Spray Paint Self Portraits (6-8)

Spray Paint Self Portraits:

Students Learned/Practiced
- Positive/Neg Space
- Spray Paint (new medium)
- Planning
- Cutting
- Process

This lesson was inspired by a lesson in the magazine Arts and Activities. The article was for an advanced high school art class and was much more complex -- I simplified it for my students and they had a blast!

I first took pictures of them with my digital camera with a strong light source from one side (the overhead). I then opened those pictures in Adobe Photoshop where I made them black and white -- no grey, just black and white. I printed them off and handed them out. I then explained to the students that all the white pieces had to connect -- if the white pieces didn't connect their stencil would fall apart, so in some places they would need to make up lines to connect it all.

To make their stencil I gave them single overhead transparency sheets that they taped over their paper and drew on with permanent/overhead marker to connect all the white spaces. The students then cut away everything that was black -- leaving their stencil.

Many students felt their stencil did not look like anything let alone them. So, we took them outside and taped their stencils to paper. I did a quick demo on how to use spraypaint and let them go at it -- keeping the away from any concrete/building. Almost every student would peal off their stencil and go 'ahhhhh. That is so cool!' and then ran to do another one.

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