Friday, 26 June 2015

lesson idea: silhouettes

I'm currently doing a mini-portrait project with my year 7's for the end of term and we have been having some fun playing around with the starting point 'silhouette's' so I thought I'd share a few of the activities we have been doing! We started by creating a set of photographs so each student had a photo of themselves from a side view. From the photographs we made our initial silhouette. I got my students to create the silhouette by tracing around the outline of their figure onto tracing paper, cutting it out and then placing and cutting round it onto black paper! We then mounted them onto white cartridge!
Rather than just leaving it there though, I wanted to start to put more detail in! We are working up to creating a design on a ceramic tile so I wanted my students to create more layers of colour and more shapes to work with. We used grey paper to add sections of detail, focusing on things like hair, ears (if visible!) and clothing. I showed the students some examples of framed silhouettes too to inspire them to create a black paper-cut border.

Next we came back to drawing! We took the silhouettes out to our photocopier and I showed them how to create a positive/negative copy. The black areas are transformed to white enabling them to draw back into the silhouette shape. Working from their photograph they put back in the detail of their facial features, hair and clothing!
Then finally back out to the photocopier to create a second positive/negative copy this time reverting the image back to it's originally state! I also showed them how to do a one colour copy to liven it up a bit into some brighter colours! It's worth checking if your copier has this setting there's a whole range of colours to choose from - red, blue, yellow, orange, green etc. etc.

My students really enjoyed it and have made some exciting designs in preparation for our ceramic tiles! As always if you try out this technique we'd love to see what you and your students create!
- Claire 

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