With all the medieval action going on in the art room, making a royal portrait just seemed like the prim and proper thing to do. All grades, no matter the age, could always use more practice with drawing people (and it seems the older they get, the more they're afraid of it). Enter K and 3rd grade, who accepted my challenge and used PERMANENT marker, nonetheless.
For Kindergarten's royal portrait, we looked at pictures of St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle (one of Queen Elizabeth II's many homes, I tell the kids...and watch their jaws hit the floor when they see it) and watched a video that shows the very decorative interior. More than one wall of the chapel is filled with stained glass windows, and many of them feature England/Great Britain's former kings and queens. Even though many different people are featured, they are often in the same pose, so we used a stencil for our pose and the kids got to add whatever royal clothing they desired. We used permanent marker to draw our royal self-portrait, but made sure it was on the slick side of a piece of transparency. Kids added their title at the bottom (and I learned not all of them knew that Kings were boys and Queens were girls...oops), and later used oil pastel to color on the rough side of the transparency. We also threw in some gold and silver paint for accents (because a king's sword HAS to be silver!).
As for third grade, that's our medievalness gets confusing. Portraiture was a bit frowned upon during the middle ages, so there are few examples to look at. Our solution was to study an artist from the 19th century who painted in a medieval style: Georges Rouault. Georges was an apprentice for a stained glass artist and was very much into glasswork, including making a painting look like an old piece of glasswork. He liked to paint images of royalty with bold colors and even bolder black lines. 3rd grade learned how to draw like Rouault (enter permanent markers again) and colored the entire picture with a decently thick layer of oil pastel. In order to age it, we covered the ENTIRE paper with black watercolor, blotting off the excess as we went. A few students ended up with grayish faces as the result of not using enough water with their paint, but most turned out to be pretty impressive. The kids LOVED calling each other by royal titles the entire time we were working. "Queen Heigl, how do I do this?" "Duke Dakota, Sir Noah would like the oil pastel tub, please!"
Artists of the Week for Prairie Crossing and Otterbein