for another type of clown face. I told
them to make the face as big as their
Next, we added expressive eyes,
eyebrows, and mouths. We added
silly hairstyles and costumes using
big, bold patterns. Some students
had room to draw a full-size figure
and some chose to draw just the
upper portion of the body. Some
students added details to the background of the picture in keeping
with the circus theme.
During the next lesson, the portraits were colored with oil pastels.
I taught students how to press down
hard on the soft pastels to get a
paint-like surface. Some experimented with the paint-like blending
qualities of the oil pastels. More
excitement ensued as they saw the
results of the vibrant oil pastels on
the bold colored paper. These were
way better than crayons!
The last lesson was spent perusing a tray of paper scraps, buttons,
silk flowers, pom-poms, etc. The
expressive clowns were transformed
into collages using paper scraps for
hats, buttons for eyes, pom-poms for
noses, etc. I used a hot glue gun to
glue on the pom-poms and silk flowers. Students glued everything else
with school glue.
The students were quite pleased
with their accomplishments and
we displayed them under a big,
colored paper big top display in our
hallway. The lesson reinforced an
understanding of portraiture, the
expressive nature of the human face,
and the experimental qualities of oil
pastels and collage. It was a memorable way to reinforce the art of self-portraits and portraits!
Beth Hubbert is an art teacher at Perrin
Elementary School in Sherman, Texas.
NATIONAL ART STANDARD
Students explore and understand
prospective content for works of art.
• glue gun and glue sticks
(for teacher use)
• white school glue
• 12 x 18" ( 30 x 46 cm) bright
colored construction paper,
one per student
• black crayons
• oil pastels
• collage materials: paper scraps,
buttons, sewing trim, pom-poms, sequins, silk flowers, etc.
• reproductions of circus posters