Learning how to draw portraits, and charcoal self portraits in particular, is a traditional step in the art education process. This assignment is meant for advanced or AP level art students and focuses on adding a contemporary twist to a traditional charcoal self portrait drawing assignment.
Students are challenged to write a personal biography using no more or less than six words, a six word memoir. This trend, started by Ernest Hemmingway, and continued by Smith Magazine, is a great basis to inspire a personal work of art. The students select one memoir to turn into a charcoal self portrait. They have to convey this memoir about themselves using expression in their image.
In addition to an advanced level art lesson, this is also an interdisciplinary lesson between Language Arts and Fine Arts.
See the presentation I use introduce the project to my students. The PowerPoint includes project info, examples of the range if interpretations there are for this assignment, and a quick look at artist, John Singer Sargent. In addition to the PowerPoint, this also includes an in-depth lesson plan, complete with supplies, resources, implementation, a rubric, homework/sketchbook assignment, how to create a successful portrait tip handout, in-progress critique sheet, and national standards.
I include PowerPoint, Word docx, and PDFs of all my resources in one convenient zip file.
**If using for AP Art, cut the timeline in half to two weeks, rather than four to complete the assignment.
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