self portraits in pen and paint (check out the background)

Self portraits are a time honoured way to assess development and growth in kindergarten. 

They are also a wonderful tool to exercise observation skills, a vehicle of self expression, and way to develop the artist self.

They also transform a bulletin board into a gallery.

Step 1.  Learn from experts.

We watched a  couple of Youtube videos.

We remembered that this was only one artist's way of drawing a person. We learn from how other people draw and paint, but we all have our own style.

Step 2.  Draw a self portrait. 

We used half an 8 1/2x11" piece of heavier bond copy paper. 

The kids could choose to draw with a jiffy marker, a pencil and then trace over their lines, or a pencil and I would trace over their lines. 

When the drawing was done, we were ready to paint. 

Get out the paints.

For this project, we used tempera paint cakes, or paint pucks.

I set the paint up with different paint colours on different tables. I wanted the kids to be thoughtful and intentional about what colours they used. 

Purposeful movement in the classroom also helps wee artists focus.

When the paintings were dry, I cut them out to draw attention to the shape of each child's portrait.

make the backgrounds
I saw a photo on Pinterest of kids' paintings on a  background of their names. (Can't manage to find the link right now, but will add it as soon as I track it down.) I just LOVED the idea, and had to do it with my kids' paintings.

I am sure that there are lots of ways to do make name backgrounds, but this is how I did it.

• put 1 1/2" border all around the page (I wanted to mount the background on 8 1/2x11" scrapbook paper, so needed to be able to cut the background smaller)
• centred the text and  typed the students name, leaving 3 spaces between each name
• after I filled a row, copied and pasted for the rest of the page

glue everything together
The painted portraits were glued onto the name backgrounds, and the backgrounds were glued onto coloured scrapbook card.

We have a gallery of kindergarten self portraits.


1 comment

  1. I LOVE those, Sandi!
    Gluing them onto the name backgrounds is brilliant.


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