Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Contour Line Portrait Exercises

We started with two portraits on manilla paper, and moved on to final drafts on newspaper. 
     In this unit of study, 7th grade Visual Arts students learned about using contour lines to create a series of portraits of their classmates.  I asked the students to imagine that they were drawing a picture of each person as though they were made with one continuous line.  In order to do the exercise correctly, each student looked at real models ( one male and one female classmate).  They began with a pencil portrait and followed the rule, "Once you start drawing, do not pick up your pencil."  This resulted in the curving, continuous contour line that you can see in each portrait. We all learned that this is an excellent way to practice your observational skills.  See if your eye can move at the same speed as your drawing hand!
     I had the students do a series of these drawings that resulted in two final portraits drawn on newspaper.  In the picture above we can see that Sophia has used the watercolor pencils to add shading to her portraits.  Clean water applied with a brush turned the pencil coloring into watercolor paint.  Check out the next posts to see some great "pairs" of classmates!

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