Tag Archives: self portrait

Off with their heads!!! 

Off with their heads!!! 

I love these playing card self portraits so much! You can find examples of these all over the Internet on the art Ed blogs. They are always great and I decided to try my hand at them with my 5th graders. I believe I attempted this with some older kids many years ago when I taught middle school grades but these are turning out much better than I remember.  🙂

We used photo booth on the Mac to take their pictures – printed out two copies (unless they wanted to be a joker) and then they drew their own designs. I put up examples of playing cards to help them but they could do their own thing if they wanted. 



Here are some of the finished pieces!


Third Grader Snow Angels

Third Grader Snow Angels

This is an awesome Winter lesson from Deep Space Sparkle to do with your art students. Cut paper, painting, self-portraiture, and more! The kids loved it and what made it even better is that it snowed right in the middle of our project so they got to experience going out and making snow angels! That’s a rare day where I live. 
The first day of this project we made ourselves out of cut paper. The second day we painted the snow angel outlines and filled them in before gluing ourselves back into them. Then we added a little sparkle for some snow magic!! ❄️❄️❄️


But first, let me take a selfie…


I hope everyone’s first week back went well and that you had a nice recovery over Labor Day weekend!
I had a great first week but I’ll admit that doing the same rules and procedure spiel for almost 34 classes in one week was insanity-inducing. Thank goodness for my prezi – it really saved the day for me and the kids seemed to enjoy it too.
The first project of the year really went over well. I always like to try to get at least a little bit of art in even on the first day. Over the years I’ve become a softie and I just couldn’t handle the looks of sadness when we “ran out of time” that first class. So I’ve made it my mission the last few years to find or come up with a small first day project. Click here to check out last year’s. At some point over the summer I came across this on Pinterest:

I loved it of course and thought it would make a great point of jumping off into self portraiture. So we chatted about selfies and how the cool kids (artists) have been making them forever and it’s really nothing new. Then I gave them an outline of a cellphone and they had to draw a “selfie” for me to hang up on one big board. I managed to get pretty much every kid in the school on there. The kids loved it. The teachers and parents have enjoyed seeing them. And I managed to successfully squeeze in an art lesson on the first day. Mission accomplished. Check it out!


Random photo, I know, but I saw this as I was walking into school during the first week and I just loved it. Graffiti would be so much more socially (and legally) acceptable if it was as positive and sweet as this:


Draw Big or Go Home


The first graders did such a great job on their snow day self portraits, I decided to do this lesson I saw on Art Projects for Kids. It can difficult to get children to draw big sometimes, so really forcing the issue and giving them specific measurements and requirements helped. We followed APFK’s directions for the most part but I gave them options for a couple of variations as well.
In the first class, we discussed Chuck Close and his amazing paintings. Next we drew our pictures with pencil and then traced with Sharpies. That pretty much took up the whole class so next week we will paint them. I’ve already had kids asking if they have to paint their real skin color or if they could paint crazy colors. I really don’t care either way. Just looking at the drawings, I know they will be super cute and filled with personality!









Snow Day Art


(For real this time!)
So, I know I joked on our pitiful snow day but it did actually snow that night! We had a great time waiting and watching. I had just as much fun with the first graders, drawing self portraits in the snow!
Originally I had planned for this to be a directed drawing. But after the art conference I attended, I decided to have a go with asking the kids a question and their response is the artwork. After discussing self portraits with them, I asked them, “if you drew a self portrait in the snow, what would it look like?” They did such a great job with this! There were kids making snow angels, some having snowball fights, some riding sleds, and some up close and personal portraits of sweet smiles and ear muffs.
We used construction paper crayons on black paper.











We also took time at the end of class to point out some great things about each others artwork. The kids had some very thoughtful points to make and they all enjoyed it.

And check out some real snow pictures!




Art Journal: Dia de Los Muertos

Art Journal: Dia de Los Muertos

Fifth graders are going to turn themselves into calaveras for Dia de Los Muertos. We are starting this week so I’ll post pictures when we are finished. Here’s my example, step by step.

After I took my photo with Photobooth, I cropped it in pretty close, edited it to make it much brighter and then printed it out as a 5×7.

Draw on the colorful decorations. They usually include circles or flowers around the eyes and the holes on the nose like a skull.

After gluing my face into my journal, I used painted paper to make flowers to go around my face. Another option would be a black top hat with a flower in it.

The last step is to use a sharpie – I used a metallic gold because my page was a dark brown – and add lots of designs, kind of like zentangles.


Here are some student examples. I love how they are turning out. Some of them are also learning the valuable lesson of *less is more*.






Ancient Egyptian Royal Portraits


I’ve been doing this project for years and the kids always do such a great job. They always find the history of Egypt interesting and they always have so many great questions. These are “in progress” so I’ll repost their finished pieces later.







Mad Scientists!


I can’t wait to explain this project! 😀

Okay, so our school’s bookfair is coming up and the theme is “Story Laboratory” and there are mad scientists on the loose, crazy bugs flying around, and beakers of unidentified concoctions overflowing. I love helping out with bookfair decor and this year should be lots of fun.

1st graders will be making bug jars, 2nd grade will be making painted paper beakers, 5th graders have already started on some genetically modified bugs, and 3rd grade will be turning themselves into mad scientists whose brains love to READ! I’m posting step-by-step pictures of my example and I’ll add some of their’s when we finish. 🙂

First, I will take their pictures with Photobooth on my Mac. Of course they will be instructed to look as crazy/mad scientisty as possible.


Next, they will cut out their heads and shoulders and then cut off the top of their heads, where the brain will be hanging out.



I’m using peachy colored paper for the brain, which I know is not accurate but it’s more colorful than gray. Don’t forget to add the arms to hold the book!


After gluing the brain and arms together, they will glue themselves to their background. I’m going to go ahead and give them a background to work on while I take their pictures at the beginning of class.



I use a little 4×6 piece of white paper to make the book. I’ll encourage them to make the cover of their favorite book. Just glue that onto the hands and you’re done!


I think these are going to turn out so great! The classes that have already seen my example are excited. I’ll post again when we are finished.