Tomorrow morning when students enter the school they will be welcomed by a new display of Presidential Portraits greeting them. I'm hoping this will add a spark to a Monday that most school's have off for vacation. I found the lesson plan for this project in the January 2012 edition of Arts & Activities. There is a link to the article here that explains the basic material layering process that helps to achieve the end result. The art teacher responsible for this lesson is Cheryl Crumpecker is a K-3 art teacher at St. Paul's Episcopal Day School in Kansas City, Mo. She used this lesson to compare the traditional portrait style of Gilbert Stuart and pop artist, Peter Max, but I decided to just focus on Max's unique painting style, drawing on the right side of the brain, line quality, and color mixing. I used heavyweight card stock for the drawing/painting and found some acetate transparencies to use for the Sharpie line drawings. I was hesitant about following the portion of Cheryl's directions that asked the students to draw their president UPSIDE DOWN. I decided to take a risk and believe in the extraordinary abilities of my 5th graders and ended up being beyond pleasantly surprised.
On the second day of the lesson before we began painting, I showed students a brief video of a recent story the CBS Morning Show did on Peter Max and his patriotic style. I used this video. It was a good way to show students how popular and iconic Max's work is. He has painted on a lot of important things such as jumbo jet airliners and even the White House lawn during the Reagan era. It also gives students a glimpse of how Max uses his paint, painting quickly, mixing a bunch of bright colors on one brush (usually an art room no no!), and painting a background of block colors.
I took a lot of pictures because I was so excited about the results so I will inserting them all as a slideshow.