Submitted by: Dawn Stienecker, Parker Intermediate, Aldine ISD, Texas Unit: Illustration – Byzantine Art Lesson: The Boy of a Thousand Faces; Diptych Self-portrait with writing Grade Level: Grades 2 through 6 (read book to determine for higher grades) Middle School adaptation from Lotti Petricone (below)
This lesson features a glue relief self portrait and personal portrait image covered with aluminum foil on the outside cover. On the inside are special messages about the
"artist" and his or her special image. See
note from Dawn.Printmaking idea below. You may want to revise the hands-on lesson for lower grades.
Materials for entire project:
Overhead and transparencies, individual mirrors, Mat board (2 per child - donated scraps cut to size 8 ½ x 11 or 9 x 12 (21.5 x 28 cm or 23 x 30.5 cm) - Corrugated cardboard cut to size could also be used) and glue bottles -- Gel Pens and black paper to be glued on the interior of Diptychs -- Aluminum foil, glue, India ink, Brushes, steel wool - nail and hammer (for making holes - or electric drill for teacher to use) - One inch rings for joining (or some type of cord).
Materials and Resources:
Portfolios textbook, Selznik’s book, The Boy of a Thousand Faces, Overhead and transparencies, individual mirrors, mat board (donated scraps cut to size,) and glue bottles
(Warm up) What is an illustrator?
Students will discuss Alonzo’s desire to take pictures of himself as his favorite horror movie characters. How do the illustrations help readers understand the story? (review from LMC presentation)
Click images to see larger views
Students will learn about illustration as a form of artistic expression
Students will learn about facial proportions
Students will take turns reading the guidelines for facial proportions from the art text, Portfolios. As each guideline is discussed, an overhead transparency will be projected to demonstrate the procedure.
Students will draw their face according to proportion guidelines directly onto the mat board. They will be making direct observations of their own facial characteristics with mirrors at their tables. Upon completion of the drawing, they will use glue to go over the lines making a relief image that will be covered in faux metal (foil.)
Students will recap what an illustrator does. Is it important for an illustrator to have the ability to draw realistically? Should all illustrations be realistic? Does a picture or portrait show everything there is to know about someone?
Students should begin thinking about how to create an image of their selves that reflects how they want to be seen.
Did students follow the guidelines of proportion? Did they attempt to show their individual features through observation?
Resources and Materials:
PowerPoint presentation of Kahlo’s self-portraits, Self-Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States, Diego on my Mind, an early, very classical self portrait, one with her and her pets, and the one with her uni-brow as a bird.
A second mat board (cut to the same size,) mirrors, and glue bottles.
(Warm up) Review facial proportions together.
Did the portraits created previously tell much about the students as individuals? What are some of the ways that they would like to be seen?
Students will learn about Frida Kahlo’s self portraits
Students will create a self portrait that reveals something about their self and how they want to be seen
Students will apply facial proportions learned in prior lesson
Students will look at Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits. Then demonstration will be given on how to proceed.
Students will begin by investigating what they can tell about Kahlo from her early, traditional portrait – About how old is she? What can they tell about her social class? Ethnicity?
When they run out of things they can site, move on to another portrait that tells more about her – for example, what does the image of her with her pets tell about her? What are the symbols that begin to appear in her work?
Encourage students to consider the things that make them unique individuals. They may consider their cultural heritage as Kahlo did in Self-Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States. They should think about their interests. As they begin sketching composition ideas for the second self portrait, are they actually creating an image of themselves as they want to be seen by others?
Upon completion, students will again go over the lines that outline their face and features with glue.
Ask students to share and discuss how the second self portrait tells something about their self. Does one portrait seem more realistic than the other? Why or Why not? Does one tell more of a story because of its inclusion or exclusion of imagery?
Did students come up with original symbols to express their individual interests? Did they apply some aspect of facial proportions?
Resources and materials: PowerPoint presentation of how art and text developed from cave paintings including images of the caves of Lascaux, The Code of Hammurabi, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Illuminated manuscripts, and Stuart Davis paintings.
Gel Pens and black paper to be glued on the interior of Diptychs. (alternate - use black poster board cut to size - slightly smaller than outside cardboard)
WARM UP: It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. What does this mean?
Students will look at examples of artwork that demonstrate the development of writing through images.
Students will learn about early forms of art as a vehicle for communication
Students will write about their self portraits for the interior if the diptych
Students will discuss how they may want to appear may be different than their actual appearance. Using student portraits, a verbal example of what the portraits indicate will be discussed. For example, most of the first portraits will indicate that the individual is young and has the world ahead of them. They may look smart, mischievous, serious, happy, etc. The second portrait should reveal more personal information – that they like cats or sports, that they want to be glamorous or even the kind of music they like.
Students will write about what their first self-portrait indicates about them. They will then write about what the second one tells about them. These writings will be fixed to the interior of the diptych on the corresponding sides.
Which self-portrait do the students prefer? Ask students to share their in- progress portraits and writing for feedback.
Did students write about what was contained in their imagery? Did they edit and revise? Did the writing reveal how they saw themselves and how they wanted to be seen? Did they connect with Alanzo in The Boy of a Thousand Faces?
Resources and Materials:
Presentation of Byzantine Diptychs. (These are the only links I saved from this unit – I think they were a little challenging to find)
Students will look at examples of Byzantine diptychs. They will describe the materials that were used and the content of the imagery. They will discuss what they were used for and whom they were made for, and speculate about literacy and religious art.
Students will analyze Byzantine diptychs
Students will discuss their use
Students will discuss the use of the diptych for combining their self portrait
Instruction and demonstration of the procedure for fixing foil to create the outer leaves of the diptych will be given. They will also be shown how to glue the written work inside of the diptych.
independently cover their diptychs with foil that will be smoothed down
over the relief lines of their portraits.
This will then be coated with an ink finish.
Does the diptych
provide an interesting way of illustrating the special-ness of each
individual in the class? What
other ways can they think of to create a double self-portrait?
Do they feel like the words on the inside are important?
Did students apply
the foil to their portraits neatly? Did
they use the ink carefully? Was
the glue applied thickly enough for
the image to come through? Was
the written material put inside the diptych with the corresponding image?
After it dries (overnight) students will use steel wool to bring out the relief lines.
To assemble diptychs, students can drive a nail through both pieces of the diptych. Make sure they understand they need to be back to back, so the diptych will open properly. Place 1" rings through the holes, and the diptych will function as a standing piece or can close like a book.
NOTE FROM DAWN:
This unit was made in conjunction with a visit from the author/illustrator, Brain Selznik. The most obvious connection probably would have been to teach mask-making or stamp design. But this was not for me...
I tied in history of the development of writing/art from the cave paintings and Diptychs. Had to go ahead and throw in some Frida Kahlo too.
As I learned more about his illustrative work, I realized he had awesome potential for teaching art. The cover of The Boy of a Thousand Faces is an excellent example of Chiaroscuro.
He is also illustrating a series that uses foreshortening on the cover of each book - a device used to emphasize the key element of each book. (See the book, Frindle)
You may want to include a printmaking aspect of this lesson. Before covering the glue portrait with foil, a relief print can be made by rolling ink over the image - laying paper over it and rubbing paper with the back of a wooden spoon. Another option would be to make a crayon relief print rubbing. Metallic Crayons on dark paper make nice prints. If you want to make relief lines raise up even more, string or yarn may be glued to the drawing lines.
Teacher:Lotte Petricone Felix Festa Middle School West Nyack, NY. Activity/Unit: Portrait Diptychs Grade: 7 (suitable grades 5 - 7)
Note: this lesson could be expanded to include some cardboard relief with the glue relief
Click images to see larger views
Rationale for Teaching Lesson:
Students will learn about the art of self-portraits, and how information is communicated through images, and create a Portrait Diptych.
1. Students will understand what a self-portrait is, and why artists create them.
2. Students will learn about facial proportions, while creating a drawing from observation for the Portrait Diptych.
3. Students will create a second "self-portrait" that communicates something more about them using symbolism.
4. Students will write text about themselves to accompany the images on the Portrait Diptych.
5. Students will learn about Frida Kahlo, the connection between art and text, and Byzantine Diptychs.
New York State Learning Standards:
Standard 1: Students will actively
engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in
the arts and participate in various roles in the arts.
Standard 2: Students will be
knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources
available for participation in the arts in various roles.
Standard 3: Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts,
connecting the individual to other works and to respond to other
aspects of human endeavor and thought.
Standard 4: Students will develop and understanding of the personal and cultural
force that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn
shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.
How the Standards are addressed in this lesson:
#1 Students will produce a "Portrait Diptych" using a variety of
art materials. They will understand and use a variety of sources to
communicate who they are through a 2 self-portraits that form a
#2 Students will develop skills in drawing, make a relief portrait,
make a diptych, and use art and text together. Students will be
aware that there are different kinds of personal self portraits. One
portrait will be realistic while the second will be more symbolic.
#3 Students will reflect on their portraits in writing, which will
become part of the art.
#4 Students will create a work of art that reflects their understanding
of the Byzantine Diptychs, as well as the work of Frida Kahlo, and
artists who used art and text together.
Reading/discussion of self-portraits from observation. (1 class)
of self-portraits from observation.
Intro to the project. Contour drawing exercises. Facial proportion exercises. (2 classes)
Using PP, discuss the connection between art and text.
Students write about what the first self-portrait means to them,
then about the second. For
HW, type using parchment paper supplied by teacher. (1-2 classes)
Discuss Byzantine Diptychs. Cover portraits with foil, then
glue black paper on the back and paint ink over the foil. Mount
writing (1-2 classes)
(Note discussion of Byzantine Diptychs can come before OR after the
art making - have students make connections to their own art - their
Segment 1: OBJ - SWBAT state what a self-portrait is.
Do Now: Write down what to remember when talking about art.
Teacher Input: Discussion of self-portraits from observation.
Guided Practice– Using open-ended questions, discuss the self portraits of Degas, van Gogh, Miro, and Beckman.
Ind Practice –
Closing: What is a self-portrait? What can we learn about the artist by looking at the self-portraits?
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 2: OBJ - SWBAT state the guidelines for facial proportions and begin a drawing for the self-portrait.
Do Now: 1. If not finished in previous class – finish VennDiagram. 2.
Describe what you think it means to "draw what you see, not what
you think you see."
Class 1. Demo of contour drawings.
Class 2. Use PP presentation to introduce facial proportions.
Class 1. Finish Venn Diagram, intro to project. Introduce drawing from observation – demo blind contour
drawings of hands first. On paper, begin a quick contour drawing of the face.
Class 2. Go over guidelines for facial proportions with students, using
PP. Review what a self-portrait is.
Ind Practice –
Class 1: Blind contour drawings of hands, then face.
Class 2: Facial Proportion PP exercise.
Closing: 1. Go over how blind contour helps drawing from observation.
2. State the guidelines we covered for facial proportion. Finish facial proportion next class.
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 3: OBJ - SWBAT draw a self-portrait from observation.
Do Now: Define Proportions
What do you need to remember when drawing your self-portrait from
observation? (Think about proportion and contour drawing!)
Teacher Input: Review of proportion and contour drawing, brief warm-up by
doing a contour drawing, and begin self-portrait.
Guided Practice– Review yesterday’s lesson on proportion
and contour drawing. Warm-up
for drawing by doing 2 contour drawings of hands. Begin
self-portraits from observations using mirrors.
Ind Practice – Begin self-portraits from observations using
mirrors. When they are finished, students will go over the lines with Elmer’s glue.
Closing: What is difficult about the self-portrait?
What changed from doing contour drawings of the hand?
Assessment Method: Verbal Modifications:
Segment 4: OBJ – SWBAT state the criteria from the rubric.
Do Now: What might be important when you create this work of art?
Teacher Input: Using exemplar, with students create the criteria for the rubric.
Guided Practice– Use exemplar and existing rubric, and go over the criteria.
Ind Practice – Students continue to make the drawing.
Closing: State the criteria for the project.
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 5: OBJ - SWBAT state how a self-portrait can incorporate symbolism.
Do Now: Define symbolism.
Teacher Input: Discussion of self-portraits using symbolism by Kahlo, Alvarez, and van Gogh.
Guided Practice– Using open-ended questions, discuss the
self-portraits, focusing on what more we can learn about the artist
besides the physical attributes.
Ind Practice –
Closing: What is the difference between these self-portraits and the ones we
looked at in the beginning of this project? What more do we learn about the artists?
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 6: OBJ - SWBAT create a self-portrait that reveals something about their self.
Do Now: Write down what we can learn about you from your self-portrait you already created.
Style: Brief discussion about the portraits and how to create one
that reveals something about their self and how they want to be
Guided Practice– Discuss the portraits created previously:
Do the portraits you created tell much about you as individuals? What are some ways you would like to be seen? Discuss the
upcoming self-portraits – drawing from observation, but adding
symbolism which tells something more about you. Review facial
Ind Practice – Students begin self-portraits from
observation which reveals something about their self and how they
want to be seen, applying facial proportions from previous lesson. When the drawing id done, they will go over the lines with glue.
Closing: How are you telling something about your self in this portrait? How is it different from what you previously made?
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 7: OBJ - SWBAT understand the development of writing through images and early forms of art as a means of communication.
Do Now: It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. What does this mean?
Teacher Input: Discussion of examples of artwork that demonstrate the
development of writing through images, learning about early forms of
art as a vehicle of communication. Introduce writing assignment – writing a statement about
the two portraits.
Guided Practice– Using PP, discuss art from the caves at
Lascaux, Egyptian hieroglyphics, illuminated manuscripts, Henri
Matisse, Stuart Davis, and Barbara Kruger.
Ind Practice – Write a statement about the two portraits:
What does the first self-portrait indicate about you?
What does the second tell about who you are?
HW: Finish the writing and type. The final draft will be printed on parchment paper supplied by teacher.
Closing: Which self-portrait do you prefer? What does it say about you? -
Sharing of in-progress portraits and writing…
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 8: OBJ - SWBAT look at and discuss Byzantine diptychs.
Do Now: Define "diptych".
Teacher Input: Look at two Byzantine diptychs, describing the materials used
and the content of the imagery – what they are used and made for.
Guided Practice– After discuss, demo how to fix the foil on the
portraits, glue the black paper onto the insides, and brush ink over
Ind Practice – Fix the foil and glue black paper onto the insides of
the diptych, then brush ink over the foil.
HW: Finish statement about the portraits to be printed on parchment
Closing: What were the difficulties in using the foil and ink? Did the image come through when you rubbed the foil?
Assessment Method: Verbal
Segment 9: OBJ - SWBAT finish the diptych by assembling it, and grade it using the rubric.
Do Now: Describe how you use the rubric to grade your work.
Teacher Input: Demo of using steel wool to burnish the ink off, and assembly of diptych. Review how to grade the project using the rubric.
Guided Practice– Demo of using steel wool to burnish the ink off, and
assembly of diptych.
Ind Practice – Students burnish the images and assembly the diptych,
then grade the work using the rubric.
Assessment Method: Verbal - Rubric - writing
Writing / Reflection (sample question below)
Develop a series of questions to address your objectives and national standards. Check for understanding. Reflect on how the Work of Frida Kahlo served as inspiration as well as the religious icons.
Students write a reflection answering the questions.
Rubric for 7th Portrait Diptychs
Your Written Work Grade
The Do Nows have been
neatly completed every day with correct answers
Do Nows have been completed every day with almost all correct
answers, but some parts are sloppy
Do Nows have been completed almost every day with almost all correct
answers, but is pretty sloppy, though legible!
Do Nows have NOT been completed almost every day and/or mostly
incorrect answers, or are completely illegible
The artist has
completed 2 thoughtful, honest, clearly and typed reflection on each
of the portraits, with no spelling or grammar mistakes, and the
organizer was used
artist has completed 2 somewhat thoughtful, typed written reflection
on the art project, but the writing could have been expanded
somewhat or there are some spelling/grammar mistakes
artist has completed a written reflection, and/or it is not very
thoughtful, or not typed, with several spelling/grammar mistakes
artist has not completed a written reflection, or it is clearly not
thoughtful, or not typed and not legible, with many spelling/grammar
The glue lines can be very clearly seen because enough glue is used.
The glue lines can be seen in most places because there was enough glue used
The glue lines can be seen in some places but not in most because there was not quite enough glue used
The glue lines can’t be seen in enough places because there was not enough glue used – so we can’t make out the image
The tin foil is carefully placed over the glue lines, and the edges are
glued down, and it has been rubbed carefully – there are no holes anywhere!
The tin foil is carefully placed over the glue lines, and the edges are glued down, and it has been rubbed carefully – but there are 1 or 2 small holes that don’t distract us from the image
The tin foil is placed over the glue lines, and the edges are glued down in most places, and it has been rubbed – but there are several holes that we see right away
The tin foil is placed over the glue lines, and the edges are not glued down in most places, and it has been rubbed so hard that it is full of holes
The black paper is centered and has been glued down with absolutely no glue smudges!
The black paper is almost centered and/or has been glued down with almost no glue smudges!
The black paper is kind of crooked and/or has been glued down with some glue smudges – but it will work
The black paper is very crooked and dirty
The text has been centered and neatly mounted with no glue smudges!
The text is almost centered and/or has been glued down with almost no glue smudges!
The text is kind of crooked and/or has been glued down with some glue smudges – but it will work
The text is very crooked and/or dirty
The final text has been typed according to the guidelines with
absolutely no mistakes
The final text has been typed, the guidelines were not
followed exactly, BUT it works in the artwork!
The final text guidelines were not followed at all, BUT it
can still work in the artwork
The final text was not typed at all following the
guidelines, and we could not make it work for the diptych
diptych has been tied together carefully and neatly with raffia
The diptych has been tied sort of neatly and carefully, but
the artist had some difficulty, and we can see it
The diptych has been tied, but it is a MESS!
The diptych has not been tied at all
#3 Your Concept Grade
The self-portrait from observation is very clearly a specific person
and communicates very clearly "who" the person is by using lots of details
The self-portrait from observation is clearly a specific person and
communicates somewhat clearly "who" the person is by using some details – but we may have a question
The self-portrait from observation seems to be a specific person and communicates a few things about
"who" the person is by using a few details – but we have questions
The self-portrait from observation could be anyone and communicates
little about "who" the person is because there is very little
detail – and leaves us wondering
There is a very clear mood in the portrait from observation, which we can tell by the facial expression
There is a clear mood which we can tell by the facial expression, but we
have to work a little
There may be a mood intended to be expressed, but it is not too clear
We can’t figure out the mood
The facial proportions are absolutely correct in the portrait from observation
The facial proportions are almost correct – but may be a tiny bit off in one place
facial proportions are not correct – but it is clear the artist
worked very hard, and it is only off in a few places
The facial proportions are not correct in many places at all!
The symbolic self-portrait communicates very clearly "who" the
inner self of the person is, by using symbolic visual clues.
The symbolic self-portrait communicates something about "who" the
inner self of the person is, by using a few symbolic visual clues but we have a question
The symbolic self-portrait communicates little about "who" the inner
self of the person is, because there is little use of symbolic
visual clues- leaving us with questions
The symbolic self-portrait communicates very little about "who" the
inner self of the person is, because there are no clear symbolic
visual clues -leaving us with lots of questions
Reflection: Answer the questions below:
1. Describe how you felt about this project – did you enjoy it, why
or why not?
2. If you could change one thing about your work on this project, what
would it be?
Frida Kahlo - The Frame (print available
from Shorewood Prints)