Artist Julie Bennett demonstrates how she works on a self-portrait using a photographic reference. She discusses the colours, layering and mixing of paint and talks about the impact on different areas of the painting in some detail, emphasising the amount of time she spends on a piece to get it to a finished state.

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Students could paint self-portraits using similar techniques to the artist; using photographic reference, starting with base colours and building colours on top of these. Students may previously have worked with flatter use of colour, so there is opportunity to compare these techniques and comment on their effectiveness. They could then discuss the importance of ‘looking’ at your work, both during its creation and when it is complete. This could help students build up their critical judgement skills.