Magazine article School Arts

New Faces in the Deck

Magazine article School Arts

New Faces in the Deck

Article excerpt

Most people are familiar with the faces on playing cards, but many do do not recognize the artistic touch of the design. My fifth grade classes were going to design a playing card, and in the process, learn to draw a profile view of a head.

We began to sketch the head using 12 x 18" (31 x 46 cm) manila paper, pencils, and erasers. The students worked large and outlined the head with light, sketchy lines. By studying photographs and other artists' profile studies, we were able to identify each facial feature's location. The discussion helped them to become more observant and better artists.

Making a Grid

After all the students had their basic head shapes drawn, they added hats and hair adornments. I passed out some playing cards for visual reference as we discussed the mirror image and the design of the costume.

Students were then ready to begin making their cards on 12 x 18" (31 x 46 cm) white drawing paper. They folded the sheet of paper in half and used rulers to mark off an inch and a half border all the way round the rectangle shape. Finding the center fold, we marked off every half inch across the paper as a guide for designing the figure's outfit.

The students drew a much smaller version of the profile view of the head on the top half of the paper. They left plenty of space for elaborate hair styles, hats, shoulders, and neckline. The class decided to use their initials in the corners along with other simple symbols to describe the figure. …

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