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Presentation discussing why and how artists create self-portraits.

Stacey Celestino

on 1 April 2014

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Transcript of Self-Portraits

is a self-created representation of an artist.
What is a Self-Portrait?
Why do Artists Create Self-Portraits?
There are many reasons why artists create self-portraits:
Artists have used
self-portraits to
explore the basic
Léopold Boilly (French, 1761-1845),
Grimacing Man (Self-Portrait), c. 1822-23
Creating a self-portrait takes the artist on
a journey of self-exploration.
They have to consider the following:
What do they want to express about themselves?
How can they express who they are using posture, clothing, colors, expressions, objects and much more?
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940
Reasons for
artists use themselves as a model
to show skill/self-promotion
to achieve immortality
save a memory
to help the artist further understand him/herself
to tell a story
Albrecht Durer is considered the first prolific self portraitist. He was very aware of his reputation as an artist, and his income depended upon it. He depicted himself at least twelve times over his lifetime.
Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait, 1500
Glass mirrors became available in Europe in the 15th century. The first mirrors used were convex (curved), causing some self-portraits to look stretched or deformed. Some artists liked this effect, such as the one shown below. The use of the mirror often results in right-handed painters seen as left-handed.
Parmigianino, Self-portrait in a Mirror, c. 1524
Johannes Gumpp, self-portrait, 1646
Representational vs. Symbolic
Some artists create self-portraits that are realistic or representational, whereas other self-portraits are created to depict the feelings or emotions of an artist. Some self-portraits don't look anything like the artist. Instead, they will use such things as objects, colors and symbols to express who they are.
Van Gogh
Making Your Own Self-Portrait
Start by getting to know YOURSELF!
How do I make my OWN Self-Portrait?!?
In this art unit, we will explore the theme:
1. Create a ZINE about you (your teacher will show you how). The Zine will be the place where you to start answer the question,
"Who Am I?"

2. Start drawing yourself! Begin by looking at yourself in the mirror and creating a continuous contour line self-portrait. This is an easy way to get you to start "SEEING" yourself. Watch the video to learn about
continuous contour line drawings

3. Next, you will write an "I AM..." poem. Your teacher will give you an "I Am" poem handout to get you started.

4. Make a stencil self-portrait (your teacher will instruct you how). See examples of other students' work.
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the qualities, beliefs, culture, etc., that make a particular person different from others
1. TSW learn what a self-portrait is and discuss reasons why artists create self-portraits.
2. TSW understand representational versus symbolic self-portraits.
3. TSW create a self-portrait that focuses on correct proportions, symbolism, and realism.
So, what exactly is a self-portrait?

A self-portrait is a self-created representation of an artist.
Before we explore self-portraits, let's think about.....
Do you accept yourself as you are or are you really critical about how you look?
For example:
Vincent Van Gogh:
-painted 30 self-portraits during a 3 year span.
- mainly did them to develop his skills as an artist
-didn't have money to pay for models.
How did the video make you feel?

What message do you think Dove was trying to portray with that video?
Activity #2
#3: you will make choices and judgements in your art; learn about different subject matters, symbols and ideas.

#5: You will learn to think about style and meaning in your artwork and in the work of others.
#1: you will be able to understand and use different art materials, techniques, and processes.
(Objective #1)
(standard #1)
why do artists create self-portraits????
Activity #3:
using your table groups, come up with 2 different reasons why artists create self-portraits.
(objective #1)
Artists make self-portraits for a variety of reasons:
But the main reason they make them is to express themselves and answer the basic question of:
"Who am I?"
1. to practice
2. show their skills
3. can't afford a model

There are 2 types of self-portraits:
activity #4
let's talk about objective #2
Self-portraits that are realistic to what the artist actually looks like.
Self-portraits that depict an artists feelings and emotions.
Usually do NOT look anything like the artist
Objects, colors, and symbols will be used to express who they are.
Van Gogh's Chair and Pipe
Salvador Dali's self-portrait
Activity #5: review
Identify whether the self-portraits are representational or symbolic.
write the answer on your outline
hold up A/B cards
(standard #1 obj #2)
A. Representational B. Symbolic
A. Representational B. Symbolic

thorns represents pain
hummingbird means luck in love
black cat is symbol of bad luck and death
her pet monkey
butterflies symbolizes resurrection.
leaves represent her love of her county Mexico.
How do artists make self-portraits?
Exit Ticket: answer in complete sentences
1. What is a self-portrait?
2. Explain why artists create self-portraits.
3. Compare and contrast a representational and symbolic self-portrait.
4. identify the self-portraits as either representational, symbolic, or both.

Think about it!
Let's imagine that you were about to create a symbolic but realistic self-portrait like Frida Kahlo's.........
Write 3 sentences explaining what you would incorporate in it and why.
it can be an object, animal, place, etc.
be prepared to share
During this lesson, we learned that a self-portrait is created by an artist mainly to express their feelings, emotions, and answer the question "who am I?" (obj #1). We also learned that there are 2 types of self-portraits, representational and symbolic (obj #2). We are then going to apply what we learned to our own journey of self-exploration by creating our own self-portraits (obj #3).

Now, let's look more deeper into this question.
Dove made this video about real people being asked to describe themselves to a forensic sketch artist.
Activity #1:
Imagine you had to describe your appearance to a person who couldn't see you. This person never met you before and did not know anything about you. Write 2-3 sentences about how you would describe yourself to them. Remember to be specific.
I think Dove was trying to help us understand that we focus too much on the negative things, the things we don't like about ourselves too much. I think they wanted us to realize that we are all special, unique, and beautiful in our own way and that we shouldn't be afraid to show that.
teacher model
Now let's talk about objective #1
Teacher Model:
In my self-portrait, the item I would include would be my sketch book. It has bright, white pages and has a mint green color binding. It's very personal and special to me. I draw very often so it's nice to have that one place where I can keep them safe.
Activity#6: practice
Let's practice drawing portraits first before we focus on ourselves and correct proportions.
In the space provided on your outline, draw your partner (person 1 & person 2) to the best of your ability.
make sure to draw what you see.
just draw the outline, do not shade anything in.
focus on getting the facial features in the right places

Now let's look at the correct proportions of the face.
Draw along with me in the space provided on your outline.

Compare/contrast your original drawing of your partner to the one we did together.
is there anything different?
is anything drawn in the wrong place?

(standard#5, obj.#2)
From this point, we are going to focus on Objective#3.
(standards #3&5, obj. #3)
(activity #8)
Think. pair. share:

Person 1 will read their description of their appearance to person 2 and person 2 will read theirs to person 1.
** thumbs up/down assessment on obj #1
** Thumbs up/down assessment of obj #2
*Thumbs up/down assessment of obj 3
Raise your hand if you can explain this
Jamie Salmon
Da Vinci
Each group shares one
This kind only shows the artist
Can self-portraits be both representational and symbolic??
Frida Kahlo
Full transcript