Now and then we like to enjoy a tutorial in the style of a particular artist. Today, we celebrate the popular 20th century artist, Norman Rockwell. His birthday is February 3, 1894. He is known for his paintings of every day American life, portraits of famous Americans, plus funny, beautiful and nostalgic scenes of family times. For you, a Norman Rockwell Chalk Art Tutorial.
In honor of one of America’s most favorite artists, Norman Rockwell, we will paint his iconic “self portrait.” Please know that this is a fun and excellent way to ‘paint’ a portrait of yourself – not once, but three times in one painting!
Norman Rockwell Chalk Art Tutorial Self Portrait
- Chalk pastels
- Paper – You may use printer paper, white construction paper or .
- You will need a black pastel (Note: A piece of , which is a long, skinny chalk or even a sharp corner of your regular pastel will make the beginning of your portrait easier.)
- Pastel for shirt color – Next, decide what color you want your shirt to be. Mine is blue.
- Skin colored pastel – You will also need the appropriate skin colored pastel and a pastel close to your own hair color.
Step 1: Take your black pastel and draw your head in the lower right of the paper. Your head is closer to the viewer, so it will be bigger. Then draw your left shoulder slanted downward. Also draw your neck. Next, your right shoulder is upwards, close to your ear. The right arm is next, extended upward. Then the hand – looks like a wave to someone – but this is the hand holding the chalk!
Step 2: Next you draw the box-shaped portrait canvas, extending up from the midpoint of the top of the head and almost to the top of the paper.
Your mirror is next. The mirror is an egg-shaped one that starts to the left of the head and curves around behind the canvas.
Step 3: Now the fun begins! First, paint your portrait on the canvas! Place your face as if it is only partially seen, most of it in front of the head. Then draw your reflection in the mirror.
Step 4: Add your hair to the figure closest to the viewer – do you have ponytails, short hair or wear a ball cap? Do you wear glasses as I do? Are your eyes dark brown or green? Don’t try to make your “self” accurate, just have fun and make an “impression” of yourself. Look at my portrait. I am a proud grandmother yet there I am looking like a Harry Potter with gray hair. Add the color for your shirt and any finishing touches.
Wow! Your painting is great and I love how you used your colors to make your portrait come “alive.” Be sure to sign your name in the corner, flip it over and give your portrait a name and date it too. Share this painting with your family and hang it up where you can see it and admire your work.
Remember, you ARE an artist!
More on Artist Norman Rockwell
The “Four Freedoms” gallery at Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Visitors Bureau. All rights reserved.
Learn more about Norman Rockwell from the Norman Rockwell Museum website.
Norman Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio (interior). Photo by Jeremy Clowe. ©Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.
On one of our trips to the World of Coca-Cola in nearby Atlanta, Georgia, we had the privilege of seeing several original Norman Rockwell paintings. The World of Coca-Cola always has an art exhibit and we were so glad we got to see those original Coca-Cola Santa paintings and more by Rockwell while they were on display there.
We have several more tutorials in the style of famous artists. Browse and see!
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Featuring You! You ARE an Artist!
- A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons are here: 100+ Free Art Lessons for All Ages plus the video The Very Few Must Have Supplies for Chalk Pastel Art. A simple set is very affordable. Nana also teaches acrylic lessons.
- The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.
Do you and your artists learn best with a video art tutorial? Find our Art Techniqes with Chalk Pastel Video Art Lessons at ChalkPastel.com!
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-originally published 2016