Value Self Portraits
SCIS 7th/ 8th grade students are working on a quick exercise in painting values in watercolor, learning about masking fluid while creating a self portrait.
Pinterest and other websites are a great resource for new ideas. I found a simple tutorial online and was reminded of a project I did when I was in high school using color mixing and value. I wanted to plan a project that would help students to understand the range of values that can be achieved with watercolor. Many were realizing for the first time how to add more water or less to attain a wide range of color value.
To begin we took photographs of the students and their photographs were simplified in a free online photo editor, Pixlr to create value layers. First the photo was edited to black in white and boosted the contrast before applying the adjustment "Posterize".
The students drew and then protected the white areas of their portraits with masking fluid prior to painting the lightest area of watercolor wash in the color of their choice. After their initial wash of color students painted in the other values in layers of color on the surface. The final magic moment is when the paint drys and we get to remove the masking fluid to uncover the painting, Voila!
Check out our gallery of portraits!