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Expressive Portraits

Egon Schiele, self-portrait pulling cheek, 1910

An Approach to working with Portrait


TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

UCSJ

1. “Blind” or Modified drawing of you and me Blind, half-blind or modified drawing is a method that leads you to draw without looking at the paper. This exercise makes you work very concentrated in pairs or alone at a mirror.

Exercise

Each student has a piece of A4 paper on a hard drawing board, a soft pencil or a thick black marker. After instruction each student draws concentrated for about 15-20 min without talking. We pretend that each of us is sitting in a soap bobble that can break any moment if anyone makes noise. Let your hand follow the direction and the speed of your eyes as you VERY SLOWLY start following the lines of the face you see. Your eyes “touch” every edge of the face of your model, when the pencil/pen almost automatically starts moving around on the paper. You are not allowed to look at the paper. You will not lift the pencil from the paper, but constantly wander around in your drawing with your pencil. It is extremely important that you are patient and slow when doing this exercise. A sensory observation as blind drawing leaves out all objective knowledge.

Tip

This is how the student should hold the marker: 2


TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

Aims/ objectives

Outcomes

The teacher is going to:

At the end of this element the student/student will be able to:

UCSJ

visual schemata.

Draw based on observation and confidence in the eye/hand

Stimulate the student’s understanding of

Concentrate on observing the detailed

the connection between the movement

contours of the face

of the eye and the movement of the

Experience and understand the qualities

hand.

of expressive blind drawing

Challenge the student to work slowly

Express the individual features of a

and concentrated in silence

human face through blind/modified

Stimulate the student to recognize and

drawing

explain the experiences during the

Talk about his/her experiences with this

process

method.

Stimulate the student to differentiate

Examples of blind drawing

Examples of modified drawing

You might think that blind and modified drawings look a little strange – as if they are made by a “Picasso” or cartoonist. This expression might be useful when explaining the qualities of expressionism or starting a study of cartoons.

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TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

UCSJ

Key Questions To help the student see the contour lines of the person sitting across, the teacher might ask: Which lines do you see in and around the mouth, the ears, the eyes, the nose, the chin, the cheek bone? Can you see the lines in the hair? Where do the lines start and what direction do they take? Where do the lines of the neck meet the lines of the face? How is the neck connected to the chest and shoulders? Which lines do you see in the clothing around the shoulders and neck?

It is important that the teacher maintains an atmosphere of serious concentration all the way through the exercise. Emphasize the quietness by talking in a low voice and speaking slowly. Correct the students who “cheat� by looking at the paper while drawing Instead of drawing each other you may also introduce the method to draw objects in the class room or outside the classroom

2. Expressive lines and colours Put all the drawings on the floor or hang them on the wall and look at them together. Discuss and share your experiences

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TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

Aims/ objectives

Outcomes

The teacher is going to:

At the end of this element the student/student will be able to:

Stimulate the student’s ability to recall and express observations from the process Challenge the student’s awareness and understanding of expressionism and expressive style Challenge the student’s understanding of “correct” or “idealized” drawings Stimulate the students to experience the qualities and advantages of this approach to drawing.

UCSJ

Explain verbally the qualities of the drawings. Express understanding of contours and their effect on the overall emotional atmosphere of the drawing. Understand, explain and use an expressive pictorial language Appreciate and evaluate the drawings in relation to the aims and objectives of the exercise

Key questions What did we just do? Why? Did you like doing this exercise? Why? Do any of the drawings actually look like the person being portrayed? Which expressions/ meaning/ moods do you see in the drawings? Which qualities can a drawing have, apart from naturalistic qualities? Which drawing has the most details, and what are the effects of these details? Has anyone “cheated” when making the drawing? How can you see that? Can the exercise of blind drawing be used when teaching children? What skills did we train?

From expressive drawing to expressive painting with crayons

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TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

UCSJ

Expressionism is a name for a period in art history from 1905 to 1914. Expressionism was strongly represented in France and Germany including the two German art groups: “The Bridge” and “The Blue Rider”. Expressionism was a reaction against Impressionism and Realism. Instead of being concerned with the outer, perceived reality, the expressionists wanted to express their inner subjective experiences and emotions in an artistic form. Expressionistic style is a term used when the art work is particularly powerful and wild. The motif is never naturalistic but always recognisable. Expressive art work is known by its strong colours, heavy contours and loose strokes of the pencils. It always looks somewhat rough. Expressionistic style is very useful when the focus is on the inner reality. It expresses very well moods, sensations, feelings and thoughts. To qualify the student’s choice of colour, form and content the teacher walks around among the students and ask them individual questions. The teacher is not telling the students what to do, or even do it for them, but ask key questions that make the student reflect upon choices and actions.

Key questions What do you want to express and how can you express that content? Why do you choose to use these colours? Is your layout right according to what it is you want to express? What do you want to keep from the blind drawing and what do you want to remove, and why? Do you think that what you are doing is expressive, according to expressionist style?

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TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

UCSJ

During the process you sometimes pause and talk about the pictures in order to make the students reflect upon form and content of the paintings they are making. You could make a break after 20 minutes and look at the pictures together. Discuss the choices of colour and composition and ask about content. Share experiences and get inspiration How does this help our further artistic understanding and development? During the process the teacher can refer to and include art works of national and international professional artists.

6 examples of Vietnamese expressive art works

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TNTTC NUAE

Expressive Portraits - draft

UCSJ

3. Pictorial dialogue, reflexion, and presentation Aims/ objectives

Outcomes

The teacher is going to:

At the end of this element the student/student will be able to::

Stimulate the student’s ability to analyze

Evaluate the paintings according to the

and reflect upon her/his own pictorial

aims and objectives

choices

Explain own reflexions and choices

Stimulate the student’s pictorial

during the process.

competences through dialogue

Create an exhibition in a reflective and

Qualify the students’ awareness and

qualified manner.

reflexions about final exhibitions

It is essential for the student’s experience and sense of relevance and ownership that the process ends with an exhibition, where the works are being presented to a larger group, being the rest of the school, other classmates, parents or the community. First you discuss the finished works with the students in class, and then you create an exhibition together with them.

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Modified Drawing  

Teaching Material made by Kirsten Fugl

Modified Drawing  

Teaching Material made by Kirsten Fugl

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