Single Line Portrait 

What you’ll need:

Mirror, paper, pencil, flexible wire (for example, Twistees, flower wire, telephone wire, or craft store wire)

Alexander Calder often made portraits of people he knew, and sometimes celebrities, using wire to create his lines. He often thought about sculpting with wire as drawing in space.

See if you can create a portrait of yourself or a friend, inspired by Calder’s process!

  1. Find a piece of paper and a pencil. Choose a subject, either your own face in a mirror, or have a friend pose for you, and focus on your model’s head and face.
  2. The challenge will be to NOT look at your paper while you draw. Only look at the lines and shapes you can notice in your subject’s face. Using your pencil, draw your subject in one line, without picking up your pencil from the paper. You can double back and go over lines you’ve already made, but try not to break your line. Follow the curves, lines and shapes of your subject’s face with your pencil.
  3.  When you’re done, look down at the paper. How does it look? Can you see the same shapes and lines in your drawing that you noticed in your subject’s face? What looks the same or different?