Loose Parts Self-Portraits


For the past couple of weeks, the children have been working on their self-portraits for a collaborative piece to hang in the Gold Room. To support their developing self-concept in the art studio, the children created 3D self-portraits from “loose parts”.  The children created their likeness by arranging  jewelry, washers, and metal pieces, etc. to make a face.  As they were working, the children studied their faces in the mirror and we talked about how the shape of the mouth changes when you make different expressions.

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A student changes the expression on his self-portrait by changing  the mouth and eyebrows.lp6

lp7The children were very engaged throughout the process.  I wondered if the children found working with loose parts liberating  due to the impermanence of the medium. They seemed more willing to take risks and try many options. Working with loose parts allows children to explore endless possibilities and to develop curiosity.

“Look at my hair!”
“Oh! This used to be an earring! I have a pretty nose on. Oh! This is my pretty mouth. Awe! This is prettier. It has earrings for ears. I have pretty eyes. My one was talking and I noticed my eyebrows are down.”
“I also have a dimple right here. I’m not sure what to use for my dimple. I wonder about this nose. I changed the mouth.”
“I’m going to use these as my freckles.”
“The ears look like round circles.”
“I have lazy hair.”

Later, the children worked on observational drawings of the self-portraits they created from “loose parts”.  Before they began drawing, we studied the photographs looking for geometric shapes.  This helps to scaffold the drawing process. The children drew with Sharpies and then used metallic colored pencils.lp12lp13lp14

Reflection by Danya Lanphear, Art Specialist

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