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8th Grade Family and Pet Portraits

Throughout their final year at VCS, 8th Graders apply the skills they’ve cultivated over their educational careers to increasingly sophisticated projects, utilizing those existing skills even as they gain new ones. In Art class, 8th Graders recently began working on their most technically demanding two-dimensional piece to date, using a grid-measurement method to proportionally scale up a photograph of a family member or pet into a large pencil drawing before rendering it in color using watercolor paints.

This week, students continued working from their photographs to complete their pencil drawings. Once complete, 8th Graders will trace and embellish the pencil lines with markers and fountain pens loaded with ink before painting over the waterproof ink with liquid watercolor. As they work in watercolor, students will learn how to mix watercolors on the palette as well as blend the colors into one another on the painting surface.

While the purpose of using a grid-measurement method is to provide students with a technique for creating a realistic likeness of their subject, this project is not only about technical skills. Instead, students are asked to use all that they know about their family member or pet to attempt to capture some element of their essence, emerging with a final product that is not only instantly recognizable but also expressive and interpretive.