Our art projects at OJA over the last few weeks have focused on the art of portrait drawing. Portraits can be quite a challenge. Mrs. Bromme has been encouraging students to draw what they SEE, not what their brain tells them they see. Sometimes our brain leads the way, directing our pencils down the wrong “track”. There are many tricks of the trade we can follow that will help us when we draw people. We’ve been spending time measuring distances, judging proportions, looking closely at where our features are placed on our faces and focusing on shapes instead of getting overwhelmed with all the details of the human face. I’m proud of the students for the focus they’ve shown as they confront these challenges.
Inspiration has come from the British artist, Thomas Gainsborough. (1727-1788) He was an important portrait and landscape painter. One of his famous portraits is The Blue Boy. Sir Thomas Lawrence, also from England, painted Pinkie. This portrait of a young girl has become a favorite companion piece to Gainsborough’s Blue Boy. Studying these two paintings gave students in Kindergarten through fourth grade a fun way to draw their self portrait. Look for familiar faces perched on the shoulders of Blue Boys and Pinkies – our versions of course!
Besides Thomas Gainsborough, the upper grades have studied portraiture through famous faces of our Civil Rights heroes. Check out our mural of Martin Luther King Jr. on the art bulletin board which is located across from the school library.