Modigliani Soft Pastel Portraits

Term: 4 Year: 2013

Earlier in the year students had completed self portraits.

These were developed over time with particular attention given to the ‘mathematics’ of the face as a tool to create proportion and perspective.


Students studied a series of Modigliani’s portraits with a focus on identification of the artistic features and techniques that created his unique style.


Working from staff photos students developed a chalk sketch attempting to draw on the understandings they had developed through earlier self portraits and extending this to attempt a stylistic representation reminiscent of a Modigliani portrait. Once happy with the base sketch, students explored the blending potential of oil pastels to create rich tones and backgrounds. Dark outlines were added as final touches.


A very successful activity allowing extension of skills and exploration of the potential of oil pastels as a medium. Working on a black background gave warmth and depth to the colours used.  A great example of a student’s recognition and interpretation of artistic style.

Lisa Blanch
Our Lady of Good Council, Deepdene
Suitable for level 4