PPT Chuck Close

July 5, 1940
• Visual artist, who used inventive
techniques to paint the human
• Best known for his large scale,
photo-realistic portrait paintings.
He has also has done printmaking,
watercolor, finger painting, paper
collage, and pastels.
• Suffering from severe dyslexia,
Close did poorly in school but
found solace in making art.
Graduated from University of
Washington with a B.A. and then
received his M.A. from Yale
Working from a gridded photograph,
he builds his images by applying one
careful stroke after another in multicolors or grayscale.
He works methodically, starting his
loose but regular grid from the left
hand corner of the canvas. His works
are generally larger than life and
highly focused.
Close suffers from Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, in which he is unable to
recognize faces. By painting portraits, he is better able to recognize and remember faces.
“The choice not to do something is in a funny way more positive than the choice to
do something. If you impose a limit to not do something you've done before, it will
push you to where you've never gone before.”
By the late
1960s, Close
and his photorealist pieces
entrenched in
the New York
City art scene.
Although his later paintings differ in method from his earlier canvases, the preliminary
process remains the same. To create his grid work copies of photos, Close puts a grid
on the photo and on the canvas and copies cell by cell.
In 1988, Chuck Close was paralyzed following
a rare spinal artery collapse, since then he has
continued to use a brush holding device
strapped to his wrist and forearm.
His biggest fear was that, "Since I'll
never be able to move again, I
would not be able to make art. I
watched my muscles waste. My
hands didn't work."
However, Close continued to paint with a
brush strapped onto his wrist with tape,
creating large portraits in low-resolution grid
squares created by an assistant
Viewed from afar, these squares appear as a
single, unified image
"Art saved my life in two ways,"
the artist says today with
undiminished enthusiasm. "It
made me feel special, because I
could do things my friends
couldn't, but it also gave me a way
to demonstrate to my teachers
that, despite the fact that I
couldn't write a paper or do math,
I was paying attention."
• Drawing a realistic self portrait using the grid
method that Chuck Close was known for
• Learning about value and mark making, creating a
value scale to use as a tool
• Creating viewfinders to help with focusing on one
square at a time
• Developing your skills in observational
drawing…drawing what you see!
This project will be worth 100 points, and be a formal grade.
Fulfills Assignment: Create a grid on both your photo and final drawing paper. Complete a
self portrait filling in values in each square. Completes all prep work including sketches,
mark making and value activities; completes a self evaluation worksheet and participates
in class critique.
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Creativity and Originality: How original, daring, and inventive is your drawing? Did you put
effort in being creative and using your own style and drawing skills?
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Elements and Principles: Were the elements and principles of art used to make the visual
elements work well (value, texture, pattern)? Did you show an understanding of art
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Effort and Craftsmanship: Is the work neat, clean, organized and presented well, and done
with effort and care? Did you take your time in creating the grid and completing each
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Work Habits: Did you stay on task, pay attention to presentations, participate in
discussion? Was the student cooperative? Did the student act appropriately and provide
appropriate feedback? Was the student respectful of supplies, materials, space, and
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