my brother has a bold, care-free style of portraiture. he basically barrels into each drawing with complete faith that ~ even if the details are not just right ~ his many drawing skills will pull the picture together in the end. his portrait of me (above) is a masterful example. i tried his method when i drew him (below). it takes practice, i think.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
my dad (portrayed above) loves my wife (portrayed below). he's a tough nut to crack sometimes but christine did it somehow. of all my girlfriends, she was the first who really interested him. if you're familiar with his drawings, his affection is apparent in our portrait parties.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
my grandma (portrayed above) doesn't do portrait parties. she join us for the get-togethers and she models ~ does she ever! ~ but she never actually draws. so, no one went looking for her when she missed our sister's portrait party. we assumed she wasn't interested. surprisingly, barbara was really disappointed. she had taken a nap and was sad to have missed the festivity. "we can always have another one!" i suggested. so, my grandma, christine, and i had our own portrait party. barbara even participated with her first portrait ever! "it's not very good," barbara approved her drawing of me (below), "but it's the best thing i ever drew."
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
A new participant, Ed Marion, just introduced me to The Portrait Party's long-lost sister-site, Different Strokes From Different Folks. Every 2 weeks, Karin Jurick posts a photo and scores of artists paint their interpretations of it.
This 3-week period, Karin has posted a portrait challenge so that approximately 65 pairs of artists will be swapping portraits. Karin seems to have opened the door for some last minute participants. Ed thought that we would all like to know about it. We would! Thanks, Ed!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
when i was 11, my mom (portrayed above) drew a picture of me (portrayed below) in my underwear. that was my apparel of choice back then. when i was 21, she decoupaged that drawing onto a present for me. it was a beautiful box full of letters and drawings from my friends. you could say that box started this portrait party. tomorrow, i turn 34. it amazes me that we've been drawing each other for that long. decades!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
one of the things that i love about actual real life portrait parties is seeing how friends who wouldn't normally draw each other do draw each other. lali (portrayed above) and christine (portrayed below) would probably draw each other more if we saw each other more but this was their very first go at it. for a portrait enthusiast like me, that's always exciting.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
the rest of our family has been drawing each other for years but the groom, our new brother, erik (portrayed above) never had a portrait party before. he jumped it with both feet though! he gave us a great, weird pose to draw and put a lot of effort into his two-minute portrait of me (below).
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
my brother, henry (portrayed above), is pretty frugal with his compliments. if he doesn't like something he'll tell you. so, it meant a lot to christine (portrayed below) when he marveled over all of the drawings she did at our sister's matrimonial portrait party. (we all liked her pose too!)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
cindy woods passed away yesterday. i never met her in person. so, i can't say that i knew her well. we corresponded frequently though. we both like science fiction. we have at least a dozen favorite artists in common. and drawing... well, simply put, cindy won my friendship quickly.
what i love about cindy's artwork is (1) its honesty and (2) its compassion. you can see lots of it on this website and even more on flickr and cindy's blog, learning daily. it is obvious in her drawings and her words that cindy's heart was enormous. the world's a better place for having held her and little sadder to have let her go.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
wally (portrayed above) wrote me last night to share this swap and to let me know that his portrait partner, the amazing cindy woods (portrayed below), is now in hospice care. cindy has big talent and a huge heart. she deserves all the love you can send her. if you want to read about her life and see her gorgeous drawings, i hope you'll visit her website: learning daily.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
i invited all the teachers at my school to a portrait party in the art room this week. i brought a lot of snacks and stayed pretty late to host it. aileen, the social studies teacher, is the only person who showed up though. darn. but, yay aileen. we drew anyway and had a good time eating chocolate and sharing teaching and travel stories. the following morning, almost everyone said they would come next time if i did it again. we'll see.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
my sister (portrayed above) asked me to host a portrait party as part of her wedding celebration. she didn't want me to post her drawings but the drawing she did of me (below) is maybe my favorite portrait of all time. so, she gave me permission.
Monday, November 10, 2008
to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his sketchbook diaries, james kochalka (portrayed above), invited friends and colleagues to draw his portrait. as kochalka's pal and bandmate, jason (portrayed below as a little white dog), is also a recurring character in the comic strip diary.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Grades: Appropriate for all ages
A stop watch or a clock with a second hand
Drawing Materials, a wide variety if possible
A firm drawing surface (clipboards, hardcover books, etc.)
Step 1: Introduce the Lesson
Explain what a portrait party is: Students will take turns drawing each other. Portrait parties are a fun way to introduce students to a wide variety of artists and art skills. If you intend to use the party to teach a lesson, now is the time. David Hockney and Lucian Freud had a portrait party. So did Pissarro and Gauguin. What are the proportions of the head and face? Gesture drawing? Blind contour? Sighting techniques? You teach it, they'll listen in anticipation of the party.
Step 2: Organize the Students
Students can pair off for a portrait party lesson but, in my experience, small groups work better. Teams of three students are better for short classes. Four or five for longer classes. A third student minimizes group conflict, motivates the model to stay still, and challenges the second artist to try harder. One student will model while the rest of the team draws. Students will take turns modeling.
Step 3: Warm Up
Start the party with a quick round of portraits. 30 second, one minute, or two minute portraits all work well. So, adjust this round to your class time. The quick round insures that every student gets a chance to draw and to model. It also gets the students' creativity going and shows everyone how easy and how hard it is to draw and to model. By comparison, the next round - A five minute pose - seems like all the time in the world. If you are teaching a specific art skill, now is a good time to quietly assess the students before individual teaching begins. Give the students a few seconds to share their portraits between rounds.
Step 4: The Party Begins!
Continue the party with a series of 5 - 10 minutes poses depending on the students' ages and maturity level. Remind the students of the skills they should be practicing while drawing. Start the timer. Tour the room and offer individual instruction while the students work. A group portrait party is ideal for this kind of instruction because none of the portraits become too precious ~ Students can blame bad drawings on the time limit ~ and the students will do several portraits in a short period so you have that many opportunities to gauge their progress and adjust your instructions.
Step 5: Assessment
By the end of the portrait party, each student will have created a small series of portraits. Assessment always varies but the series itself offers students and teachers a wonderful evaluation. Did the portraits improve throughout the series? Students enjoy a huge ego boost when you can put the portraits in order and prove their success to them.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
My after-school art classes started this week and, as a get-to-know-you game, I had all the students try a blind contour drawing of the kid sitting across from them. One side of the table modeled while the other side drew. It was a big hit! The following day, one of the kindergarten kids found me and said "My sister taught me the trick you taught her." Which trick, I asked. "Where you draw each other without looking." At your drawing. "Right! It's fun!" It's fun to know that the kids go home and try these games again.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
My sister got married this week in Mexico! The one thing she asked me to do was host a portrait party before the wedding. Over the next few months, I'll post all the drawings we did but here is the invitation I whipped up: A portrait of my sister during her hair and make-up tests.