Friday, April 2, 2010

Amedeo Modigliani Self Portraits

As you can probably tell by how many images I have above, I think this project turned out very well. We started by looking at portraits by Amedeo Modigliani and noticed his elongated necks, vacant expressions, and use of color. Next, students began sketching their self portrait in pencil. I used a guided drawing technique by demonstrating on the board, and asking them to repeat the technique. I like this way of teaching at times, because despite showing them how I would draw the shape I am able to encourage their creativity and remind them that my way is only one of many possibilities. I showed them how to use guidelines to correctly draw their facial features, and we made sure to connect their eyebrows and noses like Modigliani often did.
Next, the students began the color. We used oil pastels for their vibrant colors and easy blending ability. I showed them how to cover their skin with a flesh tone similar to the shade of their skin and then add a slightly darker shade in the places "where most people sunburn." I say most people so I don't hear a round of "but I don't sunburn!" I point to the drawing's nose, cheeks, center of the forehead, and chin as places to add the darker shade. I also remind them that their chin and hair would cast a shadow on their face, so they should also add the darker shade there. Then use a clean finger to blend the darker color into the lighter color. The eyes were colored in grey, and they used their eye color to simply draw an outline of a circle to give the drawing a vacant expression. I heard a lot of "Woah, I look creepy!" I was sure to remind them that if they look creepy, they're on the right track!
I also showed them how to add highlights to their hair in a number of ways. They could add the lighter color first and color over it, or color around it. They could also color in the darker color first and add the lighter lines on top. I demonstrated all three techniques so they could see that layering color in a different order would create different results. Students were allowed to color their shirt one color, and their background different color. I really wanted them to keep it simple, and I think they are really eye catching! I'll be sure to post pictures of the whole display at the art show on Friday!

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