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Playful Portraits

Drawing Studio, VCUQatar

Faculty leader

Jesse Payne, Assistant Professor

This project presented an opportunity for students to get to know one another through the experience of drawing. Through this exercise students were able to develop instant relationships with classmates through the exercise of intense observation. Staring into a classmate’s eyes and observing every nuance of detail in their face inevitably brings laughter and joy in the process. Students were exposed simultaneously to the joy of drawing and the embarrassment of appearing unable to draw well. Through these portraits students were brought together and cultural barriers were broken down through the shared experience of drawing.

Although this was a simple, fun, easy, and playful way to produce drawings, the project offered many learning opportunities. The process of completing a blind contour drawing allowed students the opportunity to strengthen their hand-eye coordination while gaining confidence in their mark-making skills and improving their ability to see the world around them. This process is beneficial for advanced and novice artists alike.