Oil Pastel Portraits – Modigliani Style

Amedeo Modigliani was famous for his elongated and elegant portraits, painted in Paris back in the early 1900s. Heads and necks were long and narrow, giving his subjects a very graceful look.
1. Starting with a 7" x 12" paper, I made light pencil marks approximately 1/3 down the center of the paper, and another third down again. To draw the head, I made an oval that filled up the top 2/3 of the paper. A neck filled the bottom third, along with curved shoulders.
2. At this point, you could remind students of the “normal” placement of features on a face, namely the eyes belong in the center of the head, and the mouth at the bottom 1/8". To make a Modigliani face, the eyes need to be above the center line, and the mouth extra close to the chin. I drew in a long nose in the space that was left. Hair and ears can be filled in as desired.
3. All the pencil lines are traced with a thin black marker, including a signature on the shirt.
4. Modigliani also used a lot of dark and rich colors, so students may be asked to follow that palatte.

CA Visuals Arts Standard: Creative Expression
2.2 Use the conventions of facial . . . proportions in a figure study.
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