Having completed their Impressionism-inspired paintings before the winter holidays, the fifth graders have been spending some time focused intensely on themselves — in a very artistic manner, that is.
In preparation for their next project (a self-portrait drawing & collage piece on the theme of Peace and Conflict Resolution), the students have been warming up by doing some drawing focused on getting them to learn to look closely. Keen observation is one of the keys to drawing-what-you-see, and so the 5th graders spent some time doing blind contour drawings of themselves, of each other, and of their teacher. This activity challenges a person to draw while looking only at the subject, not at the paper, training the eyes to look closely at contours (edges) while the hand learns to follow along with the gaze. Later, the students did some modified blind contour drawings and then began doing some self-portrait practice which aimed to help them locate the features of their face both in the correct place and in proportion to one another.
Here is the video the students watched to learn about how to create their blind contour drawings:
Here is the video that showed the students how to modify the above method to create a more realistic self-portrait from observation: