Portrait Unit, Drawing Class, Grades 9-12

by Tina Scandrett

Lesson Objective | Materials Needed | Outline | Key Questions |

|Connections | Assessment| Evaluation |

Contact: John Gruber-Miller

LESSON OBJECTIVES:

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  1. Drawing paper
  2. Pencils and miscellaneous 2-D media
  3. Sketchbook
  4. Notebook paper
  5. Slides of Roman portraits at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
  6. Handout on facial proportion
  7. Polaroid camera
  8. Guided tour at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (Roman Busts, The Turn of the Century Gallery, and Portraits painted by Grant Wood)

BASIC OUTLINE OF CONTENT TO BE PRESENTED

Day 1

I. Look at slides of the Roman Bust Collection from the Cedar Rapids Art Museum (or take a trip to the museum)

II. Pick your favorite piece and write that person a letter

III. Extra time- Self portrait sketch in your sketchbook

   
Day 2 I. Small group discussion of your letters
  • record the themes or types of questions asked
  • take notes on the discussion in your sketchbook
 
  II. Large group discussion A. report the themes or questions from your small groups  
    B. make a composite list of these on the overhead
  1. political reasons
  2. remembrance
  3. status
  4. artistic reasons
    C. discuss why Roman made portraits  
    D. re-look at slides
  1. What are the Romans trying to do?
  2. Are the busts accurate or not?
  3. Character?
  4. Who is the audience (then/now)?
    E. What occasions were they commemorating?
  1. social transition
  2. political event
  3. public honor
  4. death
 

III. Begin brainstorming who your subject might be and record in sketchbook (Due Day 4)

IV. Continue working on personal self-portrait as homework (Due Day 5)

   
Day 3

I. Trip to the museum

 

A. Look and talk about the Roman busts on our own (apx.30 min.)

B. Review what occasions busts were done for

 
    C. How do they show what occasion they are commemorating?
  1. clothing
  2. hair
  3. pose
   

D. What type of character are they trying to portray and how?

E. Guided Tour of Turn of the Century Gallery (apx. 30 min.)

F. Guided Tour of several of Grant Wood’s Portraits (apx.30 min.)

G. Guided Tour of the Roman Busts (apx.30 min.)

 
Day 4 I. Character study

A. What is character?

B. Review how the Romans showed character

C. What do you need to know about the character of your chosen subject?

 
    D. Write a letter to your subject (Due Day 6)
  1. Letter needs to be given to your subject
  2. You need a record of a response (could be a letter or an interview)
    E. Homework in sketchbook (Due Day 6)
  1. Brainstorm about your subjects character
  2. Web and sketch based on your list and their response
  3. Bring in at least 3 examples of close up portraits in a magazine
  4. a. frontal (1-2)

b. profile (1-2)

c. other (1-2)

Day 5 I. Proportion

A. Discuss specifics about proportion

B. Look at your magazine pictures and draw guidelines

 
    C. Look at your personal self portrait that was due today
  1. draw guidelines
  2. note what you did accurately and what is inaccurate
Day 6, 7 & 8 I. Photograph your subject (can be done in or out of class A. Create a sense of character in the photo (Due Day 9)
  1. stance
  2. expression
  3. hair and accessories
  4. point of view
  5. background
   

B. Record all your decisions and why in your sketchbook

C. Compare the photo to your letter and brainstorming

D. Re-shoot until you have created the character that you wanted

 
  II. Do a contour drawing of your neighbor or re-draw yourself (Due day 9)

A. use guidelines

B. be as accurate as you can

 
Days 9-13

I. Create a final portrait

II. Mat final portrait

III. Hand in portrait and written explanation or letter about the subject for a grade

IV. Fill out and hand in self-evaluation

   

WE WILL CREATE A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF YOUR VISUAL WORK AND WRITING

KEY QUESTIONS

  1. What is a portrait for?
  2. What is character?
  3. What do you need to know about your subject to reveal their character?
  4. What are different stylistic ways of showing character?

CONNECTIONS

  1. All students take World Civilization in their Junior Year and/or have studied Roman Civilization
  2. Our government and many aspects of our society are very similar to the Romans.
  3. Trying to understand character causes you to think about your own character and how you affect the world.

ASSESSMENT

  1. Letter to one of the Roman busts
  2. Notes from small and large group discussions
  3. Sketchbook assignments
  4. Photographs of your subject
  5. Letter to your subject and their response
  6. Final Matted Portrait
  7. Final draft of letter or an explanation about your portrait
  8. Self evaluation of final piece

Self Evaluation:

Drawing: Character Portrait

Name points/grade

Self Evaluation Poor Fair Ave. Good Exel.

1. Composition (Balance unity vs. variety, effectively uses the space) 0 1 2 3 4 5

2.Proportion 0 1 2 3 4

description of shapes

size of shapes

space between shapes

placement of shapes

3. Character 0 1 2 3 4 effectively reveal character stated in your written description

4. Use of Media 0 1 2 3 4

does the media work well for your portrait?

5. Craftsmanship 0 1 2 3 4

of media

overall

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Teacher Evaluation Poor Fair Ave. Good Exel.

1. Composition (Balance unity vs. variety, effectively uses the space) 0 1 2 3 4

2.Proportion 0 1 2 3 4

description of shapes

size of shapes

space between shapes

placement of shapes

3. Character 0 1 2 3 4

effectively reveal character stated in your written description

4. Use of Media 0 1 2 3 4

does the media work well for your portrait?

5. Craftsmanship 0 1 2 3 4

of media

overall

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