Self Portraits

images-3  Vincent VanGogh’s Self Portrait as a Buddhist Monk at Fogg Museum/ Harvard, 1888.

Padlet sites:

4th hour

7th hour 

Self Portrait Unit

Choose one of the following assignments:  Due Monday, May 1

  1. ) Selfie challenge. Using creativity, take 16 or more new selfies that exhibit the qualities listed on the Bingo Card.  (You may use filters for 4 or less photos.)  Create a Padlet and upload your photos, identifying the quality that you think each photo exhibits.  Email me the link to your padlet.  For your subject line put “your name Padlet” e.g. Evans Padlet.

            Homework:    Create an 8.5 x 11 drawing (pencil, pen, colored pencil, chalk, charcoal or  oil crayon) based upon one of your selfies.  Color is optional.


  1. Create an observational portrait in chalk, craypas (or paint) that uses realistic proportion.  You are encouraged to think about using symbolism and unrealistic color as well as other qualities that express your identity.

Homework:  LARGE detailed observational drawing of eye, lips or nose using entire 8.5 x 11 paper or a portrait sketch of a friend or family member.

Abstraction/Surrealism Painting


The culminating painting project is underway with students creating masterpiece riffs, abstractions and surrealist pieces.  Thanks to Shaleen Agrawal, we have mini-canvasses at our disposal.


Homework:  Due 4/17

Design a homework assignment for a future student that pertains to one of the units we have covered in class.  Write out the instructions and create a sample of the homework.

See art this weekend!

FullSizeRenderAll over Champaign Urbana artists are showing their work at the Boneyard Arts Fest.  Check out what people are doing and have fun!

Need extra credit?      Write a 200 to 250 word review for up to 10 extra credit points.   Send it to me via email by Monday 4/10  with a selfie of you with the art.

Summer Programs

SUMMER ART PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS — Its time to plan your summer.  Check these out!

Alfred University; Alfred, NY                          

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp; Twin Lake, MI      

Carnegie Mellon; Pittsburgh, PA                      

College for Creative Studies; Detroit, MI       

Corcoran College of Art; Washington, DC       

Eastern Illinois University                                 

Kansas City Art Institute;  Kansas City, MO    

Otis College of Art and Design;  Los Angeles, CA

Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Fdtn;  Colorado Springs, CO

Maryland Institute College of Art;  Baltimore, MD

Northern Illinois University;  Dekalb, IL          

Northwestern University; Evanston, IL            

Pratt Institute;  Brooklyn, NY                           

Ringling College of Art;  Sarasota, FL              

Savannah Collge of Art and Design, Savannah, GA

School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago, IL

University of Illinois

Washington University; St. Louis, MO            


Unknown-1 Ben Nicholson‘s art shown left.

This week we critiqued our masterpiece recreations.  I think students can be proud of their paintings which by and large show faithful study of the original.  Looking for a cheap date this weekend?  The same idea inspired Krannert Art Museum’s Petals and Paintings where floral designers make arrangements inspired by the Krannert collection.

10 pts. extra credit if you visit the exhibit and send me a selfie on 4/10 from the exhibition showing one of the arrangements and inspiration paintings behind you.

Now we will turn our attention to abstraction and painting.  You will be challenged to use your painting skills, but in a project that you design.  Because I think surrealism is fairly well understood, we will be talking more about abstraction in class.  One of the most useful videos I have found is from the BBC.  It is a 6 part series, and we will only see part 1 in class, but I encourage you to play the other segments at home.  Other shorter videos I recommend are on:




Homework due Monday, 4/10

Return filled out project proposal, recreated below:

Post Masterpiece Painting Proposal                        Painting due:  Tues. 4/10/17




Which of the options for the next painting do you propose to attempt?  (Choose one and answer the questions posed.  If you have additional ideas to twist the assignment, propose those now.


  1. SURREALISM via Juxtaposition, Substitution, Transformation & New Reality Detail how you will create a surreal scene.  What juxtapositions and transformations are you planning?  What might you do if you have extra time?  Please create a thumbnail sketch with annotation.
  2. Masterpiece Riff Detail your idea about how you will create a riff on your masterpiece.  What extensions might you attempt if time allows?   Please create a thumbnail sketch with annotation.
  3. Abstraction Series: Invent and Explore a Method      Detail what your method will be.  What is the variable you will change in each of the three paintings?  What will your procedure be?  What extensions might you attempt if time allows?   Please create a thumbnail sketch with annotation.
  4. Environmental Abstraction What shapes are you planning to use?  Where are your patterns from?  What color palette are you planning?    Please create a thumbnail sketch with annotation.


Masterpiece, week 2

images-2  images-1

Above are two unfinished paintings, on the left is Lucian Freud’s self portrait, and on the right, Picasso’s Matador.  We are in the second week of finishing the masterpiece reproduction we began before spring break.  We only have two weeks for the project because we are recreating a painting, not forging it.  I also feel you have to paint at a certain pace.  Like dancing or riding a bike, it becomes awkward if its too slow.  Do the best you can, enjoy the process and let it be a way to study with the masters.

Homework due Monday, 4/3/17

Choose one of the following:

  1.  What does Uni mean to me?  Enter the contest by creating a 2D piece of art (any media) that speaks to the topic.  Maximum size is 8.5 x 11 inches.   A 100 word typed description about your art also needs to be included.
  2. Re-imagine your masterpiece.  You may draw, paint or photoshop the result.  The change should be radical, not incremental.