Tuesday, August 11, 2015


charcoal on newsprint

A super fun assignment before we go into traditional Self-Portraits
 is to put a piece of paper up on the glass doors and have the kids draw themselves
in one class period.
That's all they get so it forces them to dig right in.

For many of them this is the first time to try a self-portrait
and they are scared it's not going to look good.
The pressure is unbelievable!
Plus they know the other kids in the Beginning class are peeking at them while they draw.
But after the first five minutes they go into Right Brain
and tune everybody out
and really get into it.

The finished results are always terrific,
and usually several of the kids surprise themselves with how well they performed.
From left to right we have senior Michael Cantu,
juniors Elias Rodriquez and Jonathan Hsu,
and seniors Jovani Garcia and Nathan Chong.

Here is a close up of Jonathan's.
The boys seemed to like his best because they felt it was the most complete
and looked so much like him.

I also threw in a recent self-portrait by alumni Anne Allan who graduated last year 
and is now in art school up at San Jose State.
I would guess this is a bit more than an hour study she did of herself in charcoal.
I feel it's quite wonderful because of her use of varied thicknesses of line,
and I also am impressed with how she captured both light and darks so effortlessly.
Plus it looks just like her!
Bravo Anne!!


  1. Filling a page artfully is no mean feat ... kudos to Jonathan!

  2. You are such an Amazing teacher! Beautiful work!