Thursday, 25 April 2013

Grade 1/2 Charcoal Self-Portraits

By Angela (Grade 1)
Lesson Materials (per child):

-  1 piece of charcoal
-  1 half of a photocopied A4 photograph of themselves
-  Fixative or hairspray

I photocopied the photos onto art paper.
I used compressed synthetic charcoal- it doesn't break as easily!

Lesson Steps:

1.  We looked at photographs off Google Images and talked about facial symmetry and proportions.  We use our fingers to measure between our eyes and nose, the width of our cheeks, etc.
2.  I showed the students how to hold the charcoal, draw fine lines by using sharp edges, and smudge the charcoal by smearing it on the paper with their fingers.
3.  I modelled how to use their own fingers to make rough measurements and draw facial features in symmetrically.  (E.g. "I can see that this eye is 2 finger spaces wide and 1 finger space high, so I will do the same on the other side of the paper")
4.  The students went back to their desks and drew the outline of their faces and the main facial features.
5.  I then encouraged the students to look closely for fine lines, dimples, shadows, etc and to go back and add them in.
6.  We then talked about how to fill in the background by adding smudged shadows and drawing in missing objects behind themselves in the photo.

Student Artworks:

These artworks were my students' first-ever attempts at using charcoal.  I think they have done extremely well, and I love the way you can see a hint of their gorgeous personalities in their portraits- Well done, guys!

By Kayla (Grade 2)

By Jeff (Grade 2)
By Rohan (Grade 2)

By Ben (Grade 2)

By Austin (Grade 2)

By Sophia (Grade 2)

My modelled drawing using the delightful Ella's photo

What do you think?
Please feel free to comment... my class love getting positive feedback from people who view their art online!


  1. I really had fun doing the art .

  2. I like these drawings. they look like full photo`s.cooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!