Natural materials don’t inhibit those children who would otherwise protest ‘but I can’t draw!’
- Gather the group together. Discuss what portraits are, and then say that they are going to make self portraits – but the only problem is – you have forgotten pens, paper and paintbrushes. What can you do? The children will probably leap to suggest they can use the natural materials around them!
- Let the children decide if they want to design individually or in twos or small groups. This will vary with age and confidence.
- Talk about the features of a face they may need to include – ears, eyes, nose, hair etc and encourage or suggest some useful materials like fluffy seeds for eyebrows for example.
- Set some environmentally aware ground rules in terms of parts of plants to collect/ leave alone. Otherwise agree only to collect plentiful loose materials such as fallen leaves/grasses.
- Talk about framing their portraits – what could they use? Sticks or twigs for example, of equal lengths.
- Discuss contrasting backgrounds – so the image is clear rather than blending in with the background – and how they may chose the backdrop to display the image.
- Let them spend time gathering materials and making self portraits. Are the faces happy or sad?
- Alternatively, they could design portraits of other beings – monsters/ wood spirits – let them decide the theme.