Pop Art Portraits

Way back in October, I started a Pop Art project with my 10th graders. They began the project by researching pop artists in groups and creating glogs to present to the class.
Then they each chose an image of a famous person and used the grid technique to draw the person on their canvas. I had wanted to use canvases last year, but didn’t have the money or the ability to ask the kids to buy one so I jumped at the chance this year. It turned out to be a great decision. They were thrilled to use “professional” art supplies and were constantly carrying their canvases around. I swear we could have combined this project with one of those flour baby teen parent projects, that’s how they behaved with these things.
After drawing on their canvas, each student had to choose a monochromatic color scheme and use acrylic paints to complete their canvas with at least five different values. I showed them how to look for the values in a black and white picture and create a paint by number type of design on their canvas. They had the option of sticking with the rigid value definitions or of blending their values together.
They finished their paintings up with a complementary colored background and an MLA citation of their image on the back.
I was incredibly impressed with my students throughout this whole project. It took forever and there were plenty of times when I wanted it to move a lot faster, but the extensive number of kids who did an amazing job was incredible to watch. I was really nervous that students would struggle a lot or wouldn’t feel successful, but the vast majority produced amazing paintings that they are really proud of. It was heartwarming to see them so excited about a project and so proud of what they could accomplish.
I really did narrow these down (there are 130 of them!). Here are “just a few” of the final paintings. As always, feel free to click on them to make them bigger.


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