Have a blast teaching your child foreshortening by creating a falling self-portrait. This project makes learning foreshortening and visual perspective immediate, fun and easy! This is also a great way to discuss texture, overlapping and facial expressions.
You can modify this project for different age groups depending on the materials you use. Crayons and pastels are great for younger kids, while colored pencils or tempera paint are perfect for challenging older kids. Oil pastels look great for the bottom of the shoes to create a rubbery-look.
What You Do:
- Have your child trace both of their shoes on one sheet of white paper using a pencil
- Help your child trace both hands on a sheet of flesh-colored paper using a pencil
- Have her draw an outline of her face (smaller than her hands ) onto flesh-colored paper with pencil
- She should draw her hair onto colored construction paper using pencil. Keep in mind what hair would look like if someone was falling—Messy!
- Have her draw her body onto construction paper. The only parts of the body that will be seen are the torso, shoulders and part of the pants. (*A variation on this, would be to allow older kids to DRAW their body on the background white paper, coloring it in with colored pencils )
- Have her look at the bottom of her shoe and recreate the patterns and textures she sees in oil pastels or crayons.
- Have her use oil pastels or crayons to recreate the lines she sees on her actual hands onto the paper hands she has traced.
- Have her draw her face. Discuss what her face might look like if she was falling.
- She can now cut out all of the parts with scissors: shoes, hands, face, hair and body
- All of the parts can now be glued down on a piece of white paper in the following order: Body, face (overlapping the neck area), hair (overlapping the face a bit), hands, (overlapping the face and the top of the body), and shoes, (overlapping the hands)
- Now she can color in her clothing
- Hang from the ceiling to complete the falling effect!
Tip: These look great when each part outlined in black oil pastel or maker.
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.