The Art of Self Portraits

Self-portraits are a classic project in an art class. They teach students about the proportions of the face, you can get a full range of value, and most importantly – you always have your model with you!

This year, we wanted to take our self-portraits further by making them more meaningful. Our Introduction to 2D courses talked about the reason we would draw something instead of taking a photograph – taking a photo would be a lot easier and quicker to get a resemblance!

The reason we draw is to add more information about ourselves. The way we use line or shade, the colors we use, and the poses picked can all tell more information about ourselves.

For this self-portrait project, we picked a smaller scale. It forces the viewer to get closer and see details, creating a more intimate understanding of ourselves. Students had to take two personality tests to get a better understanding of them. We took the Myers Briggs and Enneagram personality tests. Once they got those results, they had to come up with a way to draw them in a way that reflected them further!

The goal of this project is to not only teach students how to draw the human face, but also build a better understanding of themselves. I hope that all of my students come out of an art class with a better awareness of their habits, their personality, and work ethic. After all, the goal is to teach the whole individual! 

Trevor Campbell,
Art Teacher