Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Collaborative Mixed Media Family Portrait

We have been working for a few weeks on this large mixed media portrait of our family. It's made with 6 canvases and some photographs taken by the children in a previous lesson.

There was quite a bit of preparation needed before the children could begin. I printed out some of the pictures onto A3 paper. 2 of them are unchanged so I did those in colour. The others which got collaged and painted over I did in black and white. I used Photoshop to make them the right size. The pictures were then glued to the canvas ensuring that some of the faces crossed over more than one canvas panel.

Now it was time for the children to begin adding collage. We glued on book pages, sheet music , tissue paper and scrapbook papers.

Next we covered over the black and white faces with watered down gesso. We wanted a good surface for painting on without totally obscuring the picture below.

Next we used a pencil to outline the main facial features. We also outlined where hair, hats and shoulders would be.

Next we used water soluble crayons (Neocolor II) to add colour to only the background. We thought carefully about how the colours would flow from one canvas to the next.

Here's how the picture looked after this stage.

We used some stamps to further decorate the background. Next we mixed 3 flesh colours, light, medium and dark tones. We used the pictures as a guide for placing the paint on the canvas. The children weren't keen on the blending part of the process as you can see!

Next we blocked in the hair colour along with the hats and L's top.

Just the finishing touches to go. We coloured in the eyes and mouths and outlined everything with a soft (4B) pencil. Dads sunnies were collaged in black paper and baking foil and L's jewels were made from sequins.

Now I just have to find a space on the wall for their fabulous creation.

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