Sunday, 10 April 2016

Mona Lisa inspired portraits

Just over a week ago the children were talking about the Mona Lisa.. "the world's most famous painting" and how they wanted to make a famous painting themselves... I suggested that they could make their own Mona painting, if I was to combine their photo portrait with the Mona Lisa, we could create something completely new...

for example my face with the Mona Lisa would become Mona Suzanne...

I did this over the weekend and the images were ready for the children to paint...

When they first looked at the images they laughed... deep from the belly... at their own, at each others... genuine amusement that they could look so different and yet so alike...

We looked at a print of the Mona Lisa that leonardo Da Vinci had painted and noticed the colours... they tended to be rather dark... so we made some dark colours to paint with...

The children chose their own brushes... and some changed brushes part way through when they realised that their brush was too broad... all sorts of learning going on...

There were some amazing dialogues going on too... about gender and about fashion/looks...

Were the boys still boys if their heads were on the Mona Lisa body? The boys looked at themselves and said.. yes they were still boys... but the image was it a boy or a girl? And there was a discussion about how it looked so old fashioned... well the painting is over 500 yrs old... but now I am old fashioned... as they looked at their transformation. The children really observed and reflected on the process...
They also repeatedly said it was so much fun....


I was slightly nervous about doing this... it felt like giving the children a colouring in book... although personalised... and yet the children created something unique with their print... each seeing something different in the original work that they transferred to their own art... each adding their own personal flair...

Below you can see the final masterpieces (the top two left images are works in progress with the final masterpiece directly under... so you can see the process)
Some of the children used a lighter touch to their painting so that the details of the print could still be seen... while others painted as usual with the enjoyment of a thicker layer... all images have mouths... just that one chose a VERY pale pink and when I asked if the child was happy that the mouth was hard to see from a  distance there was a decided nod.
I like to always hold up the children's artwork at the end (as long as it will not drip) so that they can see how it looks from a new perspective and make their final decision as to whether they are finished or would like to add a little more)



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