Picasso Style Self Portrait
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Picasso’s Blue Period paintings are great for seeing the power of color. A side self-portrait with lowered eyes in blues and greens makes for a great study. MATERIALS Picasso Blue Period PDF Tutorial Watercolor paper, 6″ x 9″ art journal size Black Sharpie marker Liquid watercolor, blue and green Brush   DIRECTIONS This project asks students to draw themselves looking down and off the page to increase the forlorn look that Picasso’s art had … Read More

Legos and Self Portraits
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I have used this as a first project of the year quite often the template helps all skill levels get off to a good start, and still has lots of room for creative interpretation. My template is left empty in the middle so students can alter the clothing pretty easily.   MATERIALS LEGO Template (see below) Printer Drawing paper Black Sharpie marker Crayons or Colored Pencils DIRECTIONS Print or copy a template for each … Read More

Half Portrait
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Every fall I look for a new twist on a self-portrait project to start the school year. MATERIALS Half Portrait Tutorial (see below) Drawing paper Pencil Black marker Crayons   DIRECTIONS Fold paper in half three times to create crease guide lines. Draw the half portrait according to the instructions on the tutorial. Note that many of the features of the face are meant to fall right on the crease lines. This will be … Read More

Half Portrait Tutorial
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Every fall I look for a new twist on a self-portrait project to start the school year. I like this one as the fold line guides will force them to fill their paper. MATERIALS Half Portrait Tutorial (see below) Drawing paper Pencil Black marker Crayons   DIRECTIONS Fold paper in half three times to create crease guide lines. Draw the half portrait according to the instructions on the tutorial. Note that many of the … Read More

Giant Chalk Self Portrait
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The idea of coloring with chalk over dried glue lines is not new to me, but trying it out on really large paper was. I loved how it let students draw with more control, so much more than if they had been working on a 9″x 12″ paper. We had no puddles or unrecognizable glue shapes anywhere. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • White glue • Chalk pastels DIRECTIONS 1. I … Read More

Giant Chalk Self Portrait
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The idea of coloring with chalk over dried glue lines is not new to me, but trying it out on really large paper was. I loved how it let students draw with more control, so much more than if they had been working on a 9″x 12″ paper. We had no puddles or unrecognizable glue shapes anywhere. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • White glue • Chalk pastels DIRECTIONS 1. I … Read More

Modigliani Self Portrait Tutorial
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I’ve made a Modigliani self portrait tutorial in hopes that it encourages more to try it out. Something about the distortion frees students up from getting overly fussy with their drawing, and thick pastels are the perfect media for imitating Modigliani’s rich dark paintings. • View and download Modigliani Tutorial MATERIALS Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ Oil pastels DIRECTIONS Cut the paper to 8″ x 18″. Fold the paper in half three times … Read More

Line Art Portrait eBook
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My Line Art Drawing eBook allows students to complete a painted portrait with just black and white lines. It also gives students a different approach to drawing practice, and is a great example of one of the elements of art (contrast) when complete. PDF FILE INCLUDES: • Thumbnail page of all faces, along with original painting for reference • 10 Face Pages: 5 women, 4 men and one child • 4 Sample Pages for … Read More

Pop Art Portraits
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Andy Warhol’s repetitive style is fun to duplicate and the perfect example for students to create their own repetitive drawings. MATERIALS • Laser prints of famous people • Acetate • Sharpie markers, assorted colors • Clear tape DIRECTIONS 1. Review some of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, etc. Collect several photos of celebrities or of the students themselves and copy in black and white. Let the student’s choose one photo, and … Read More

Big Eyes Self Portrait
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You may be familiar with the story of Margaret Keane as told in the 2014 movie “Big Eyes”, but did you know these other interesting facts? • Margaret painted children with over-sized doe like eyes as early as age 10, it was a life long fascination with her. • She was one of the most popular and successful artist of the 1960s (even Andy Warhol praised her work) and  during that time painted up … Read More

Portraits on Canvas
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This is my go-to project for art fundraisers. I’ve shared finished canvases before, but never a full tutorial, so here you go! The process is pretty simple once you understand it, and my mini-movie shows the final step of applying the art to the canvas. • View and download Portraits on Canvas Tutorial

Summer Self Portrait
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My 3rd and 4th graders are finishing their year long art journal books with summer self portraits. They are drawing themselves with reflections of what they will be seeing this summer. This task was super easy thanks to some little wooden glasses I found at Michaels. I love how they helped students draw nice size heads on their 6″ x 9″ paper. I’m going to order more of these little guys for next year, … Read More

Self Portraits, Modigliani Style
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This Modigliani self portrait project seems to work surprisingly well every time I try it. Something about the distortion frees students up from getting overly fussy, and thick pastels are the perfect media for imitating Modigliani’s rich dark look. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Cut the paper to 8″ x 18″. Fold the paper in half three times to make 8 equal sections as shown. Draw … Read More

Writing Portraits
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I found an amazing artist and illustrator, Nate Williams, who has a very childlike style that I think students will really relate to. (Check out the video on the Picture Book page on his site, it’s too cute!) I’m going to borrow his idea of primitive faces with writing for this creative self portrait project. Students draw a VERY simple profile head, with our without a hat, with simple neck and shoulders. About 3 … Read More

Creative Writing Portraits
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I found an amazing artist and illustrator, Nate Williams, who has a very childlike style that I think students will really relate to. (Check out the video on the Picture Book page on his site, it’s too cute!) I’m going to borrow his idea of primitive faces with writing for this creative self portrait project. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Black Sharpie marker • Crayons • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS Students draw a VERY simple profile … Read More

Abstract Self Portrait
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Here is an adaptation of my popular Abstract Face project for older students. It still has simple features that fill the face, but allows for some personalization with hair and shoulders, etc. I think it might make a good early self portrait project for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders as it bypasses all the fussy eye and mouth details that I see so many students get stuck with. • View and download Abstract Self … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self Portrait
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Here is an adaptation of my popular Abstract Face project for older students. It still has simple features that fill the face, but allows for some personalization with hair and shoulders, etc. I think it might make a good early self portrait project for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders as it bypasses all the fussy eye and mouth details that I see so many students get stuck with. • View and download Abstract Self … Read More

Mona Lisa Coffee Filter Portrait
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It’s possible to make really brilliantly colored paintings without expensive watercolor paper. Start with liquid watercolor paints, and paint on coffee filters. MATERIALS Mona Lisa PDF template Coffee filter Old steam iron Tape Black Sharpie marker Liquid watercolor paint Paper towels Plastic sheet, like a sleeve protector   DIRECTIONS PREP: Print out one Mona Lisa template for every student. Iron 9″ coffee filters to make them flat. 1, Tape one to the front of … Read More

Statue of Liberty Portrait
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I created this How to Draw the Statue of Liberty tutorial for kinders, who study US symbols in the spring of each year. Lady Liberty’s body and clothes would be pretty complex for them to draw (actually for anyone to draw), but her face and crown are pretty manageable if you just break them down into simple steps. What’s nice too is that it is accurate, there really are seven spikes coming out from … Read More

Lego Self Portrait
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The first art class of the year is often more of an intro to things, but I still like to offer a project that is creative and easy to finish. My plan is to challenge students to make their own Lego self portrait, which must contain something personal about their life or personality. I worked up this template that provides the basic block shapes of a Lego body, but may be altered for clothing, … Read More

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