Free Lesson Plan: Impressionist Portraits with Pastels

Impressionist Portraits – Pastels

Level: Middle School

Duration: Five 45-minute class periods

Historical Overview: Mary Cassat, American Impressionism, and Portraits

Goals and Objectives: To introduce use of pastel medium. To teach accurate proportions for profile, frontal, and ¾ views. To teach shading and blending methods in order to create 3-d effects on the face

Vocabulary: Portraiture, Impressionism, pastels, shading, blending, profile, frontal view

Materials: Pastels, blending tools, construction paper

Procedures:

Day 1

  1. Anticipatory Set: Show posters and books of images of different portraits by artist Mary Cassat.
  2. Slide lecture on history of Impressionism.
  3. Class discussion on artist Mary Cassat.
  4. Review color wheel.
  5. Review vocabulary.
  6. Demonstrate drawing a sketch and basic frontal view proportions.
  7. Students follow along step by step.

Day 2

  1. Demonstrate drawing a sketch and basic profile view proportions.
  2. Students follow along step by step.
  3. Students experiment with pastels for shadows and background.

Day 3

  1. Demonstrate drawing a sketch and basic ¾ view proportions.
  2. Students follow along step by step.
  3. Students experiment with pastels for shadows and background.

Day 4

  1. Demonstrates how to set up pastel palette and color mixing.
  2. Students set up palettes.
  3. Students are paired off in class and draw one another consciously choosing their view.
  4. Students transfer sketch onto good paper.
  5. Students use pastels and experiment with techniques to use background to describe sitter.

Day 5

  1. Students decide which is their best portrait.
  2. Students critique one another’s work.

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