Starting as early as Kindergarten, students are given the opportunity to draw from the model at least once every school year. These opportunities really help young children gain invaluable practice in seeing the human form more accurately, which ultimately strengthens their confidence in drawing any subject.
In first grade, students begin this lesson by looking at a charcoal self-portrait drawing by Pablo Picasso and comparing it to a portrait he did of his son, Paul, when Paul was about four years old in a work titled, Paul As Harlequin. Students were asked to explain the difference between a portrait and a self-portrait and how an artist could more easily render a likeness of themselves or another person. Here, students discussed that in order for Picasso to create a portrait of Paul, Paul needed to model for his father by posing in a very still position.
Students were told that they would be drawing from posing models and were delighted to find out that the models would be their fellow classmates! Students were given the opportunity to volunteer to model for the class in relaxed five minute poses, while the rest of the class was encouraged to focus only on drawing the pose as it appeared from their vantage point.