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Collage Self-Portrait project

torn paper collage self-portrait by Dawn Pedersen

I’m still a teaching student, in my final semester before moving on to my Masters classes. One of my current classes is actually my student teaching. I have a very unusual student teaching situation – instead of having three classes per day with a master teacher, I am all on my own with six classes per day plus a prep. This is an extremely good but daunting experience. It’s all up to me to keep on top of everything, not to mention create an entire year’s curriculum on my own for both art and drama. I think I’m doing well. One of the ways that my credential program keeps tabs on me is an evaluator who observes eight of my lessons throughout the semester. For each day he visits, I need to provide him a fancy-schmancy lesson plan, something I ordinarily have zero time to do. So, he’s coming this Wednesday.

I’m sharing my lesson plan with you. The format is based on Madeline Hunter’s recommendations. I adapted the rubric from this similar lesson. I borrowed the critique questions from Helen D. Hume’s book “The Art Teacher’s Book of Lists” (a lifesaver). The anticipatory set for the lesson will include transparencies of these artworks (self portraits by Leonardo daVinci, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gaugin, Robert Arneson, followed by the image below).
Bob Kilvert
“The Black Felt Hat” by Bob Kilvert, from Creative Collage Techniques by Nita Leland and Virginia Lee Williams.

I’ll post up my own self-portrait collage as I progress on it.

UPDATE December 27, 2006

Here’s the initial self-portrait line drawing I did first in graphite, then in felt-tip pen:

self-portrait line drawing

Here’s the final collage I did based on the line drawing above:
self-portrait in collage

Here’s a detail of one eye, showing that I did not merely cut out someone else’s eye from a magazine photo. I pieced it together using all kinds of sources to create an eye that was more authentically mine:
deatil of collaged eye

UPDATE 01-05-07: Student Work

These are some of the best work from my high schoolers:

Student self-portrait collage
Student self-portrait collage
Student self-portrait collage

There was a wide range of skill level, creativity and degree of completeness at both the middle school and high school. Here’s a sample from the middle school:

Student self-portrait collage

9 thoughts on “Collage Self-Portrait project

  1. hey- I saw your site on the site and came for a peak. I do this same type of lesson with my art 7/8 class and they love it. In fact, I posted it under a topic lately, but I don’t have a site to link to. I wish I did- your site is great. Good luck~
    Mary V

  2. These look fantastic. the students’ are lucky to have you.

  3. I’m still learning to take more of self-portrait to improve, I know that photo didn’t do well but I’d decided to just publish on flickr so i remember what I did and think how to improve. That was one of the ‘most ok’ one for display I think.So always
    keep it in your mind it’s tough but
    we can do it..

  4. Thank you! This great, I am an artist, thrown into teaching sophomore high school art. I was thinking about a project exactly like this, you have provided clear and well illustrated instruction! Thanks for the synchronicity!

  5. Thanks for having this up. This was a project I actually did in College. I found it very fun! It’s nice to see it being used in earlier classes…as this is a technique I wish I picked up years before. It’s great for learning to use different shades of color for shadow and depth. Good luck with everything!

  6. Hello …..
    Just wanna say,that I really like your work off art …I do also love to make different kinds off collage, it is my way to express my selfe .

    many greetings from Karina from Denmark (-:

  7. Thank you so much-I am putting together a similar lesson plan and it is great to see your class results and experience!

  8. Amazing work, you’re very talented, keep up the good work 🙂

  9. What amazing paintings, thanks a lot for putting your work up for everyone to see.

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