Hockney-inspired Self Portraits

Bents Green Secondary Community Special School year 9 art classes have been spending Friday afternoons at the CLC to work on David Hockney-inspired portraits. The pupils have been looking at Hockney’s photo collages (examples here), in particular those of his mother. They then came to the CLC to create their own versions using photographs of themselves.

As a starter activity they used the fantastic Hockneyizer tool at Big Huge Labs to create automated collages of famous people. You upload a single image and the tool turns it into a Polaroid collage – you can see an example of the CLC on the right.

The students then took photographs of each other and uploaded them to the computers. To create their collages we initially used Photoshop Elements to edit the photos, add frames and arrange them, but this was quite tricky to do.

With later groups I directed them to Picnik, a very simple free online editing website. Here they could crop their images to focus on a particular feature, add frames, effects and change the colours if they wished. They then added all the edited images to PowerPoint, to arrange them for the final picture. I suggested PowerPoint as it is very easy to manipulate images on a slide, and the whole project is one that can be repeated back at school without the need for expensive software or expert knowledge.

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