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Student Created Art Project – Tissue Paper Ghosts

I was in a new classroom (for me) the other day and one of my students wanted to show me her ideas for an art project.  Unfortunately we didn’t have time to create these little critters, but I told her I would try to do it with another class.  I was thinking of just putting this image up on a smartboard, with all the materials at the front, and seeing if the students could follow along.  


Warhol Pop Art Portraits

I recently completed these portraits with a grade 4 class and thought I’d share a step by step guide for your classrooms.


  • overhead transparencies
  • overhead projector
  • fine line permanent markers
  • paint brushes and water colours
  • tape
  • construction paper
  • photocopiable card stock paper

This project should take between 2 -3 sessions spread out over two days to complete.


Day 1

  1. Take a picture of each student and crop them so that you have a head shot of each member of your class.  Print these photos out full size on A4 paper.  Image
  2. Hand out each student’s full sized photo, along with an overhead transparency sheet.  Tape the overhead transparency sheet to the back of the photo, so that it will not move while the students are tracing.
  3. Once the sheets are secured, hand out permanent markers.  Emphasize that students are to outline their faces.  I showed my class how to do this on an overhead projector.  The nose and mouth will be the most difficult, so you may want to spend some time practicing with them, and develop some strategies for Imagesimply representing these features.
  4. Once students have finished their tracing they have finished their first session.  It is now your job to take the transparencies, photocopy them, and shrink them down so that they are a quarter of their original size.  Then copy them onto card stock paper for the next days session.  I copied six portraits for each student, just in case they made a mistake while painting.

Day 2

  1. Hand out the student’s outlines on the card stock paper.  Here you can make mention of warm and cool colours, as well as contrasting and complementary combinations.  Also emphasize and demonstrate how to add water to your watercolour base so it is easy to paint with.  Image
  2. Allow students to paint their portraits.  The more outrageous the colour combination the better!
  3. Once students finish have them dry and then glue their favourite four onto a construction paper background.  Done!Image