Assessment Task 3


Painting your Portrait

Research Task


Below is a brief overview of the requirements for this assessment task;

  • “In consultation with your class teacher, complete a variety of media explorations that investigate the relationships between concept and subject. These should be documented in your VAPD.
  • Brainstorm possible interpretations for your choice of subject. See suggested task guide here
  • Complete a series of investigative drawings (poses, locations etc) for your submission.
  • Complete either a single or multiple canvas image of your chosen subject. Be mindful of time constraints for this work”.


For more detailed information go to the relevant class page on Google classroom.

The Portrait worksheet for 2020 is available here

The Archibald Prize research task for 2020 is available here


The traditional notion of portraiture comes to us via historical contexts. It’s useful to remember that prior to the invention of photography the only method or means available to document the world and the people in it was primarily through painting and drawing. For now however lets focus on the means of representation.

What follows is an intentionally brief look at a range of representation.


Traditional notions of Portraiture.


Most of the works below are from the Renaissance era and conform closely to accepted notions of portrait representation in that the focus is centered on truth to empirical observation and flattery.


Modernist notions of Portraiture

Paintings from the Impressionist period (early modern) demonstrate a quick transitioning away from the ideals of the Renaissance era.

Works below are from Manet, Monet, Degas and Pissaro.



Post Impressionism.

Whilst the shift here is less obvious, the move toward a stronger focus on surface treatment and less concern with truth to form is evident.

Paintings from Pasternak, Van Gogh, Gaugin and Labasque.


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