Paint Fight


So, you may have been seen our Paint Fight Gallery and wondered exactly what my students are able to get away with in class these days. Well, a lot, actually, and we had a great time doing it.

The impetus for this was a discussion in class on how to make portraits more interesting. We thought it would be a great idea to do portraits of people covered in paint. Unfortunately, there’s really not time to cover each other in paint during the normal school day, so we had to wait until summer school to pull this off. It was totally worth it.

To begin, we looked at Jackson Pollock:

And Yves Klein’s Anthropometries (human paint brushes–some of which are naked, but it’s tasteful. Don’t watch if you’re worried about naked people):

We then got our paint ready–a lot of watered down acrylic and tempera. We also punctured some holes in small containers of paint so we could drip color out of the bottom, a la Jackson Pollock. A few brushes, some large butcher paper to create our paintings, and we were just about ready to go.



We did have to make a couple of wardrobe alterations, however. We lost socks and shoes, glasses, and anything in our pockets (paint soaks through and covers anything inside of your clothes). Allyah needed to come up with a hijab that she could ruin with paint stains. It happened to be an old white t-shirt that she stapled together so it would hold.



Jo altered her shirt to say “Train through the Paint”–seems appropriate.


Then it was time to head outside and go crazy with the paint. We had three rules:

  • No paint on the concrete (sidewalks and parking lot)
  • No paint on the school exterior
  • No paint on the cars parked near our painting space

Other than that, everything else was fair game, and we had a great time throwing, painting, dripping, and generally just making a giant mess.

Nicole was our first victim:

And then it was Katie:

I think these before and afters are a good illustration of exactly what happened to everyone:

When we were done, everyone posed for formal portraits. I’m actually pretty excited how they turned out. A few of the close up head shots:

And a few of the full-body poses were pretty cool as well:

Those who spent time cleaning up REALLY spent some time cleaning up, going so far as to sit in our sink. A few people, like Jo, decided to just move on with our day covered in paint :)

Now, we are on to the drawings of these spectacular photos, which will be the end result of all this craziness. I can’t wait.

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