I’m experimenting with different self-portrait projects that I hope will encourage a loose kind of drawing, as opposed to tight and fussy ones. Some kids seem to naturally do this, and others I feel just need more encouragement.
1. A letter size paper is divided into quarters with a pencil, and an oval head is drawn. Using standard facial proportions, students draw the eyes in the middle, the nose half way down, and the mouth in the center of the remaining space. The ears, hair and other details are added as well.
2. Starting at one edge with a black permanent marker, students trace over the entire drawing in a continuous line with the rule that they must NEVER lift their marker, and that they need to trace over each line TWO TIMES. If they need to jump to individual shapes, like the mouth or nose, they are asked to do so in the center of the face. Precision tracing is not the goal, in fact “close enough” is just fine. A cursive signature is added in a corner.
3. When complete, the face and background are colored in with oil pastels, preferably with a variety of bright colors.