Personal Narratives TRACK: Lesson 6, Levels of Pain


Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale


  • “Pain” can be interpreted in so many different ways, read the dictionary definition to get you started.
  • Pain can be physical, mental, or both at the same time, consider what point of view you want to portray.
Female Torso Reference- Linda 04
Flickr album: Female Torso, Linda
  • While you can portray this from your own experience, it doesn’t have to be about something that happened to you.
  • The levels don’t have to be represented as clear cut, even increments. In fact, the levels might be disparate and non linear.


From Prof Lieu’s RISD Freshman Drawing class: Rachel Hahn, Alex Kiesling, Skye Ray, Nicole Xu

“I focused on the back problems I’ve developed in the past year due to my job but also possibly related to an ATV accident I was in as a child.

This is probably the piece that was most difficult technically as well as emotionally so I’m very proud of how it came out.”

Manette Eaton
brainstorming & Sketching
Brainstorming for Artists
Casey Roonan
art media & format
  • Use any art media, 2D and/or 3D.
  • You might consider a format that allows for multiple images in a single artwork: a triptych, a 4 panel comic, etc.

Does My Art Need to Have Meaning?

Many artists wonder whether their art has to have “deep meaning” to be valid. Does art have to have a meaningful message in order to be art, or can art be a purely visual experience for the artist and viewer?

Who determines what art needs to have, the artist, the audience, both? Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Cat Huang and Lauryn Welch.

43 min. video

“Bad” Illustrations

What is a “bad” illustration? This video shows a broad range of illustrations, and the opinions of several artists as to why the artworks are effective or not.

The thoughts of each artist on the illustrations then stimulates a discussion on why a specific illustration is successful or not.

Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Jordan McCracken-Foster and Cat Huang.

47 min. video

Show us what you make!

Mixed Media Acrylic Painting, Lauryn, banner