Monday, February 11, 2013

Self Portrait Girl Scout Style

Today at Girl Scouts the girls were working on their painting badge. I've been helping with this badge. Last time, I had the girls do printmaking, today it was self portraits.
Over the years a lot of people have asked me about portraits and are always looking for a simple way to do them. Below is how I had the girls do their portraits today in under an hour.
1. A little prep work. Print out a picture of each child on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. Just a simple black and white picture from the printer will do.
 2. Flip the paper over and use charcoal/graphite and completely coat the paper. The kids did their own. Yes, it's a little messy, but easy to do.

3. Turn the page back over and using a simple pencil or color and trace the features onto a piece of watercolor paper. We just used 9x12 bulk watercolor paper. I don't worry about the extra charcoal that is left in smudges around the paper as it provides a nice realistic touch later..

4. Using watercolor pencils, I had the girls color in their portraits. You could use traditional pan or tube watercolors, but I like the easy and convenience of watercolor pencils. After they colored their portraits, I gave them water and brushes and put them to work.
5. Here is the finished product. The girls really loved them. I think they felt successful and enjoyed the process.

Truly, this is such a fun project for kids, that I'd say it would be a great project even for a vbs or a camp setting. And its cheap too :) !

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