Lesson 4: Opie style portraits

Children create a self-portrait using lines and dots, in the style of contemporary British artist, Julian Opie.

Learning objective

  • To create a self-portrait

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught:

  • To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
  • To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • Be taught about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Before the lesson

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Some pupils will struggle to trace the outlines of their own face accurately. Encourage them to keep trying and not to give up if their first few attempts fail. All artists fail and this is how we learn.

Pupils working at greater depth: Other pupils may produce confident images very easily and could progress onto cutting coloured paper shapes for their portraits. They might look at more of Julian Opie’s work and go on to make other portraits with different facial expressions, or produce full-body images as Opie did.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Paul Carney,  
Art & Design specialist
Paul has 22 years experience of teaching art as a specialist subject in both Primary and Secondary schools. He is a council member with the National Society for Education and his expertise has led him to deliver CPD for leading…
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