Pastel Portraits Lesson Plan

Name of Lesson: “Pastel Portraits”


Portraiture can be a hard subject to teach because students at the secondary level are obsessed with realism and can get discouraged easily.  This lesson on drawing portraits in pastels can help show students that they can create representational portraits that look like the person they want to capture. 

Class Level: Art 2/3

Overview and Purpose: Students will create representational pastel portraits of a subject of their choosing.  In the process students will learn the grid technique and the proper use of chalk or soft pastels.

Materials: 18” by 24” Toned paper, chalk pastels, graphite, black fine tip markers

Objectives: The student will learn about proportion in relation to facial features.  The student will learn the process of using the grid technique to capture accurate proportions from a photograph.  The student will learn how to use chalk pastels correctly.

Delivery of info:  Students will be presented with a demonstration on using the grid technique to create drawings and paintings.  This should be a hands-on demonstration so that students can see each step of the process. The teacher will present the concept of facial proportions and students may spend a couple class periods drawing facial features in their proper locations.  Students will then bring in a photo of a person that they know to create a portrait from.  The students will create a grid on the photo and a grid on the drawing paper.  Then the students will draw a line drawing on the finished drawing paper and finish the drawing with soft pastels. 

Guided Practice: Students will work while the teacher walks around and monitors progress. Students will have 10 days to complete the assignment.

Review: Proportion, mixing skin tones, color theory

Estimated Duration: 10 days

Video Resources
Facial Proportions
How to Draw an Eye
How to Draw a Nose
How to Draw a Mouth
How to Draw an Ear
How to Draw Hair
How to Draw with the Grid

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