I printed out sheets of photocopied vintage dictionary pages and sheet music to be used as collage paper. Grade 4 - 6 students cut these into squares and glued it onto heavy tagboard.
Once dry, they gave the collaged background a translucent wash of watercolour paint.
Then, listening to my verbal instructions, students painted their faces directly using watered down black acrylic paint. No pencil sketching beforehand! The goal was for students to be able to trust themselves as well as working with any 'mistakes'. Students were nervous about this step!
A transparent wash of watered-down white tempera was added to the background and
whites of the eyes for a bit of contrast.