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Friday 7 August 2015


"Myself" is a great theme to begin the school year. Children love to draw pictures of themselves and the people who mean the most to them. It is a great way for their teacher to learn about the important people in their life and a great way to begin to get to know them!

I found this book in 'Tiger' in Newbridge during the week.

Sometimes (especially around the 1st/2nd class mark) children get very hung up about not being able to draw the 'perfect' self-portrait. "I can't do it", "I don't look like that"- this tends to occur when children are moving from the schematic stage to drawing realism (http://www.learningdesign.com/Portfolio/DrawDev/kiddrawing.html). I think this book is a great starting point for creativity as it removes the dreaded white paper!

Mirrors for Self Portraits

A few years ago I invested in a class set of mirrors. They can be expensive- but a good way to get around this is to buy a multi pack of mirrors. (Just check for sharp edges).

Samples of packs of mirrors:



Emotional Issues in Self Portraits

I always get children to spend time studying their faces- usually they love this! It is a great discussion to hear what the children think about their image- and can often uncover issues of low self-esteem.

Self Portraits also show the child's sense of self-
Children should be able to draw how their body looks- i.e. head, body and arms and legs from about the age of 5.
More details- such as fingers etc will be added later.

Signs of Impulsivity:
  •  Poor integration of parts
  • Gross asymmetry of limbs
  • Transparencies
  • Big figure
  • No neck
Signs of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy:
  • Slanted figure
  • Tiny head
  • Hands cut off
  • Monstrous or grotesque figure
  • No arms, legs and/or feet
Signs of anxiety:
  • Shading of the face, body, limbs, hands or neck (or a combination)
  • Legs pressed together
  • No eyes
  • Clouds, rain or flying birds
Signs of shyness and timidity:
  • Tiny figure
  • Short arms
  • Arms clinging to body
  • No nose and/or mouth
Signs of anger:
  • Crossed eyes
  • Teeth
  • Long arms
  • Big hands
  • Nude figures, exposed genitals or sexual content

Famous Artist Portraits for Children to Respond to:

Van Gogh- Self Portrait

Leonardo Do Vinci, Mona Lisa- Portrait of a Person

What colours? Patterns? Questions about emotions?

Picasso- Abstract Portraits

Children can draw their own self portrait- from straight on. Then they draw a profile portrait and stick it on top. 

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