Monday, May 9, 2011

Chuck Close Portraits

- 9" x 12" Paper
- Colored Pencils
- Pencils
- Student Photographs
- Rulers
- Sharpies
- Chuck Close References

Okay, okay, I admit... I have been stealing a lot of projects lately. I can't help it! Ever since I joined the blogging world there are just so many cool projects I need to try!

Here's another one I "borrowed" from For the Love of Art.

1. Take student pictures and edit to black and white. Print out.

2. Have each student trace major outlines with a sharpie (or pencil first in case they make mistakes).

3. Using a lightbox or window, trace contour line drawing onto "good paper" with sharpie (or again, pencil first in case of mistakes).

Woops! Started doing my grid before I took a picture.
 4. Make a 1" grid. 

5. In each box, draw a shape or pattern. I thought of about 15 and then just started repeating them.

6. Color in background with two separate colors. Color in hair with two separate colors (don't forget the eyebrows!). Color in skin (face and neck) with two separate colors. Color in shirt with two separate colors. 

It works best if the colors could generally work out in a "checkerboard" pattern; One background of one square is one color and the accent is a second color, and the surrounding squares are vice-versa.


  1. I've seen this lesson a million times but I really appreciate your step by step instructions. I haven't seen it written out this way before. : )

  2. Very nice tutorial on making this interpretation of Chuck Close's portraits. I'd like to try this lesson sometime.

  3. About a year and a half later, but I had a question... How long did this project take for your students to complete?

  4. This took us about 5 - 7 40 minute class periods, I'd say.

  5. So, are the final pieces 8.5 x 11"--or were you able to print out a larger size photograph?