February 14, 2017

The Human Face: In and Out of Proportion

The Human Face: In and Out of Proportion

Art Center Sarasota's class for students ages 6-15 is called Rising Rembrandts.  I had the opportunity of teaching that class this past Saturday.  The lesson was all about making two faces: drawing one in proportion, then collaging the other out of proportion.

Preparing the lesson:

  • I gathered examples of artist-rendered faces that were in and out of proportion. 

          *In proportion: I used my own drawings.

          *Out of proportion: I used a print called Woman With Mauve Hat done by the king of disproportion: Pablo Picasso.

Woman With Mauve Hat
by Pablo Picasso

Teaching the Lesson:

  • Our first face was drawn in graphite and followed all the 'rules of proportion'.

  • We began by making a template in the shape of a human head.  Many students were surprised to find that their head was shaped like an upside down hen's eggs and not a circle.  

  • Next we used our template to trace the head onto a 9" x 12" piece of drawing paper. One by one we added the features, careful to make each proportional to the size of the head we had drawn.

  • You can see by the photo above that we drew guidelines down the center both vertically and horizontally.  This helped us position the features correctly and make them the right size.  We looked in mirrors to see the detail of our own features and the symmetry of our faces.

  • Once our drawing was complete, we were ready to create our second face.  After looking at Picasso's painting of Woman With Mauve Hat (above), the students were ready to get wacky.

  • This face was to be in color.  The students had already painted two pieces of 9" x 12" multipurpose paper, one in warm colors (red, yellow, orange) and the other in cool colors (green, purple, blue).  Now it was time to choose whether this face would be warm or cool.  Using the same template as before, the students traced and cut a second head identical in size to the first.

  • This student choose her warm color paper to make a wacky head inspired by Picasso.

  • The students' next task was to start collaging.  I had a table already set up with construction paper pieces of various colors and sizes.  Everyone got busy cutting and gluing eyes, nose, mouth, etc. to their colorful heads, and ... these features did NOT have to follow proportion guidelines.  

  • Our last step was to create a frame for our two heads.  We positioned a 12" x 18" piece of brown construction paper horizontally, then glued the heads one on each size. 

  • You can see the finished project in the photo above.  

Until next time ... have a colorful day!

Concepts explored:

color: warm and cool colors
balance: symmetrical balance
contrast: proportional and disproportional
line: drawing the face