This is one of my all time favorite lessons to teach to my junior high (Grade 7-9) students.
I get so excited for the new results every time I teach it.
It's inspired by one of my favourite artists, Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces, necks, and figures that were not received well during his lifetime but later found acceptance and now sell in the millions at auction.
|Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918|
Students start off by looking at his work and then drawing a quick practice sketch. Then they draw their good copy on 12 x 18" heavy white paper. They need to elongate the neck and stylize the facial features. Many of them struggle with this because they say that the faces look 'so weird' and 'so creepy', haha.
Once the drawing is complete, they start by painting the skin colour. We use tempera paint for this project. I love the flat matte finish it gives.
Then paint the hair and body/clothing and finally the background. I encourage students to mix colours and paint in a loose, free style.
Once everything is dry, go over all the pencil lines with a charcoal pencil (I like the General's brand) and blend with your finger to create a beautiful, soft shaded effect.
Some Grade 7 - 9 artworks
(and yes, I have mostly girls in my classes, hence all the female portraits!)