Length of session: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Maximum group size: 32 pupils


  • Appreciation of the different stylistic techniques and conventions used by artists
  • Increased understanding of how to read clues in portraits
  • Awareness and appropriate use of art-specific vocabulary – colour, line, shape, form, 2D, 3D etc to improve visual literacy skills
  • Awareness of how identity is constructed and the choices that we all make in how we portray ourselves, including clothes, pose and symbolism
  • Improved speaking and listening skills


1. What is a portrait? Icebreaker activity using props to explore how clothing plays a role in constructing our image and how we feel about ourselves

2. Looking for clues in a selection of portraits and sculpture and learning how to read them

3. Investigating geometric shapes that are the basis of many portraits and sculptures. Thinking about the use of 2D and 3D in portraits

4. Clothes and pose. Exploring the role that body language and facial expression play in the composition of a portrait

5. Review. What would you want a portrait of yourself to look like? Think about shape, composition, pose, expression, clothes and accessories