Sunday, 23 August 2015

Rainbow portrait

As there are new children in the other groups we left the atelier to do our first portrait of the year outside... I know the International Fairy tea Party will soon be upon us, so something magical seemed in order... not just a mirror to reflect how the children look, but something a little more magical...

The art installation not too far away from the preschool (it is located at the next underground station from us, but it is a walkable distance) was the perfect choice.

I packed the wooden wagon with pencils, paper, clipboards (of the homemade cardboard and clip type) and three small chairs.

I chose the children who had shown the least interest in doing the portraits to start first... knwoing that if these children started playing they would not want to make the transition to the portrait work... and also knowing that the other children would want to make this transition. It was the right choice... and ALL the children expressed their enjoyement in this activity despite expressing their doubts about it before we started...

One of the children that was in the starting trio was there to the very end, adding small details and paying close attention... each child was allowed the time they needed to draw and colour their portrait.

It was also a great way to observe how the children were holding their pens - which children were actually looking at themselves and not just doing a "typical person" on their paper. Which children had played close attention to the instructions (head and shoulders portrait) - although there were no comments made if a child made a full body portrait... at the moment it is about making observations... of learning about how the children listen, and how I need to proceed with my work to support them.
I have just one child doing a "huvudfoting" as it is called in Swedish (head-footer) where the limbs coming directly out of the head - the others who did full body portraits were drawing bodies, necks, shoulders etc as well... the two that did just a head and should portrait included necks as well as the shoulders.

Itwas interesting to see how the children used the paper... most seemed to use a small part of it, rather than embracing the whole paper - and started off small.. which might be the reason for why the portrait became a whole body portrait... to fill up more of the paper.

The coloured pencils were lined up on the ground for the children to take as they needed them... many colours could be found in the reflections and the children really enjoyed using the colours... imagination became a part of this and not just observation. One child arranged the pencils into a piece of art too...

It certainly is going to be interesting to watch this group develop their self portrait skills over the coming year. To watch them learn more about themselves, their abilities and also to experiment with various techniques...

I have learned a great deal from the portrait project from last year... which mediums the children enjoyed the most, which ones allowed them to experiment not just with the materials but also with ideas... and also which ones were too much of a challenge and needed more help from me than what I would have wanted as it was more tricky than I had anticipated... after all I am experiemtning with many of the techniques with the children... I am learning with them... and I always share that I am learning... so they know we are on the journey together.

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