CD Case Portraits

CD case portraits

Do you remember those old-fashioned lockets with little portraits inside? Our fourth graders made modern-day double portraits using recycled CD cases, Sharpies and oil pastels.

Materials:

  • Clear plastic CD ‘jewel’ cases, with trays removed
  • Sharpies
  • pencils/erasers
  • oil pastels (we used Crayola Oil Pastel Sticks plus a few Pentel Oil Pastels for the skin tone)
  • paper for sketching
  • baby oil + q-tip (for correcting oil pastel mistakes)
  • rubbing alcohol + q-tip (for correcting Sharpie mistakes)

We began by looking a pictures of lockets from Google images.

lockets

We talked about how you could only put a couple of photos into your locket.  You had to choose carefully. Our students then sketched two portraits to fit their CD ‘lockets’: one self-portrait, plus one portraits of someone very special.

tracing the portrait in sharpie

  1. Trace around CD case with Sharpie, then sketch a portrait in pencil.
  2. Place sketch under CD case. Trace lines in Sharpie on OUTSIDE OF CASE.
  3. Completed line drawing of single portrait.
  4. Completed line drawing of double portraits.

It was really wonderful to see who the students drew for the second portrait. Most drew a parent or a sibling. Several drew their current or late pet. A couple of students drew religious portraits. My intention was to do an identity project, and I do believe we got a better idea of the student based on who he or she selected for that second portrait.

The last step was coloring with oil pastel INSIDE OF THE CASE . The oil pastel is messy and can smear – by putting the pastel on the inside we can trap that mess for tidy storage.

Tips for success:

Sharpie on the outside of the case, oil pastel on the inside of the case. Erase Sharpie mistakes with a little alcohol and a cotton ball; erase oil pastel mistakes with baby oil and a cotton ball or q-Tip.

color with oil pastel on the inside

 

The project took three 40-minute classes, including writing an artist statement. It was lots of fun and extremely successful. These look great displayed accordion style on a table, especially with a light coming through from behind. I think the 4th graders will be very proud to show their families their very special double-portrait ‘lockets’.

This would also be a great recycled art or Earth Day project. It would also be a GREAT Mother’s or Father’s Day gift!

P.S. I got double duty out of my 250 donated CD cases! Here is a Kandinsky circles project made from the discarded CD trays.

 

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