Perfect Portraits

This term in Art, Year Two have studied the artwork of Vincent van Gogh. Although he is most famous for his paintings, van Gogh believed that drawing, using simple mark making techniques, was “the root of everything”. The boys and girls therefore studied his sketches and used different materials to explore mark making. 

First, the children found out about the life of Vincent van Gogh. They looked at some of his famous artworks and they were surprised to discover that he only sold one of his paintings while he was alive!

Next, it was time to explore different mark making techniques. The children used pencils to create different marks on the paper including hatching, cross hatching and even scribbling. Once they had practiced these techniques, the children used them to create a self-portrait. They used mirrors to look closely at their features and started by sketching out key features such as their eyes, nose and mouth. After that, they used the mark making skills they had learnt to add detail to their sketches. It was quite challenging to sketch themselves, but the children persevered.

Later, the children repeated the process using charcoal. They found that they could make much darker lines using charcoal and that charcoal could also be blended to create interesting effects.

Finally, the children evaluated their self-portraits. They thought carefully about which of their portraits they preferred, and they identified what had worked well in their portraits.  The children agreed with van Gogh that, “it’s not easy to [draw] oneself” but they were proud of their final pieces. Check out their amazing artwork below.

Article 28:  We all have the right to a good quality education.

Article 29: We all have the right to develop our personalities, talents and abilities


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