It can be difficult enough to think of art projects suitable for transition year students when you have a mixed class some of which have never done art before or they have only done art in 1st year so are out of practice or very weak. I find crafts work well and I always like to come up with group work as its good for students to get to know each other better as they are normally in a mixed class group unlike in their Junior classes so some students may not know each other.
Portrait drawing works really well. I take photos of all students and they manipulated them in Photoshop to break them down into 3 tones- black, grey and white. These are printed A4 size. Using a grid system students draw themselves. Students who have done art before love the challenge of drawing themselves from the photos and students who have not done art or are very weak can trace the photos and still have the ability to produce good work.
These drawings are used to create the stencil, one for each colour printed (black, grey and white). Here are some photos of the process for you to see as well as some examples of finished student portrait prints.
This lesson was inspired by Pointillism – grid drawing project that I seen on Julianna Kunstler’s Pinterest page. It was originally meant for students to do individually but I thought it would be perfect to do as a group project.
The image was a little small as there were 24 students in my class so I enlarged the Racoon image to A3 and then photocopied a mirror image so they would have 2 racoons to work from. I then stuck them together and cut them into 5x5cm square pieces. On the back of each piece I wrote a letter and a number so we would know how to put the mural back together and I laminated each piece.
Each student was given a piece at random to copy using the pointilism technique. If any student finished early they received a new piece to copy. Below are some photos of the process for you to see.
Original racoon whisker
Copied racoon whisker
Original racoon eye
Copied racoon eye
Completed racoon class mural
It took 3 double classes to add the finishing touches and assemble the finished mural, but the result is incredibly impressive! The students were very excited assembling the mural as they did not know what they were drawing until it was all assembled. I think this really helped them focus more on looking rather than trying to draw what they know it should look like.