Why is it that in this day and age of the selfie, and the amounts of selfies that my students take, that they wouldn't be thrilled at the thought of drawing themselves. I think I hear more moans and groans from this lesson than from any other. Why is that? I bet if I grabbed all of their phones I would find hundreds or even thousands of selfies, but to actually sit down and draw themselves and focus on all of their own details seems to be torture.
Well, I make all of my classes get over their hate of self portraits. I don't remember where I heard it, but someone told me years ago that they thought all students should create a self portrait every year. One, it shows them how they change physical and two, it shows them how they grow and change as an artist. Like I said, I don't know who said it, but I thought it was a great idea.
In Art 1 we actually did three portrait projects. The first was where they had to paint a picture of my choice in fauvism, we gridded their self portrait (this project) and then we did the technique called the John LeBoeuf technique. I am sure John has a better name for it, but I don't know it so I just named it after him.
These are examples of our learning to grid an image. I start by giving them some small practice pieces to do in their sketchbook. If you go to Drawspace.com they have some amazing lessons. Then for the final I told them they either needed to print off one of their selfies or they needed to let me take their picture. Once we had all of those printed we drew grids over our printouts and then made a larger grid on bigger paper.
Here are some of my favorites. I should leave the captions off and see if you can guess who some of these people are, but I'm not that mean.