Thursday, November 13, 2014

Studio Art: Micography Portraits

I am one of those art teachers that normally HATES doing self-portraits.  I have never liked drawing people.  Very rarely do I do more than one self-portrait lesson over a expanse of grade levels, yet here I am this year and I have already done two self-portrait projects, with a third one in the makings!  My Studio Art classes started their drawing unit a while back and we kicked off the unit with self-portraits. (Currently, they are finishing up mannequin drawings and we will be starting our last project for the unit tomorrow!)

Since my last bell ringer artist in Studio Art was Chuck Close, it seemed appropriate to do a self-portrait using the grid method.  We had a modeling day in class where students had to pose for three portraits.  I printed them out in black and white, they chose their favorite, and taped it into their sketchbooks.  I had them tape a piece of transparency paper over the top to draw the grid.  Doing it this way is an awesome way to ensure their picture doesn't get ruined if they mess up the grid!  A few students measured wrong and all they had to do was remove the transparency paper, tape a new one down, and start over.
Our pictures were 5"x7" and the drawing paper was 10"x14".  Makes for a good discussion about proportion as well!  (Ahem, math anyone??)

As a sketchbook assignment, I asked students to create a list of words about themselves on a page in their sketchbook.  They could simply list the words (though that got less points for creativity on my homework rubric), write a poem, illustrate them, etc.  The words from that homework assignment became the words they used on their projects.  This also, unknowlingly, integrated their current ELA Common Core module.  In Module 1, students in 9th grade just finished reading "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves," by Karen Russell.  As part of the unit, students had to analyze characters from the book, using descriptive words.  Essentially, I was asking students to analyze themselves in this project, and many of the words they used to describe themselves were academic vocabulary words from their ELA unit!

The following collages are some progress shots with the finished product.

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