Portrait Design for T-Shirts

My teaching partner and I recently worked with our 7th-grade students on a 2D design project using Procreate on the iPad and Adobe Illustrator on their laptops. Our goal was to have students create portrait designs incorporating the concepts of line, color, texture, and shape while selecting a person that inspired them in some way.

Creating the portrait designs was a multi-step process that required careful planning and attention to detail. First, each student selected an existing photo of their person to reference for the portrait design. This initial photo helped them to get a sense of the composition and proportions of their final creation.



Next, they used the Procreate App to sketch their designs, add line, shape, and color elements, and build in texture. These techniques allowed them to experiment with different design elements and see how they worked together. Below are two images that I worked on while students worked on theirs.



Once students were satisfied with their designs in Procreate, they exported them into Adobe Illustrator to add text, such as an inspirational quote from the person. They also added outlines if they wished to cut their portrait and quote out in a particular shape. This move to Illustrator allowed them to fine-tune their designs and ensure all the elements were in place.



Finally, we printed out the designs in full color and used a Cricut Maker for any specific cuts. We then used a heat press to place their portraits onto t-shirts. We printed their designs on Siser Easy Color DTV, a vinyl material that provides a long-lasting stretchable bond to their shirts. Students could see their projects come to life in a tangible form, and they were thrilled to be able to wear their creations. Below are some final project pics.



The finished portrait designs truly showcased our students’ creativity and artistic abilities. They did an excellent job incorporating the concepts of line, color, texture, and shape into their work and the final pieces demonstrated their hard work and dedication to the project.

While there were some challenges along the way, such as printed colors not looking precisely like screen colors, my students persevered and learned valuable lessons about the design process. They gained a deeper understanding of the importance of planning and attention to detail and had fun experimenting with different design elements.

Overall, this 2D design project was a huge success. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with these talented and creative students and a passionate teaching partner with a background in art and design. This project allowed students to develop essential design skills and unleash their artistic potential.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to comment below. I’d also love to hear from those who may have had similar experiences or projects.

* Just a note: about 80% of this post was generated by Chat GPT from the Open AI project.

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