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Graphed Self-Portraits

Seventh-graders in Elissa Donovan’s art class just completed graphed self-portraits inspired by American artist Chuck Close. The students started with grid paper, which was used to draw features based on a photograph of each student. Before starting the project, the students studied the structure of different facial features, such as the eye and the nose, and began to break down shading and shapes necessary to draw realistic images. “The grid helps to break down the artist’s face into smaller sections and we created a 1:1 ratio to graph onto photo paper,” said Donovan. “The students also studied skin tone and found a medium value for that skin tone. They also learned to add darker shadows under the nose, bottom lip, and jaw.”