CREATIVE DIGITAL SELF-PORTRAIT
you create a surreal or expressionistic self-portrait using
Most careers in the art field today rely on computers. It
is critical for art students to learn to express themselves
in a variety of media, including digital media. After researching
artists' self-portraits, such as Salvador Dali, Renee Magritte,
Frida Khalo, Andy Warhol, Leonora Carrington and other high
school students' work, the students will create a rough draft
with images that they chose to represent them. The students
will learn how to use PhotoShop to manipulate their digital
photo into a creative composition.
by Joyce Riley
Location: Louis D. Brandeis High School
Grade: High School
Joyce Riley is an artist and art teacher. She earned her bachelor
of science in art education in 1994 from Indiana University.
She received her MA in studio art from New York University
in 2002 concentrating in painting, video art and installation.
Her focus since then has been on Modern and Contemporary art.
After teaching visual art in Seattle for five years, Miss
Riley moved to NYC to teach art and surround herself with
museums and galleries. She is currently teaching art at Louis
D. Brandeis High School, a large, comprehensive, public high
school on the Upper Westside of Manhattan.
PhotoShop LE or higher
upload pictures from camera to computer.
22 floppy disks,
cd-rw or space on the hard drive for students to save work.
Visuals of famous
have their sketchbooks and something to draw with.
The material through which an artist expresses himself or herself:
watercolor, pencil, oils, video, clay, etc.
In general, an art work. Specifically, the arrangement of objects,
colors, and shapes in a work of art.
The ability to find new solutions to a problem or new modes of expression;
the bringing into existence of something new to the individual.
Yellow, Red and Orange.
Blue, Purple, and Green.
An art movement early in the 20th century; the artist's subjective
expression of inner experiences was emphasized.
A movement in art and literature that emerged between the first
and second World Wars. Artists combined the conscious and the unconscious,
the world of dreams and fantasy along with reality.
A picture, photograph or piece of writing that you make of or about
Students will be given project instructions and the grading rubric
to clarify what is expected of them.
take the PhotoShop tutorial. This should take approximately three
forty five minute class periods.
SURREAL ARTISTS AND ARTISTS WHO WORK WITH SELF-PORTRAITURE.
will research artists using the following websites:
and type in portrait or self-portrait or an artist that you like
work in the computer lab for two or three 45-minute classes to research
artists and to create a rough draft in their sketchbooks.
3. While the
students are working on researching the artists; I will circulate
the room and take three or four digital photos of each student.
I will save each student's work to their own disk.
A SURREAL OR EXPRESSIVE SELF-PORTRAIT
Working on the actual project will take ten class periods.
With the PhotoShop program open and running, select File > New
from the Task/Menu bar at top of screen. Choose an image size of
at least 6 X 6 inches.
Import the picture or pictures you plan on using for your composition
by going to file and importing them from the "A" drive. You can
also import pictures from the internet that you would like to use
in your portrait.
Save your work to the desktop and to the floppy disk. You must periodically
do this to protect your work.
Create a background using the skills that you learned in the tutorial.
Refer to your rough draft. You can draw the background, use the
paint tool, text tool or import images that you want to use for
Using the tools, cut your digital picture from its background and
move it to the "background" that you created. You can soften the
edges and manipulate your face in many different ways. Here are
color of certain areas.
Add a filter.
Copy or clone and paste the image many times.
Flip the image.
Crop the image in an interesting composition.
thousands of options to change your face or the background. Be creative!
When you like the image you have created, go back and make sure
that you've used good craftsmanship by blending and blurring the
The final step is to merge all of the layers together.
Don't forget to save your final work.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
The students will write a reflection about their self-portrait.
The questions are attached to the grading rubric.
The homework is to collect images for your self-portrait. They can
be from the internet, magazines, books, something you drew or pictures
of your family or friends.
is a reflection about the self-portrait that the students will fill
out when they are finished with their project. The grading rubric
is at the bottom of the sheet.
ANALYZING A WORK OF ART
TITLE OF ARTWORK
______ MEDIUM ________________________ SIZE _____________
What do I see?
1. What's going
2. What kind of objects are in the picture? Be specific.
3. What is your pose?
4. What are you doing? Wearing?
5. What is in the foreground? Middle ground? Background?
ANALYSIS - How is the work organized?
1. What kind
of lines? (Vertical, horizontal, curved, thick, thin, dark) &
where are they?
2. What kind of shapes? (Circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, triangles)
& where are they?
3. What kind of colors? (What color do you see most? Least? Large
areas? Small areas?)
4. Where do you see most light areas? The most dark?
What is the artist saying?
1. What is the
mood and meaning of the work?
2. How does the work show: strength, beauty, loneliness, mystery,
anger, hope, adventure, fear, love, peace, death or anything else?
3. How does the title of the work tell you about its meaning?
JUDGEMENT: Is this a successful work of art? (Explain why)
(emphasis on elements of art)?
2. Emotionalism (showing feelings)?
3. What about craftsmanship?
6. What is your personal response?
Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources. Students will be
knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources
available for participation in the arts in various roles.
Students will apply technology knowledge and skills to design, construct,
use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental
There are 24 students in two class periods taking Advanced Painting.
Both classes have visual arts as their major. Third period students
are sophomores and fifth period is mostly juniors. All have had
between three and five semesters of art class prior to this course.
Students meet five days a week for 45 minute periods in the art
The combination of using technology and the expression of self-portraiture
gets the kids excited about telling