“scary” self portraits


Inspired by this project found on pinterest, my kids did another round of self-portraits. We’ve done a lot of process-oriented art (pendulum painting, spin art, Jackson Pollock-inspired paintings), but this abstract art resonated with them more than most, I think. It was really interesting watching them experience the whole process.


I printed out 8.5×11″ color photos of each child that I took on the playground that morning. With some help from the children, I taped each photograph on the table with a clear transparency over it, and asked the children to draw over the shapes and lines they saw in their faces and bodies. Quickly, most of the children noticed the buttons on their shirts were circles, and also that the shapes in their faces weren’t exactly what they had memorized them to be.



When the children removed the transparencies from the photographs below, they were shocked. “It looks scary!” they said. Some of them even tried to fix it, making the photo more like the clip art version of people they have gotten used to drawing.

We mounted the photos on our wall on top of some of our paintings from our pendulum. This week, for our final portrait project of this school year, we are going to set up a provocation with several different mediums to see which the children prefer, and how their projections of themselves have changed over time (over the past two years for some of our kids(: ).  What is your favorite self portrait project?


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