Self Portraits

By Jenna Richter | June 10, 2016 | Arts, Project Work

We recently finished our autobiographies.  Students wrote about favorite things, their family and home, what they might like to be when they grow up and a description of themselves.  In order to create a cover for their book, we worked this week on creating self portraits.

I usually don’t instruct the students when they are creating but I wanted to challenge them to really look at themselves in the mirror in order to draw instead of the usual round head, dots for eyes, small drawing on a big page that are what I usually see.

First, I told them we were just going to be doing our head and that we wanted it to be about the size and the shape of our real head.  They went to the mirror to take a look thinking about whether their head was more round or narrow, and whether the shape of their face was heart shaped, round or long.

 

Louie, Finn and Audrey taking a long look at themselves.
Louie, Finn and Audrey taking a long look at themselves.

 

I didn’t let anyone skip ahead and add features, we instead walked through the process of how to place the eyes, noticing the size and shape of them.  We looked at how noses begin between the eyes and mouths are not usually a line.

 

Audrey carefully drawing her nose, starting above the corner of her eyes.
Audrey carefully drawing her nose, starting above the corner of her eyes.

 

We added lips and ears but did not fill in any of our lines.  The next day we came back and looked at some skin color paints.  None of the paints were a perfect match so we chose a couple for each and the students worked to come up with a custom skin tone paint.

 

Boden mixing a few warm tones together to come up with his color.
Boden mixing a few warm tones together to come up with his color.

 

We filled in our faces with skin color and had to let them dry overnight.  When we came back the next day, we talked about how adding pink to our skin tone could help us make a perfect lip color.  We worked with eyes next and then hair, eyebrows and freckles.

 

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Everyone was very pleased with how their portrait came out.