Thursday, February 19, 2015

Before the Selfie, There was the Self-Portrait: Day 2

Welcome back to our Self-Portrait series! This is an update of our after school New Artists project they recently completed, individual self-portraits in graphite. They drew themselves from observation using a mirror and they did a fabulous job. Check it out!

For Day 2, I gave the students similar materials. One exception is the type of paper we are using. On the practice day, I gave students half sheets of Newsprint. This time I provided our New Artists with Smooth Bristol paper, which is a heavier weighted paper for drawing.

I didn't expect perfection! All I wanted to see was them integrating some of the following guidelines into their self-portraits. Were they learning, trying, and having fun?! That was my assessment.

So, how did they do? Take a look! 

Some are funny while some are serious. The New Artists put a lot of effort into their self-portraits and they definitely captured something unique about themselves in their drawings.

Some lessons I learned this day:
  • Before the students start, tell them to start very lightly with their pencils. Remind them they can always go darker later, but they can't erase super heavy lines.
  • If I were to do this lesson again, I would probably drop the shading portion of it. Most of my students didn't get to this stage and once they did, they found it very challenging.
  • Continue to remind them to look in their mirrors. They tend to forget they are drawing from observation and not memory.
  • The more encouragement, the better! It's about the process more than it's about the end result.
  • My last lesson I learned... discuss more about self-expression. Self-portraits tell a message!
For a different take on Self-Portraits, check out the lessons past AmeriCorps members facilitated:

If you haven't read our last post about Day 1 of Self-Portraits, go on over and check it out!

- Corey

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