Friday, January 4, 2013

5th Grade Chalk Pastel Portraits of Classmates

5th Graders have been working on a drawing unit. They began the unit by exploring chalk pastel (see previous post!), then spent two classes figure drawing with charcoal sticks. In figure drawing, artists draw from a live model and focus on capturing the gesture (pose) of the figure, as well as the model's proportions. Students created multiple drawings in each session, drawing each pose the model (Ms. Westerberg!) did for only about 3-5 minutes per pose.
Joaquin, 5-308

Matthew, HC-316

Amanda, HC-316

Liana, HC-316

After considering the whole figure, students turned their attention to portraits. Students looked at portraits by Kathe Kollwitz, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh. Students made various observations about the work (how they thought the subject was feeling, what the artist was thinking about, what they liked/disliked, how the art made them feel, etc.). They learned that portraits generally just show the head (sometimes the neck and shoulders) of a subject and when drawing portraits, the artist tries to capture the expression and likeness of the model. Students were then matched in pairs and spent the next two classes taking turns drawing each other posing. Students concentrated on portraying and capturing various emotions (happy, sad, excited, tired, etc.). Students began these portrait drawings with graphite sticks. The following weeks, students added color and value in chalk pastel. They finished their drawings by adding details and definition with black conté crayon. Please enjoy 5th grade's portraits!
Alysha, HC-316, "Happy XinChen"

Dafne, HC-316, "Joselyn Happy"

Hailey, HC-316, "Ms. Westerberg is Dreamy" 

Liana, HC-316, "Shayla is Glad"

Andy, HC-316, "Jordan Surprised"

Shayla, HC-316, "The Happy Liana"

Michael, HC-316, "Zhiwei the Sleepy One"


  1. These are beautiful. Particularly that last one! Nice work!

    1. Thank you so much!! I am a huge fan of your blog, so it's a real honor to have you say that!