Chuck Close Portraits
Visual Arts II
Instructional Objective: Students will create a monochromatic posterized self–portrait
using acrylic paint based on the artwork and techniques of Chuck Close.
After completing this lesson students will be able to:
; Recognize and describe the artwork of Chuck Close
; Understand facial proportions
; Learn how to use a digital camera and a image manipulation program
; Enlarge an image using a grid
; Demonstrate a monochromatic color scheme with 7 levels
; Understand properties of acrylic paint
; Create a variety of tints and shades in the form of a color value scale
; Digital camera
; Computers with an image manipulation program such as Photoshop
; Watercolor paper
; Acrylic paint
; Paint brushes
; Paper towels
; Make sure students understand and have practiced figure drawing and drawing
; Introduce Chuck Close. Show students samples of his work.
; Have students take notes about his artwork and the process and techniques he
used to create it.
; Familiarize students with new vocabulary.
; Have students take portrait shots of one another with a digital camera,
zooming in on the head from the top of the skull to the chin. Portraits look
best if there is a strong light source on one side of the face to create distinct
; Download digital images and transfer to an image manipulation program.
; Have students complete the computer applications:
1. Change the image mode to grayscale.
2. Apply “posterize” effect that simplifies colors and bolds dark lines.
3. Adjust the level of posterization to give image an abstracted
appearance. There should be about 7 value levels.
4. Print selected image.
; Have students grid their portrait and paper in order to enlarge drawing
; Students then draw their portrait proportionally using the grid to guide them.
They are to draw the “shapes” of the different values.
; Number the value shapes from one to seven to follow the levels of value found
in the grayscale.
; Demonstrate making tints and shades with acrylic paint. Explain how to make
paint layers opaque. Show students how to create a value grid.
; Have students experiment making tints and shades with acrylic paint and
create a 7 level color value grid with their chosen color. This grid will become
their monochromatic color scheme. Label each value with a number one to
seven that corresponds to the values in their drawing.
; To prepare the paper for painting, students may apply a wash over the entire
; Students refer to their numbered value scale to begin their painting. Begin
with the lightest value.
; Review Chuck Close and vocabulary with students.
; Have students create a quiz and critique.
Photorealism: a style of painting in which an image is created in such exact detail that it looks like a photograph; uses everyday subject matter and often is larger than life.
Representational: depicts an object in nature in recognizable form.
Grisaille: a painting technique using only grey tints.
Pointillism: a painting technique using tiny dots of pure color that fuse when seen from a distance creating a luminous visual effect.
Minimalism: a style of art in which the least possible amount of shapes, colors, or lines are used to reduce the concept or idea to its simplest form (geometric shapes, progressions).