Page 1

International Baccalaureate Visual Arts

Unit 1 Identity & Self

Chuck Close

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best. Â Frida Kahlo

I discovered about 150 dots is the minimum number of dots to make a specific recognisable person. You can make something that looks like a head, with fewer dots, but you won't be able to give much information about who it is. Chuck Close

I loathe my own face, and I've done self-portraits because I've had nobody else to do. Â Francis Bacon

UNIT 1 IDENTITY & SELF International Baccalaureate Visual Arts

IWB CRITERIA RESEARCH CULTURE/CONTEXT Analysis and thoughtful comparison of Art from different cultures and times, carefully considering its function and significance


Demonstration of a range of effective skills, techniques and processes when making and analysing images and artifacts


Demonstrate coherent, focused and individual investigative strategies into visual qualities, ideas and their context, a range of different approaches towards their study and informed connections between them

DEPTH/BREADTH Demonstrate depth and breadth through the successful development and synthesis of ideas and the wellexplained connections between the work and that of others

In your Investigation Work Book, complete the following tasks: Investigate three different artists (contemporary & from different cultures) who have created self-portraits. Compare and contrast their work, identifying links and making connections between their work. Written information should be in your own words. Write 2-3 pages on each artist. Your entries should include both the facts you uncovered and your feelings and thoughts – what ideas do they give you? How can you use (or reject) the information you gather and why? What’s its function/significance? Document your drawing studies, measuring techniques and media experiments with a camera. Research the knowledge needed to use this media well. What terms are associated with the media? What techniques? Research practitioners famous for using this media. Aim for five pages of media experiments. Produce an in-depth investigation of one or more artworks relating to the topic. Evidence that you have considered the work’s visual, technical, historical, aesthetic and intellectual values. The more you investigate, probe and explore the more you will begin to develop your own individual approach to creating your own self portrait. This development, and the way that it manifests itself in your work is crucial to a mature, sophisticated and evolved body of art. Plan an exhibition of self portraits. Select three other artists and their work - plan how to display their work and discuss why they were chosen. Then write up a catalogue for the exhibition which features a carefully written entry about what these artists have in common as well as the specific ways in which their work impacts upon your own ideas and development. This should be about 3 pages long.


Demonstrate effective and accurate use of visual arts specialist vocabulary


The use of a range of appropriate sources, which are acknowledged properly


The effective and creative presentation of work that demonstrates thoughtful, critical observation, reflection and discrimination


The presentation of a clear relationship between investigation and studio work

The presentation criteria should be evident within your research criteria pages. They should include evidence of:

• correct terminology and specialist vocabulary when writing as part of your research, investigation and experimentation. • a wide range of resources such as books, journals, periodicals, art galleries, internet sources as part of your research. All sources should be cited properly using the MLA format. Use Easybib or Zotero to help you correctly cite sources. • ideas should be presented effectively and creatively. Thoughtful observation and discrimination, both written and visual, should be evident. • pages which link directly to your studio work. Documentation of studio work experiments which are developed further in the IWB.

In your Studio Work:

Create a two-dimensional portrait in a medium of your choosing. Your final artwork may be semi-figurative or completely abstract but must show that you have developed the work from personal enquiry and careful observational study in both drawing and painting.

STUDIO CRITERIA UNDERSTANDING Things to consider when developing your studio work:

Understanding Are the ideas behind your studio work well suited to the techniques and media you have chosen? Can you explain the personal, cultural, visual meaning, purpose of your studio work?

Relevance How are the ideas in your studio work connected to your own life and cultural background? Have you created strong, powerful pieces of Art which really mean something to you?

Development How much personal growth and improvement have you shown through your artwork? How have you developed as an artist? Can you distinguish the difference between your good and your weaker ideas?

Sensitivity & Technique What visual effects do I want to create? How effective is the medium you have chosen at creating these techniques? Would it be better to use something else? Are you using your chosen medium with high levels of skill?

Confidence & Independence Have you truly explored your ideas to create interesting, adventurous studio work or have you settled for the safe and obvious? Have you used any unusual or unexpected combinations of ideas and/or materials in your studio work? Does your work show truly independent research, or have you only researched the artists given to you by your teacher?

Display an excellent understanding of the ideas and techniques that underpin artistic expression


Demonstrate consistently the production of personally relevant artwork that shows excellent exploration of ideas reflecting cultural and historical awareness and artistic qualities


Demonstrate thoughtful development of ideas and strategies for expression


Display a sensitivity to materials and their use, the work having been reviewed, modified and refined to an accomplished resolution of ideas and medium

TECHNIQUE Demonstrate excellent technical competence

CONFIDENCE Demonstrates confidence and inventiveness


Shows self-direction and informed, reflective judgement that challenges and extends personal boundaries

International Baccalaureate Visual Arts

From left to right, self portraits by >> Frida Kahlo, Albrecht Durer, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Vincent Van Gogh & JennySaville

International Baccalaureate Visual Arts

Leonardo Da Vinci

IB Unit 1 - Identity & Self  

Self Portraiture project

IB Unit 1 - Identity & Self  

Self Portraiture project