Posted by: MiniMonets | February 23, 2019

Frida Kahlo Self Portraits

Greetings Parents!


This project is one of my very favorites and it’s one that happens each year with a different artist as our focus. This year for our self-portraits, we were inspired by the realistic self-portraits of Frida Kahlo. On the first day of our project, I read the book Me I Am by Jack Prelutsky. I begin this project each year by reading this book. It’s a great poem that shows the individuality of three children. I want each self-portrait to be as individual as the artist that is creating it. We start by drawing the shape of our heads. Next, we divide our faces into 4 pieces by using one vertical and one horizontal line. Before we place the parts of our faces, I like to introduce the 5 senses and we play a guessing game. I like to start with the eyes because there is a lot of detail; the iris that shows the color of our eyes, the pupil that we actually see through, then eyelashes that protect our eyes and eyebrows that show emotion. The eyes are placed on the horizontal line because they are half way from the top of the head and the bottom of the chin. Next is the sense of smell and drawing the nose, which is positioned below the eyes on the vertical line between each ear. There are so many different ways to make a nose and I saw many great ones in this project. Then we continued with our mouths and the sense of taste and after that was the sense of hearing with our ears. Most don’t realize that our ears reach from our eyes/eyebrows down to our noses. Our hair came next and if there was room, our bodies. For the background, I wanted the artists to illustrate their favorite places or to simply leave it blank. Since it was so close to Thanksgiving, I had many family pictures. Finally, we erased the guidelines on our faces and traced our pictures with black Sharpies.


For the second class of the project, we viewed a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo and read the book, Little People, Big Dreams: Friday Kahlo by Isabel Vegara. Kahlo was a Mexican artist who was injured in a bus accident in her teenage years. This left her in pain for most of her life and she found relief in painting herself. Her paintings were realistic and used many bright colors. To start our paintings, I gave the artists three to four colors to use to make a realistic skin color. Those colors are combining a small bit of red, yellow, and brown with white. Depending on the lightness or darkness of skin tone would depend on how

much white would be needed. They painted their skin first before receiving the rest of the colors; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, magenta, and white. Those colors would be used to paint the colors of their eyes, hair, and backgrounds.


The objective of this project is to use personal point of view and experiences as sources for creating art. During our next project, we will learn about warm and cool colors while studying the works of Georgia O’Keefe.

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