High school students have been working on these portraits for a while now. They started off by selecting an emotion they wanted to portray. They practised making faces showing extremely exaggerated emotions and in pairs photographed each other. They chose their best picture and printed it out. Using the grid method, they enlarged it on corrugated cardboard bases. They could paste more than one piece or overlap the pieces to create relief.
It was left to the students to decide the colours that would go with their emotion and they made thumbnails in their sketchbooks. We worked on this by looking at works of various expressionist artists and discussing how colours affected the general mood or the emotion to be portrayed. We also discussed different ways of applying paint – sponge, brush, palette knife, etc. In the final work, students chose their most suitable colour schemes as well as how they wanted to apply the paint.
Check out our Expressionist Portraits that students completed last week.
These works were created on pieces of scrap cartons and were very inexpensive. The scale – around 3 feet tall – helped in expressing the emotions. Most importantly, the freedom of using colours helped students break away from the obvious skin colour choice that they always go with.