Below you’ll find an easy step-by-step tutorial for an easy Modigliani art project. He was famous for painting elegant and elongated portraits.
Modigliani Self Portrait Art Project
This Modigliani art project asks students to divide a narrow sheet of paper into four equal sections, and then follow a formula for drawing a head, neck and shoulders. By using the creases as guides, they are forced to create a VERY stretched out look for themselves, which can be applied to their features as well.
Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian Jewish painter who lived in France in the early 1900s. He is perhaps best known for his portraits that had a surreal elongation of faces and necks. The oddly graceful and haunting paintings were not very well received in their day, but in time have actually become highly acclaimed (and valuable!) masterpieces.
It’s a fun and easy way to get a very creative look, and in my experience has always seemed to really free students up. The tendency to want to draw “perfect” versions of themselves seems to disappear, which allows for a whole bunch of creativity and personality to creep in.
TIP: Use the beginning of class to remind students how facial proportion rules usually work, before they start this project which totally breaks them.
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Modigliani Coloring Page
Materials for a Modigliani Self Portrait Project
- Drawing Paper. This is the good stuff you can buy in bulk for a good price.
- Pencils. I like how this brand always makes nice dark lines.
- Black Marker. A permanent marker will give you a dark black color.
- Crayons. The larger packs are nice for more color choices.
- Note: All of the above are Amazon affiliate links.
Directions for a Modigliani Self Portrait
Time needed: 30 minutes.
How to Draw a Modigliani Self Portrait
- Example of standard face proportions for comparison.
- Cut 24″ x 18″ paper to 8″ x 18″ panels. Fold paper to make grid lines. Draw an oval and add a long neck.
- Draw a shirt line and shoulders.
- Add eyes a little higher than normal, and mouth a little lower. Draw two ears.
- Draw a nose that is stretched to fill the space. Add hair around the oval head. Erase top oval line.
- Hair options: A solution for drawing short and curly hair. Modify to match your own hair style.
- Trace with a marker and color. Press hard until you no longer see any white on the paper.
- A dark color palette will look the most like Modigliani’s paintings.