Conceptual Basis for Lesson:
Through portraiture in clay, students will use hand-building techniques and proportion in order to create a realistic work. Students will produce a ceramic, self-portrait sculpture in profile.
Self-portraits/portraits done by various artists including: Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Egyptian art. May include Gilbert Stewart, Matthew Brady, Aikens, Sargeant. Also coins which contain facial profiles.
Camera and film or digital camera and printer to take students photos in profile.
Paper, pencils, clay, clay tools, shoe polish, acrylic paint, plastic bags, water.
- Self-portrait - a picture/drawing/photograph done of a person by that person.
- Proportion - the size relationship between one part of the whole and one part of another.
- Realistic - looking true to life.
Students may also need clay vocabulary depending on how much knowledge they have of clay.
Motivation for Lesson:
Class discussion about portraits/self-portraits and viewing the works of selected artists. Students have their photographs taken, in profile and view coins.
Discussions and Demos:
Portraits Topics: Discuss the different styles, reasons, and mediums involved in portrait making. When creating their portraits, student need to pay attention to lines, proportions, and shapes.
Working with Clay Topics: What clay is made of, importance of working with clay to eliminate air, how to roll out slabs, using tools for texture, creating something with dimension and not flat. How to properly store clay and what air will do.
Coloring: Instead of using glaze, after the clay has been fired students should add color with watered down washes of acrylic paint for a realistic look, or brown shoe polish to give it a more natural look and to help add definition to details.
- Size: Finished portraits should be no smaller than 8 x 8 inches. Remind students that clay shrinks when it is fired.
- Sketches: Must be size of portrait and realistic, before working with clay.