For this project we began with a photo of each student. The students were then to grid off their photo into 1″ squares. This would serve as a starting point for their drawing.
The next step is to take a piece of 12″x18″ paper and grid it off into 1.5″ squares. The lines should to be dark and bold. A second piece of 12″x18″ paper is then taped on top of the gridded paper using masking tape. The idea here is for the grid to be visible through the paper that the actual portrait is drawn on. This will help facilitate the drawing of the portrait without worrying about unnecessary grid lines or ghosts.
Next the students begin to draw their face, using the grid system to help them get correct placements and measurement. Due to the conversion process, the large page they are drawing on will have an extra row. This space can be used for additional background.
The drawing may be done in either pencil or charcoal.
The drawing should begin with light line drawing of the head and features. No shading should be added right away as the majority of the effort should be on correct placement and shape. Continue to use the grid to check for proper placement and scale.
Once all the facial features are blocked in, begin adding shading. Like all shaded drawings, be sure to have a full range of values – from black to white. Stumps can be used for blending, eraser shields for small corrections, and kneaded erasers to pull out highlights.
The final step will be the addition of a background. The background can be invented and is entirely up to you. The only restrictions is that it must be pg-13/school appropriate and that the background should be expressive of you. It may be a scene of a favorite place, some of your favorite things or songs, or it may convey a feeling – it is entirely up to you.
This drawing is assessed using the full art rubric. Craftsmanship rules apply. It is functioning as your semester test and is due by the end of your official testing time.
Below is a copy of the PowerPoint used to present this lesson. It is low on directions but it does have a guide to help with creating a grid and also provides plenty of examples (both professional and student).
You may also want to check out this page on how to draw the face.