Tuesday, March 19, 2013

4th Grade Chuck Close Portraits

The 4th grade students learned about the artist Chuck Close.  His first paintings were called Photo Realism because they looked like they could have been black and white photographs.  Chuck Close ended up having a spinal collapse, which paralyzed him from the neck down.  He had such a passion for art that he wanted to continue but he had to totally change his style because he could not longer grip a paintbrush.  He went through a lot of therapy to finally get motion back in his arms.  Because he cannot grip a paintbrush he has a glove that he Velcro’s a brush to the top of his hand.  He is not able to get the fine detail like he used to so he changed his painting style an impressionism style.  He uses grids and overlaps different color circles and hearts inside each square to create some really interesting portraits of people.   The students had to create a grid overlapping on a photo of their self.  Then they used colored pencil to create overlapping circles in each square to complete a piece of art in Close’s Impressionism style.



  1. These are wonderful! You are inspiring me to do a Chuck portrait of my own!

  2. This is great! I'm inspired to try something along these lines in my school... We have talked about starting the next school year with a collaborative piece inspired by Chuck Close- I like the methods you used and it give me ideas for medium and method :) Thanks for sharing!
    -Amy Garrett
    American School of Bombay

  3. Would you tell me how you did this? The children's portraits, are they just printed from a copier? Just wondering how you would draw on top of them. Would love to do this with my classes. Thanks!

  4. Yes they were printed on regular computer paper and colored over with colored pencil. We discuss not coloring so dark so you could still see their pictures.