Digital Self Portraits Using Photoshop

We are getting close to creating our final collaborative photographic portraits with Jessica Crute from Houston Photography Center and our students at Little Wonders. However, before the big day we would like to introduce one more project to our elementary students.

We thought to fully prepare our students for this, we would introduce photographic self portraits and photo manipulation. 

With technology advancing at such a fast pace, teaching children about computers has become very important goal for us here a Little Wonders.  We believe that children are capable of a lot more than most adults give them credit for.  We provided the children with the opportunity to use a computer program that our artists were introduced to in college.

Digital art has many applications, and experimenting with art programs can help a child develop valuable skills that will be useful throughout their life.

 

 

The children started off by choosing an expression or feeling that they would like to display. They divided into groups of two and took turns taking pictures of their partner making that expression.

The students were introduced to the basics of photography. They were taught how to hold the camera, how to zoom in and out, and various lighting effects. One of the greatest challenges that they faced in this task was understanding composition. If they would zoom in too much they would not be able to see all of their partner’s face or body, and if they zoomed out too much their face would be so small they would not be able to see their expression!

Check out our amazing photographers below!

 

 

Mrs. Marjon showed us the correct way to hold the camera!

 

 

Once the pictures were all taken, we downloaded the files onto the computer and let the student review their own pictures.
These are the files that they reviewed in the art studio
The expression they chose was….
HAPPINESS
HAPPINESS

HAPPINESS

HAPPINESS

ANGER

HAPPINESS

HAPPINESS

SADNESS

HAPPINESS

HAPPINESS

ANGER

HAPPINESS

The students studied their photographs and they chose their favorite photo that they felt projected their emotion.

Once the photo was chosen, the students were able to fully explore photo manipulation in Photoshop!

Mrs. Marjon introduced the students to some of the capabilities of Photoshop.

They were introduced to basic tools such as the magic wand tool, the crop tool, the magnetic lasso tool, various marquee tools, the eyedropper tool, the paintbrush tool, and all of the shape tools. They learned about color and hue/saturation adjustments. Photoshop layers, layer order, new documents, opacity changes, and transformations… to name a few :)

 

After the initial demonstration and now knowing the full capabilities that Photoshop had to offer, the students couldn’t wait to get started!

Fascinated by color manipulation, the student below spent a long time adjusting the background colors of her photo. “Blue and green mean happiness to me!” she said.

Three students worked together at a time in the art studio. We believe that learning and discovering amongst each other allows new information to be more easily retained.  They are more engaged in conversation and problem solving when working in a small group, than working by themselves at a computer.  Research shows that small groups working together helps the children retain the information….

They encourage each other and support each other in their new discoveries!

They used the crop tool to create the desired composition.

After learning how to apply a transparent layer on top of her picture, the student discovered how to draw waves onto of her picture! She wanted to be under the ocean!

These students were having a discussion about the correct colors in a rainbow.

They worked wonderfully together!

Finding the perfect color purple!

We are extremely excited to be a school that provides these children with an opportunity like this.  To think that our artists learned this computer program in college, and we are witnessing these children understand it at ages 5 – 7!  What amazes us even more is that we were worried they would have trouble with the mouse on the laptop, but, of course, they proved us wrong!  They mastered the program in no time, and we will have this whole project on display at our annual art exhibit in May.

We are so excited to show you the works in progress that the students have created below. Some of the pictures are finished and some have a little more work to go but, regardless, the pieces are incredible! How amazing is it that these students have come up with their own concept, pushed to express a mood through color and expression, and have manipulated their photos digitally through Photoshop!

Such amazing minds at work!

ANGER

The student below is in the process of drawing fire on his pictures. “Anger is hot colors… just like fire!”

HAPPINESS

“The color blue is happy to me.”

The student below wanted a background of a beautiful sunny day. He even adjusted the water to intensify the blue to make it really happy!

HAPPINESS

“I drew glasses on my face because it’s silly! That makes me laugh!” Bright colors and fun effects help this student express his silly side!

HAPPINESS

“I like red and yellow!”

This student is working on adjusting his skin tones and background colors to fully be covered in his favorite colors!

SADNESS

“When I am really sad I listen to music and it makes me happy!”

This student chose to create two images that will work together as one piece. The first picture she decided to demonstrate and draw rain falling from the sky. The second picture is created with all of her favorite colors and she had her paint brush move across the screen like it was dancing to music!

You can hear the music radiating from her second piece? We can :)

HAPPINESS

The student below told us about a very  happy memory. She visits the beach with her family and she loves the water and the waves of the ocean. She created a piece where she is under the water and there are starfish in every corner. What a quiet and beautifully happy portrait.

HAPPINESS

“I love to draw and make wedding dresses!” The student below loves to draw and create and decided that she would put herself in one of her own drawings! She is in the process of drawing a wedding dress and accessories on her. We can not wait to see what else she will do!

ANGER

The student below took a very interesting spin on the project. Most of the students chose a picture of themselves that displayed the emotion that they wanted to project. However, this student chose a picture of himself that did not show an expressive emotion. He decided to used the colors and his drawings around himself to express the emotion. He used jarring, bright colors to display the emotion anger! He also decided to add lightning throughout the piece, which we thought added to the energy of picture beautifully!

HAPPINESS

This student spent most of her time exploring the color adjustment tools. Pink and purple are her happy colors and she discovered how to change her entire outfit color to purple! She was pretty excited about this. We can’t wait to see what she will add to her piece next.

HAPPINESS

“I love ice cream!  Ice cream make me happy!”

This student explored different ways of displaying her love for ice cream. In the end she decided to make it an oversized image in the background and apply transparent layers of her favorite colors over it. She is in the process of drawing more images of happiness above her head (the purple rectangle). We are excited to see where else she will take this picture!

HAPPINESS

We love the quiet happiness that is emerging from this piece. This student spent most of her time drawing her rainbow during class. She patiently drew and then erased until it was exactly like she wanted it. Afterwards she chose the perfect happy yellow/orange hues to fill the spaces in between the rainbow colors.

Absolutely beautiful!

Our students are provided so many opportunities at Little Wonders to advance in hand and eye co-ordination and finger dexterity.  It became overly evident in this project.  We are excited to provide these students with the opportunity to think about themselves in this way.  Finding out who you are and what components have had an impact in who they are becoming is something we usually discover at an older age.   We take pride in the fact that our students are capable of a project at this level.   With this added knowledge, we are allowing our students to express their thoughts and dreams on an entirely new level and ultimately helping them in their quest to become independent thinkers and problem solvers.

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