Close-Ups Painting Project

By The Arty Teacher - December 10, 2018

Students had a choice of different starting points.  Jess, aged 16 chose the theme ‘Close-Ups’.

Above, on her title page, Jess has shown a wide range of artists that have created close-ups.  Jess then decided to concentrate on Domenico Gnoli.  Presenting pictures of his work (see below) and information on a double page spread she has also included artists’ analyses.  The shoe toe-tip in the bottom left-hand corner and the blue and red tie in the top right corner are her own paintings.  Jess has worked in the same medium as her artist so that she can learn from going through the process that Gnoli has gone through.

Below are close-ups of Jess’s close-ups!

Jess found the shoes particularly appealing and did another analysis (below).  This allowed her to continue practising her painting skills.


Continuing to take inspiration from Gnoli’s work Jess took close-up photographs of plaited hair.  Photography counts towards the ‘Recording’ assessment objectives so it is important that the photos are of good quality.  Note how they mirror Gnoli’s work so there is also a link being made to the artist.


Both of the pages above have Jess’s own work on.  She experimented with both pen and pencil.  Details are shown below.


Wanting to explore more than one idea Jess photographed a wide range of stiletto shoes, choosing to continue to take inspiration from Gnoli by arranging them and photographing a rear view.

Close-Ups photography

Experimenting now with pencil crayon Jess worked from these new photographs.

Close-Ups coloured pencil drawing

Next Jess presented three different composition ideas. See below.


Deciding that acrylic would be her medium for her final piece Jess practised painting the shoes below.  She knew that she painted slowly (perhaps this is why she gets such great results!) and she was reassured that it would be okay to produce just one painting but if she did more she could arrange them into any of the compositions above.

Below is the final piece which took 10hrs to complete.  It is 15cm x 18cm.

If you would like to reward your high-achieving students and raise the profile of your art department by publishing student work on this blog, do get in touch. Work would need to have been released by the exam board.

For a Free Presentation for Art Teachers on the theme of ‘Close-Ups’ click below.

Close-Ups Presentation

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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