I’d never taught a self-portrait before and thought it was time to try one. I say try, because I didn’t really set high expectations about the results. I wanted the kids to have a good experience though.
I read the book “What is a Self-Portrait?” by Ruth Thomson to prepare the kids about what is expected. We didn’t have to go through the whole book. Since this was their first self-portrait, the information from the first 4 pages of the book was sufficient. After covering the basics of a self-portrait, the book goes to explain the different emotions and ways self-portraits are drawn. A good read, and I might definitely choose it again for our next version of portraits.
When we read the part where artists observe themselves in the mirror to draw, I handed a mirror to the kids and helped them observe themselves. I started demonstrating on the white board how different features can be drawn and prompted them to observe the particular shape of their own features. This took a bit of time but the kids found it amusing given the subject of the lesson. They had such fun analysing their own features before they got ready to draw and paint.
End of the day, I had these wonderful self portraits. What I love best about this project is that each art work has it’s own characteristics and I bet each of them closely resemble the artist themselves…