Developing drawing and observational skills with portraits The Year 2 class at Lauriston School in Hackney, East London, provides the focus for this engaging programme about developing drawing and observational skills using self-portraits.

Peter Sanders, deputy headteacher and art co-ordinator at the school, explains the relevance of the project and its planning and materials, as he prepares his classroom. The pupils respond with enthusiasm to Peter’s encouragement to look carefully at themselves in the mirror and experiment with the range and density of marks possible using a drawing pencil. Through discussion and reflection, pupils are persuaded to work at a level and with a concentration not usually associated with such young children. They develop their mark-making skills and begin to understand concepts such as line and tone.

This is a programme that contains a wealth of visual and factual information that will help with setting up drawing projects from nursery to Year 6. It is of particular value to non-specialist teachers.

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