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4th Grade Shoe Portraits

January 26, 2012

I always enjoy implementing this project with my 4th graders.  It is an unusual way to approach a portrait but the kids seem to enjoy it.  Yes, we take our shoes off to draw them and no, it doesn’t smell too bad!  It is a great way to work on observational drawing.

I start the lesson with an introduction about Identity.  We talk about how you can tell a lot about a person based upon what kind of shoes they wear.  That usually leads to a long discussion about what kind of a person we are because of our shoes.  Each student wants to know what I think.  Its kinda funny and helps us all get to know each other better.  I even get a summary about what my shoes say about me.  I have  a lot of different shoes, so each class has a different perspective on me.

We start by practicing on a rough draft first.  I think this helps each student feel more comfortable.  We talk about how to look at the shoe and start simple first, looking only at the basic shapes.  After the basic shape of the shoe is drawn, we start adding details.

The second art class is when we start the final drawing.  Everyone thinks about the direction of the shoes and how we would be standing.  Once the shoe is drawn we outline it with sharpies.  The background is added and then we paint with watercolors.

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