Expressive Portraits Project

You will have 1.5 hours to complete your Year 9 Art exam. It will be completed at the start of your second project ‘Humans’. During the project you will look at portraiture, famous Artists and the human figure. During the exam you will be required to produce a detailed observational self portrait.

WHEN?: In lessons, between the 8th and 19th of January

TASK:  To draw a distorted or emotional portrait.

You will be drawing a distorted or emotional portrait in a medium of your choice (tone, biro, paint, collage etc.). An emotional portrait may be somebody smiling, crying, screaming or pulling a face. A distorted portrait may be ripped, cut, squashed etc. This must take up at least half a page in your book. You must bring in your own picture. You will earn more marks if this is a picture you have taken yourself as this will show off your photographic skills. If you do not bring in an image you will have to use a mirror.


You will be assessed on your ability to draw accurately from observation, your tonal shading and the accuracy and detail of your drawings.

  • All features will be in proportion (will be in the right place)
  • A wide range of tone will be used
  • A high level of detail will be shown
  • The shape of the face and features will be correct
  • You will bring in an image to work from

TIME: You will have 90 mins to complete this task.


For preparation for the exam you will need to practise your tonal shading and observation skills. You could make a range of drawings before the exam to practice the proportions of the face.

  • Practice your shading skills
  • Practice drawing hair and facial features
  • Bring in an emotional/distorted picture
  • Listen to advice given in class on drawing portraits
art image 1 art image 2