Tuesday, February 7, 2012

5th Grade Chuck Close Style Self Portraits

During the filming portion of the claymation project, I have one table at a time film. Because of that, I run another project at the same time in order to give the rest of the class something fun to work on. For the last several years, I have had my 5th graders create self portraits in the style of Chuck Close.

I take pictures (way too close up for comfort) of each student. I then take the picture files home and process them in Photoshop in order to convert them to the correct size and add a grid over the top. You can use actions in Photoshop to have it convert the images quickly. I did all 100 pictures in about 10 minutes.

The kids then use their gridded photographs as a guide for a slightly larger self portrait. I USED MATH (!!!!!!!) to make sure the final grid for the artwork would be exactly one inch by one inch so it would be relatively easy for kids to make their grid. I make sure to tell the math teacher that we're working with rulers and measurement in art. I'm out to impress.

It takes quite a while to complete the project, but the results are worthwhile. I have seen many drawings with this project that are by far the best that I have ever seen from several students. I give the option to use pencil to render the picture with pencil, use colored pencils, or use oil pastels. 

Find the full lesson plan here!


Hannah- Art.Paper.Scissors.Glue! said...

Those are some fabulous 5th grade portraits! Do you have them color in similar to the style of Chuck Close?

Zach Stoller said...

Thanks! The first year I did this project, I tried having my students color in Close's style. It was a little too difficult for most of them. Some students have worked with his style in the background in the last couple of years, but I don't make it a requirement. Close's early work is super photo-realistic, so I play off of that, too.