As soon as I knew this half-term's topic was going to have an art focus on the Native Americans, I knew that at some point this amazing lesson by 'That Artist Woman' was going to be big inspiration.
We toyed with the idea of using photographs of the children themselves but realised after some research that non-Natives wearing these headdresses could be quite offensive. Instead, we decided to use a silhouette for the face which would ensure that the headdress would be the main focus of the artwork.
We began the lesson by researching the importance of the headdress and learnt about how the feathers had to be earned for good deeds and other achievements. Having looked at some other examples, the students were ready to begin their own. They were very excited when they saw what their final product could look like. This activity took roughly two 1-hour slots.
- Black mounting paper
- White trimmed A4 paper
- White A5 paper
- Black A5 paper
- A3 paper
- Oil pastels
- Water colours
1. Children took their black A5 paper and followed a guided drawing to create the side-profile of the face. We had more success when using dots to mark the key places and then joining up.
2. Children split their A3 piece of paper into thirds. Each third would use a different medium. On one third, they drew 6-7 feather shapes with charcoal and decorated each feather with a different pattern. On another third, they filled the entire space with bright colours using oil pastels. They were encouraged to do lots of blending! In the final third, children covered the entire space with earthy colours (brown, orange, red, black).
3. To create the feathers, students then cut out their charcoal feathers that they had drawn. For the other two thirds, children turned over their paper and drew 6-7
4. To create the 'head-band- part of the headdress, students placed their A5 piece of white paper over the silhouette. They could then use the silhouette as a rough guide for the shape and width needed for their band.
5. Once the band was cut out, children could then use water colours to decorate with a pattern.
6. For the medallion, children traced around a cup and then used colouring pencils to decorate with a different pattern. Once the pattern was completed, they then traced the lines in black pen to give a beaded effect.
7. Now it was time to assemble their masterpieces. The trimmed A4 white paper was mounted onto the black paper. The black silhouette was then stuck onto the white paper, making sure enough room was left for the headdress. The feathers were then attached all the way around the back of the head. The 'headband' could then be glued on top and finally, the medallion was stuck on too!
This was a fantastic project and I am delighted with the results. The children were very proud of their work and hard work that went into it. We're going to be presenting this work in 4B's Sharing Assembly next week.
A huge congratulations, 4B. I keep on being amazed and impressed by your talent.