“Skin is so you don’t have your skeleton out!”

Last week, friends started working on their self portraits in the Studio!  We began by reading The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler.  This book has rich text and illustrations, so we broke it up into three parts to use throughout our self portrait work.

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Next, we began examining our faces in mirrors.  Friends noticed shapes, colors and textures, while also sharing what they knew about skin and why we have it.

“Why do we have skin?”

Kyrie: You need skin so you can play.  And so you can run really fast.

Abbie: It keeps your inside warm.

Africa Grace: Skin is so you don’t have your skeleton out.

Jax: If you take your skin off, you’ll see your bones.

Theo: It helps keep the bones inside the body.

Kaylee: And the blood inside.

Sallie Chappell: When we grow into a baby, we grow skin.

Jair: Skin helps you grow bigger and bigger when you eat your vegetables.

Amie: If you don’t have skin, you’ll die.

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Betsegaw: Self portraits are you draw if you’re a boy or a girl.

Abbie: You make your eye color.

Theo: I need to make my Nationals jersey.  And my missing teeth.  And little boogers in my nose.

Aria: Don’t forget to make your eyelids.

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Jacob: My legs are lines.  And my feet look like little ovals.  My fingers look like five lines.

Frances: How come I’m always in my skin?

Kaitlyn: I put my unicorn horn.

Nora: I need to add my birth mark.

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Adele: It means… um… self means us, so, a picture of us!

Ellie: How do I make Ellie?

Eva:  I added a freckle to my foot.  And a bandaid.

Jayden: That’s me.  That’s myself!

Hope: I have skin on my face.  And my cheeks.

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Below are self portraits in process!  Next week, friends will mix colors with liquid watercolors as they start adding additional details to their portraits.

“When is the special guest model coming? Is it your dad?”

Over the past few weeks, Sunflower and Fern groups have been continuing to study the figure in a variety of ways.  Children began by modeling for their peers, who quickly sketched their poses.  The following week, we reviewed figure drawing by reading a book called Louise Loves Art.  Friends immediately made connections between the book and our figure drawing exercises from the previous week.

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Ra’Maya: We did some poses like the kitty.

Luke: Last week we were the models and we were drawing the poses.  I like drawing models very much.

Nneka: The cat is staying like a statue so she can draw him.

Selwyn: The cat is posing like we did on the stage.

Next, I shared with friends that a very special guest was going to come and model for us!  Children were so excited and many had ideas of who the guest was going to be.

Zavier: When is the special guest model coming?  Is it your dad?

Elliott: Is it your mom?  Is your mom coming?

Trebor: Is the cat coming here?

In the future, maybe my parents can stop by to model!  Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it for those days, so Mel the wooden mannequin came by!  I showed friends that Mel could move his body in many ways to create all types of shapes.  Children noticed that he could hold very tricky poses that would have been too hard for us to do.

Mae: I really like Mel.  He’s so cool.  He can touch his toes to his head and put his arms behind his head at the same time.  His legs must hurt after.

Ryan: Mel looks like he’s kicking a soccer ball!

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Zoe: Is Mel short for Melvin?  When you said a model was coming I thought it was going to be your dad.

Justin: He arms look like he an airplane.

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Andres: Wow, you’re the greatest poser, Mel!  You stand so still.  I tickled his feet and I hear him laugh but not move.

Zeina: Mel is doing a pirouette.

 

“It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!”

Sunflower yellow and Fern green art groups have just begun an exploration of gesture drawing, which has brought a whole new level of excitement and laughter to the Studio this winter!

To kick off this work, friends learned that they would have two very important jobs… to be an artist, and a model.  Children brainstormed with each other to try to figure out what those two words really meant.

Zavier: A model is like an action figure or a figure majiger.  A model is in a magazine.

Maia: A model is like a sculpture and a sculpture could be of a spider or a princess so that’s what the model is.

Miguel: A model is a person you draw.

Nneka: Artists make things that are really nice.

Trebor: If you want to be an artist, you have to think about your work.

Andres: Model is like a type of play dough.  Like Model Magic.

William: A model could look like a sculpture.

Destynee: Some people like artists hold their palettes.

Zoe: I want to be an artist when I grow up but I don’t know if I can because you have to work and practice so much.  Sometimes artists make things but they don’t know what it is for a long time.  You just make and make and then you decide.

Next, I shared that when it was your turn to be a model, you would carefully stand up on the stage (milk crate), and after a countdown, you would strike a pose that you could comfortably hold for 20 seconds.  We talked about different ways you could move your body to create shapes, curves and lines.  As you were modeling, the rest of the children were the artists in the audience, quickly drawing your pose.  (Side note: It was “Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day” and “Pajama Day” during these two classes, hence the costumes, which really added to the work!)

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Ra’Maya: It’s so hard to hold a long pose.

Zeina: I was smiling while friends were modeling so that they felt comfortable.

Nayeli: You got to stand still and the artists draw how your hands and legs look.

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Friends enjoyed posing for each other.  Most groups ended up doing three rounds, with 20, 40 and 60 second poses.  As they had more time, children added details to their gesture drawings, such as the stage, clothes, and background.

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Iris: Briana should be proud of herself because she was scared to model but then she was brave at the last round.

Andres: Mister Skinny Legs is a really good model, just like us.  He can stay really still, even more still then us when we pose.

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Zeina: It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!

Iris: I’m looking at Selwyn’s paper to focus so I don’t move.

After our gesture drawing rounds, Miguel and Selwyn were motivated to draw their own poses and then try to model from the illustration.  This sparked some interest that we might explore further in the coming weeks!

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