Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chuck Close

If you've never seen Chuck Close's artwork up close and personal (no pun intended!), you should. A few years back, I saw his exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA with my mother. We were in awe of how abstract the paintings look up close, yet when you back up, they create a perfect portrait. He was a realistic painter before becoming paralyzed around 1998. Now, he paints the large, colorful shapes and forms that make up his portrait paintings.

After watching a few youtube videos showing how Chuck Close gets around in his wheelchair along with a detailed explanation of his work, the students grid their own images. For some classes, I actually take a digital picture of them, put it in GIMP (a free editing program), turn it black and white, increase the value ranges, brighten it, and then posterize it into 6 different values. The students then grid them off and also grid a larger sheet of paper. They transfer their drawing onto the larger page. I have had students sketch them and paint them in the past. For some classes, I have them use magazine images.


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