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I do this with my unit on Chuck Close and I show them a video on Close which
shows he and his assistants laying grids over the 20x24" Polaroid portraits
and laying the portrait grid on canvas. Having my students enlarging their
portraits for painting does:
1: get involved with math (not a bad idea since artists use math all the
time in various ways)
2: gets them to think (something most middle schoolers have problems with).
I don't consider it a waste of time for them to draw the grid and I have no
way of knowing what it means to their future other than the fact that since
they are working on self-portraits I had not received any objections from
them. As a matter of fact their paintings were some of the best work they
did all year.
Lowry Middle School
North Tonawanda, NY
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