired self portrait      Andy Warhol inspired self portrait

Click images for larger views


They then printed each student's photo on a ½ sheet of paper. Then Paige enlarged the images on the copier as much as possible. She made a couple of copies at one time to set aside for exploration or future projects.

During the next session, the students received their photo taped along the side to a nice weight white paper. In-between the photo and the white paper was a sheet of carbon paper.

She first demonstrated taking the students through looking for shapes and not features. The students then were on the edge of their seats to start this portion. The eyes, mouth and the nose as well were the most crucial areas. She stressed to only create the illusion of a nose or a mouth. Keeping the "sparkle spots" in the eyes was VERY important.

As the students worked through this portion, they could peek under their paper (without un-taping) to see what was developing. Once they were both happy with what they saw, the students un-taped and began working with a variety of black markers. Paige found that Sharpies work the best. They do not leave lines - instead they create a unified black shape.

Once the students had completed the marker step they turned their focus toward the background. During the first couple of classes (Paige has nine 5th grade classes) they explored the tissue paper snowflakes. She demonstrated the creating of the snowflake and they went through much recycled paper first. Then they moved to the tissue. She also demonstrated placing the snowflakes first and making decisions before gluing. With the next few classes, she opened the background up to them. Students brainstormed ideas - with focus on unity.


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