Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Leboeuf Technique

Like any art teacher out there it is really hard to teach kids how to draw faces, especially their own.  Self portraits are dirty words that send kids screaming from a classroom.  However, one South Dakota art teacher has found a way to not only make them easy but even fun.

The art teacher from White river, John Leboeuf, taught this technique at our state art teachers convention.  I was shocked that he does it with 6th graders, but once you get going into the technique it is amazing how easy it is to use.

Start with a photograph copy of the student or whoever they are drawing.  A head shot works the best.  Then use a fine sharpie or pen and mark a few key points on the face, like the hairline, forehead, eyes, sides of the nose, tip of the nose, points on the lips, the chin and ears or whatever else is a prominent feature of the picture.

Now cut the photo in half down the middle of the face and tape it inside of a folded 12x18 piece of construction paper.  Then using charcoal and white charcoal pencils you will start finding those key points in the face.  How you might ask?  By treating the picture like a flip book.  Start by picking up the corner in the center of the picture and start flipping the corner as fast as you can while letting your eye focus on one of the dots there.  When you feel focused use the charcoal pencil to add a dot to the paper under the picture.  Then flip your book really fast again to see if your dot moves.  If it moves you are in the wrong spot, just erase and move the dot.  Now try again until you slowly create lines and build up the face.  Use the white pencil to add in the highlights as you move throughout the picture.

The girls that created these pictures moved the original off of the drawing and put it to the side so you can see the comparison.  These pictures were taped over the drawings while you work on them.

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