High School Art lesson: Double watercolor Self portraits // Art II

Medium: Water color and pencil
Time: 1 week
Grade: 9-12  Art II: Intermediate Art class
Objective: Explore portraiture profile and frontal view
Materials: watercolor paper, pencils, brush, cup and water

This lesson follows the Part 1 of my portraiture unit. Part 1 focuses on drawing the individual features of the human face, realistically. Part 2 focuses on the placement and proportions of the human face. 

Students draw two portraits from observation, front and profile {on two separate sheets of paper} Students are encourages to photograph themselves in profile view, and use the image as a reference for their sketch.  Once the prelim sketches are complete students transfer the drawing to larger watercolor paper in an overlapping composition. Value may be added to the features of the face to create  more realistic portrait. The outside areas of the portraits are painted with a light watercolor wash.
To create unity, students add a detail, pattern or shape throughout the composition.


One of the most difficult obstacles in the art room is for students to #1 draw from observation and #2 tackle portraiture. In addition to each project, requiring students to draw themselves at the beginning of the portraiture unit and again at the end is great way to to help them see personal growth. Even if they are not satisfied with the results of the projects, they will definitely see an improvement in their drawing from start to finish.

      Teacher: Meredith Hudson
      Class: High School Fine Art
      Grade: 9-12
      State: NJ
      Teachers Artwork: [Website]

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