Chuck Close Portraits with Squares

Chuck-Close-with-squares-diagram-1024x677This project is inspired by the amazing art of Chuck Close. He added grids to portraiture to create some very stunning artwork.
MATERIALS
• Headshot photos, scaled and laser printed to on 8.5″ x 11″ paper
• Drawing paper, 9″ x 12″, with 3/4″ grid
• Carbon paper
• Black marke
• Colored pencils

 

DIRECTIONS

1. I started by shooting large head shots of students against a white wall. The photos were opened in Photoshop, saved with a lot of brightness added (to lighten the image) and then printed in b/w out on plain letter-size paper.

2. I also printed a 3/4″ grid paper on 9″ x 12″ drawing paper.

3. Each student taped their photo on top of a sheet of carbon paper, and centered on the grid paper. To make a simple drawing, the students trace just the edges of their hair, shoulders and then the inside of their face. No details were needed for the hair and clothes. When the drawing is complete, the top papers were removed to reveal the drawing on the grid paper. They carbon lines were traced with a black colored pencil.

3. To color, the students should think of their portraits as four sections: the face, the hair, the clothes and the background. Starting with the face, they need to choose two colored pencils to work with. My sample shows red colored in first, stopping at the edges of the face. When complete, the other squares are colored (my sample shows pink). I think the eyes look best colored with their natural color.

4. Repeat the coloring process for the hair and clothes and background.

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