Posted on March 29th 2021
Art - Take a Long Hard Look at Yourself
In line with their ‘Identity’ project this half term, Year 10 Art students analysed the work of young British artist Kelvin Okafor.
Okafor is known for his meticulously detailed, hyper-realistic portraits which are created solely using the humble pencil. Okafor’s painstaking portraits often take him around 300 hours to complete and are created entirely from memory.
During virtual learning, our Year 10 Art students set about practising and experimenting with Okafor’s techniques and processes. In line with this, students learnt about the mathematical proportions of the face, whilst also refining their application of tone.
Students focused on one facial feature per lesson, gaining hints, tips, and instructions for creating a realistic tonal drawing. Students were encouraged to create one sustained drawing of their facial features, experimenting with the direction of light.
My skills have developed so much during this project.
During the eight-week period, students observational drawing and tonal skills improved significantly, and the quality of work was truly outstanding! Students are working towards creating enlarged tonal portraits, which will form part of an exhibition at the end of the academic year – we cannot wait to see what they produce!
One student said: “I have never felt confident drawing people, but my skills have developed so much during this project, and I am so proud of the work I have produced. I didn’t know you could get such a realistic effect just using a pencil – I will never think of this simple material in the same way!”
Ms Rumball, Art Teacher
Picture - Some of the skilful portraits created by Year 10, inspired by artist Kelvin Okafor.