Sunday, August 8, 2010

Egyptian Inspired Self Portraits

STUDENT EXAMPLES: Click to enlarge
Egyptian Inspired Self Portraits Egyptian Inspired Self PortraitsEgyptian Inspired Self Portraits

Students will gain an understanding of Ancient Egyptian portrait paintings and hieroglyphics. Students will successfully draw and paint a self portrait using inspiration from Ancient Egyptian artwork. Students also be able to successfully write their name using hieroglyphics.


The Learner Will:

  • Describe what hieroglypics are and be able to demonstrate how they are used by writing their name.
  • Identify where Egypt is located on a map.
  • Know the characteristics of Egyptian portraits.
  • Compare and contrast their self portrait with Egyptain portraits.
  • Develop ideas from imagination, their everday lives, and other visual inspiration discussed in class.
STANDARDS: Click to enlarge
Egyptian Inspired Self Portraits MI State Standards

AUDIENCE: Upper Elementary - 6th grade

TIME ALLOTMENT: Two class periods, 75 minutes each week.

  • 11x14" white paper
  • Tempera paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencil
  • Examples of Egyptian portraits
  • Powerpoint (Laptop, projector)

  • Anticipatory Set - Write my name on the white board using hieroglyphics, after students sit down greet them and ask the following questions:
    • Does anyone know what word I wrote on the white board?
    • What language do you think this is?
    • Has anyone ever heard of "hieroglyphics" before?
    • What are "hieroglyphics"?
  • Present power point on Egyptian hieroglyphics. (For visual learners.)
    • Ask for a volunteer to point out Egypt on the map.
    • Explain "hieroglyphics" and show examples.
  • Pass out hand-out on hieroglyphics.
  • Select a student and do a demonstration on the white board writing their name in hieroglyphics. Ask students to follow along on their hand-out.
  • Pass out paper and pencils for students to practice writing their names with hieroglyphics.
    • Give students 10-12 minutes to practice writing their name.
    • Walk around room and assist students as needed.
  • Continue with the power point on Egyptian portraits.
  • Show examples of the project: Egyptian self portraits.
  • Discuss traits of Egyptian portraits. (Opportunity for verbal/linguistic learners to participate in discussion and later on in critique, interpersonal learners will be able to learn as a group.)
    • The head and legs are in profile. The body is is front view. Why do you think that is? Why?
    • Explain how Egyptian artists wanted to show the width of the chest.
    • Foreshortening (show examples) - when an object appears compressed when it is seen from a certain viewpoint.
    • Did the artists of the Egyptian portraits use foreshortening? Why or why not?
    • Explain that Egyptian artists didn't know about foreshortening, which is why they went from profile view to front view and returned to profile view.
    • What colors did the artists use in the portraits?
      • Reddish-brown was used for men.
      • Yellowish-buff was used for the women.
      • These colors were used to distinguish the two sexes, not because they were actually those colors.
      • Many of the portraits appeared flat due to their use of color and lack of foreshortening.
  • Demonstrate how to draw a self portrait in Egyptian style.
    • Ask students to imagine that they are Egyptian and are going to paint a self portrait.
    • Demonstrate how to draw a face in profile view.
    • From there demonstrate how to draw a body and arms in front view.
    • Finish by returning to profile view and draw the legs and feet.
    • Go over how the Egyptians adorned their heads with wigs and crowns.
    • Remind students to add Egyptian elements.
      • Clothing
      • Hairstyles
      • Jewelry
      • Footwear, etc.
  • Pass out paper for students to begin drawing their portraits. (Intrapersonal learners will be able to work alone during this time.)
    • Walk around the room and assist students with their drawings as needed.
  • Before students leave remind them that next week they will paint their portraits with tempera paint.

  • Anticipatory Set - Have your name written on the white board again as students enter the classroom.
    • Does anyone remember what this is called? (Hieroglyphics)
    • What country do they use hieroglyphics in? (Egypt)
    • Pass out self portraits from Week One.
    • Pass out the hand-out on hieroglyphics from Week One.
  • Allow students to finish drawing their portraits if needed.
  • Pass out tempera paints, brushes, and water to students.
  • Remind students to think about Egyptian elements in their drawings.
    • How can the viewer tell if the person in your portrait is Egyptian or not?
    • What kinds of clothes are they wearing? Jewelry?
    • What's in your background? How can the viewer tell if you are in Egypt.
    • Is your name in hieroglyphics included in your drawing?
  • Before students begin painting remind them:
    • Reddish-brown was used for men, so if you are a boy use reddish-brown.
    • Yellowish-buff was used for women, so if you are a girl use yellowish-buff.
  • Demonstrate briefly on how to mix colors to make reddish-brown and yellowish-buff.
  • Allow students to begin painting, walking around the room and assisting them as needed.
  • When students are finished ask for volunteers to show their paintings to the rest of the class.
    • What makes this portrait Egyptian? How is it similar or different to the portraits we looked at in class?
    • Did you include your name in hieroglyphics?
    • What colors did you use to paint the skin?
RUBRIC: Click to enlarge
Egyptian Inspired Self Portraits Rubric