After downloading their photos,
1. Change the image mode to
2. Apply a “posterize” effect that
simplifies colors and bolds dark
3. Adjust the level of posterization
with direction from the teacher.
The posterization process distorts
the photos and gives the self-portraits a unique, abstracted
appearance depending on the
4. Print selected image.
For middle school or beginning
drawing classes the lesson can be
simplified with a lower number
of grids. For
more challenging self-portraits, the
anywhere from four to ten. After
this level, the image becomes too
realistic for the assignment.
porating the entire paper. They then
begin to replicate the grid-like sec-
tions onto their self-portrait draw-
Each school year, my intermediate grid is then
art students look forward to this numbered
from one to
unique self-portrait assignment. seven to fol-
low the lev-
els of values found in the grayscale
image. Seven levels are an appropri-
ate challenge for advanced students.
Drawing the Self-Portrait
Students draw an enlarged version
of their printed image on 12 x 18"
( 30 x 45 cm) watercolor paper, incor-
Before beginning their painting,
students are introduced to color
theory and the monochromatic
Monochromatic value scale,
posterized digital photo print
and student self-portrait by Tara
Lethgo, age sixteen, Assumption
Left: Leah Weston, age sixteen,
Assumption High School.