Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Roy Lichtenstein lesson

(My daughters' projects)
I was really excited to give this new-to-me lesson a try! For whatever reason, I haven't ventured much into Pop Art in my teaching before. Roy Lichtenstein seemed like a great place to start. I had the book as a reference and to show examples, but we also watched a short YouTube video to familiarize ourselves with the artist and artwork. These were both appropriate for kids: Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein and Diagram of an Artist. A rotating easel?!??! I want one! We discussed the characteristics of his work (primary colors with white and black bold outlines, dots, strong lines, comic/advertisement inspiration), and the why behind his recognizable style. Then we got to work!
I took a photo of them (taken the previous day so we wouldn't waste time) and encouraged them to make a face that expressed some emotion that could inspire a good word bubble later on.
After I'd printed the photo, they outlined the essential parts with a black pen. I pointed out that Lichtenstein kept things simple, leaving out unnecessary details. The younger class needed some help with some of their harder facial features, and I encouraged the older class to take their time.
(My example done of my son)
We then put a piece of tracing paper on top and traced the lines they felt worked. My younger class in particular was blown away that they'd turned themselves into look-alike cartoons. They also found it to be totally hilarious. Wasn't our quietest day but they were loving it! I ran their finished tracing paper drawings over to the copier and copied it onto white card stock. Then they got to paint. My 3 year-old even did a pretty good job, don't you think?
I had them do dots for all skin, with the option of dots, stripes, or solids for everything else. I pointed out that if their hair was red, the skin shouldn't be red as well. I provided Q-tips for the younger class, but showed the older ones that they could use the wrong ends of the smaller paintbrushes to make even smaller dots. I think they turned out great!
Oh, and I sent each of the students home with a comic strip and challenged them to, as an extra assignment, recreate one of the frames. Like Roy Lichtenstein would do, I encouraged them to simplify and focus on the essential details that would allow it to stand on it's own as a "work-of-art" instead of a "common" comic. I'm excited to see what they come up with!

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