I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait

Students use watercolour pencils to create a front view self-portrait. 

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

colour detail features front view line portrait proportion texture

Materials

Water Containers Paper Towels Small Pencil Sharpeners Masking Tape Plastic Placemat Crayola® Marker & Watercolour Paper – 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm cm (9” X 12”) Watercolour Pencils Paint Brushes Small Mirrors

Steps

I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step One

Step One

  1. Lightly draw a large oval for the face.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Lightly draw a line half way across the oval to mark where the eyes will go.
  2. Lightly draw a line half way between the eye line and the chin to mark where the tip of the nose will go.
  3. Divide the space between the tip of the nose line and the chin into three.
  4. Draw a line 1/3 down from tip of nose to mark where the mouth will go.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Draw the features using these guidelines.
  2. There are 5 eye widths across.
  3. Use this practice drawing as a reference for the watercolour pencil drawing.
  4. Also look in a mirror to check details.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Tape the paper to a plastic placemat.
  2. Make sure the edges are even and the paper is flat and smooth.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Lightly draw the outline of your face in regular pencil.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Begin to colour in an area using the watercolour pencil.
  2. Apply a smooth layer of pigment.
  3. Choose several other colours to use for blending and adding detail.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Colour a new colour over the first one. Apply a smooth layer of pigment.
  2. Paint water into the areas where you have coloured.
  3. Dip a watercolour pencil into the water. Draw directly on the paper with it while it is still wet.
  4. Colour around the edges of the face and then paint into it with water.
  5. Colour a patch of pigment on a spare piece of paper. Paint into the patch with a wet paintbrush to pick up the pigment, OR pick up pigment from the tip of a watercolour pencil using a wet paintbrush, 
  6. Paint with the pigment directly on the paper.
  7. For the background try wetting the paper first and then painting colour into it.
I SEE MYSELF – Detail, Proportion, Self-Portrait - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Carefully remove the tape.
  2. Place the damp painting under some heavy books to flatten it if necessary.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Create a self-portrait showing the front view of their face using watercolour pencil techniques;
  2. Draw the features of the face in proportion to the whole;
  3. Use line to show details such as eyebrows and hair texture;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Students use the self-portrait to illustrate a ‘how to’ guide to teach others the procedure for drawing the front view of a face.
  2. In their sketchbooks, students experiment with ways to alter the proportions of the face to create imaginary people. They use a variety of watercolour pencil techniques to emphasize features and details in their drawings.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson have students experiment with watercolour pencil techniques in their sketchbooks.
  2. Download a portrait showing the front view from the Internet, for example,
    Schiele
    Two Girls
    Boy
    Girl

Introduction

  1. Ask students to look at the picture carefully and decide what shape the head seems to be.
  2. Discuss the fact that although people are all different, in general, the shape of the head is an oval.
  3. Discuss the difference between ‘face’ and ‘head’.
    - When we are learning to draw a face we usually start by drawing the whole head in the shape of an oval.
  4. Ask students to figure out where the top of the head is, have someone come up and point out the top, and the bottom.
  5. Have students put one hand on the top of their head and one on the bottom of their chin.
    Feel that? That’s how long your head is.
  6. Examine the painting. Have a student point out where the eyes are.
    Where are the eyes in relation to the rest of the head?  (Downloads – Proportions_Face.pdf)
  7. Continue in this way until the features have been examined each in relation to the whole.
  8. Explain that what we are talking about is called proportion. 
  9. Introduce the challenge

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Draw a self-portrait showing the front view of your face.
  2. Draw the features of the face in proportion to the whole.
  3. Use line to show details such as eyebrows and hair texture.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. ​Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    self-portrait shows a front view
    - colours are blended

    - colours create contrast
    - features are in proportion to the whole 
    - line shows details and texture
    - various watercolour techniques are used
    - paper is in good condition
  3. Observe students as they work.
  4. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Once all the paintings are complete display them for a group discussion.
  2. Remind students of the challenge.
    Look closely at the paintings.
    Choose one that interests you for some reason.
    Share thoughts about the work
  3. During the discussion include references to:
    line – how it has been used to create texture and detail
    movement – how colour and textures get the eye to travel through the whole space
    proportions – how the placement and size of features fits the size of the face 
  4. Ask some students to share ideas with the whole class.
  5. Share how they felt about doing this painting.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience. 
  3. Use a checklist to track progress.(Downloads – WCPSelf-Portrait_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – WCPSelf-Portrait_self-assessment.pdf)