Juan Miguel Ramos: Drawing and Photoshop

Juan Miguel Ramos: Drawing and Photoshop

Fall 2002 resident artist, Juan Miguel Ramos, develops multimedia projects which utilize video, photography, Sharpie® drawings, and text to question stereotypes and to suggest the nature of identity.

In this activity, you will gain a basic understanding of Photoshop tools and how the program may be able to benefit your creative process. Using self-portrait contour drawings and overlaying them onto a photo, you will create a digital drawing inspired by the work of Juan Miguel Ramos.


Black Marker (Sharpies work best!)
Computer with Photoshop (or equivalent program)

Additional Materials
Scanner or Smartphone


  1. Using your mirror, paper, and pencil, draw a contour line self-portrait. Erase any unwanted lines and outline your drawing in marker. “What is a contour line drawing?” you ask. A contour drawing uses only lines to describe the form of a figure and includes all edges of the interior detail.
  2. Scan the drawing or upload a well-lit, clear photo of your drawing to your computer and open in Photoshop or equivalent program.
  3. Decide on a background image and open it in Photoshop.
  4. Edit your drawing using the Eraser tool (or Magic Wand) to remove the background and use the Paint Bucket and Brush tools to add color. If you’ve inadvertently created additional Layers, merge them once your editing is complete.
  5. With the magic of Photoshop, copy and paste your self-portrait layer onto your background image. Find the best placement for your portrait on top of the background. Consider cropping, enlarging, and shrinking the portrait and or background.
  6. Create a title for your composition and share on social media – tag us: @artpace, #ArtpaceAtHome; #MakeArtHappen.

To read about Juan Miguel Ramos’ 2002 International Artist-in-Residence exhibition, Southside Loteria, and view the complete TEKS-aligned Drawing and Photoshop lesson plan and others, please visit our Educator Resources page.

Student examples. Courtesy of Juan Miguel Ramos.
2020 Sample by Artpace Teen Council member Sophia Arocho