Best class ever! Also the most prep and work outside of class. During an earlier session I had each child pose for some portrait shots with my digital camera. They smiled, were serious, and lastly made a funny face for the camera. Before next class I opened each image in Photoshop, changed them to black and white files, and bumped the contrast way up! I printed them out at home and then took them to my local office supply/copy shop and had multiples of each xeroxed onto business card stock.
I wanted to do them all, but for time and expense we worked on the smiles and the silly faces. We decided as a class that each child would paint one portrait of everyone else in class, then would receive his/her own collection of faces back. For the smiling portraits we worked on just filling the images with large flat areas of color, then when everyone agreed, I allowed them to do whatever they wanted, within reason, and with permission from the other child onto the silly portraits.
We talked about Pop Art, mass media, Andy Warhol, and saw examples of his work. It's crazy to think of a generation who doesn't know who Marilyn Monroe is! But they got the idea. We worked with tempera paint and I showed the students how the toner from the xerox would resist the paint. I thought about trying the project with watercolors, but they might have been a little too pretty. The tempera gave a sense of opacity and mimicked the look of silkscreen successfully.
The kids made a lot of art! We painted a ton of panels and although they were tired toward the end, what an end! After the portraits dried, I trimmed them and mounted each collection onto black poster board. Here are examples from our Andy Warhol gallery.