Thursday, October 6, 2011

Foreshortening Self-Portraits with Alan Bean


    Thank you to Mrs. Susa from Lake Elementary who shared this out of this world fifth grade lesson with me a few years ago!  To start, we looked at some of the super-realistic paintings of astronaut-turned-artist Alan Bean.  We also talked about the concept of foreshortening (extreme perspective where objects on a 2-dimensional surface seem to reach out to you).  The students then traced their hands and feet and an upside-down water bucket for a helmet.  I challenged the kids to draw themselves as astronauts, but it was up to them to decide to make a realistic outer-space artwork or a more imaginative one.  The artists also worked really hard to draw believable faces with correct proportioning.

     We blended crayons and/or colored pencils for the drawn objects and painted various mixes of shaded glittery paints for the outer-space backgrounds.  Some students also painted over their dry media with watercolors to create richer colors.



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