Visual Arts Stand Alone Unit: Self-Portraits

In visual arts, students have been inquiring into self-portraits and creating their own. Their central idea is: self-portraits convey a message about who the artist is or who the artists wants to be. Students are looking at the form, function and change of self-portraits. They are being assessed on the visual arts learning outcomes: responding (phase 3.7) recognize that different audiences respond in different ways to artworks and creating (phase 4.6) develop an awareness of their personal preferences.

After learning about and discussing several famous self-portraits, students began creating their own. They have learned and practiced three different self-portrait techniques.

First, students learned about facial symmetry. A photograph was taken of them. They cut the photo in half and completed the other side using pencil and charcoal.

Next, students learned about facial proportions by placing a transparent sheet overtop of a picture of them and drawing their features. These sheets were copied onto white paper and students added details on top using art materials of their choice. The details they added and colors they used described who they are or who they ant to be.

Today, students created blind-contour drawings of each other and of themselves. They improved their observational skills and tried to look at the face as a whole. They poked a hole in a paper plate, which prevented them from seeing what they were drawing beneath, and draw their partner. Then, they used a mirror and drew themselves.

Next, students will draw a self-portrait while looking into a mirror. Next week, students will chose one or many of these techniques to create a final self-portrait.