Students used three values of colored paper to re-create a portrait of themselves. First a picture was taken of them, the image was posterized in Adobe Photoshop, then the students used the grid system to draw in the sections, and finally the students glued on the sections of colored paper over the drawing.
Students used the grid system to create a self-portrait from a photograph that was taken of them.
If you could be anyone else, who would it be?
The extension of making a portrait begins to “question the nature of representation and the cultural signs that define identities,” So questions like:
If you could be anyone else, who would it be? Is your alter ego someone already famous, ordinary, or someone infamous? Would you adopt the persona of a historical figure, a character from mythology or fiction, or someone from everyday life in a different profession? Would you change genders or simply your wardrobe? We have all identified with other personalities. You will describe yourself as your alter ego in a drawing.
Consider the outward signs that define a person. This may involve confronting and exposing issues of cultural stereotyping. How do we recognize each other? How do we recognize ourselves if pretending to be someone else?
Research the style of clothing, hair, makeup, stature, and environment typically associated with your alter ego. Use this information to gather costuming and props for your drawing. Set up your drawing area with a full-length mirror and appropriate drawing materials. The most effective drawings will be completed as accurate portrait renderings.
The finished work will provide an important opportunity to consider meaning in representational drawing.
Drawing from concurrent visual and mental events.
We all experience life on several levels at any given moment. Very frequently what
we are looking at and what we are thinking about may seem to have only a tangential
relationship or none at all.
A drawing can be made from visual observation as well as from what we are aware of in our minds. To illustrate this make a useful analogy with our experiences in an airport where there are arrivals and departures, and also flyovers that do not land.
Try to think of your drawing in this way and allow it to evolve as your awareness changes. By focusing on the complexities of experience within a moment of time, the emphasis of the drawing is placed on inclusion and dynamic involvement rather than resolution or completion. In short, one drawing will record both visual and mental events.
Start by using your eyes, and while looking in a window, draw your reflection as well as everything in the vicinity that you see, both through the glass and on its surface. Windows looking into a space slightly darker than the one you occupy tend to give the best reflections. As yon draw from this view, use your mind to include also what you know about what you are drawing, what you imagine, and other things you sense or are thinking about, even if they are not directly connected to what you are doing and actually seeing.
Concept: Each leaf has its own markings, just as each person does. A leaf rubbing makes a good starting point for self-portraits in the fall.
Objectives: To gain an awareness of individual differences by studying faces. To see and feel expressions and gestures. To distinguish the size, shape, and spatial relationship of facial features. To express mood and actions of a figure. To develop the ability to see the figure as a whole and create a self-portrait from it. To understand what a self-portrait is.
Motivation: View and discuss different types of self-portraits. Discuss the markings on leaves. Explain that students will portray themselves as leaves falling from trees in the fall.
Procedure: Provide many leaves for students to choose from. Make crayon rubbings of the leaves to use as the body in the self-portraits. Compare the veins and details of the leaves with the palms of students’ hands. This exemplifies the uniqueness of each person and leaf.
Discuss basic facial features. Have students “make faces” and feel their facial muscles so they know how the cheeks move, the eyes close, and so forth.
To begin the self-portrait, students choose colored construction paper for their faces and hair. They draw a shape for the head, cut it out, and then measure and cut out paper for their hair so that it fits on the head. They can add crayon to the hair for more texture and a truer color. Next, they cut out their leaf rubbing and design the shape to resemble clothing. To finish, they add legs, feet, arms and hands from construction paper.
Evaluation: Did the students design their bodies with outstretched arms and legs, keeping in mind that these self-portraits would be displayed in the lunch room with the theme “We’re Falling for Art”?