RAINY DAY activities learning about portraits

We have had a few rainy days scattered through the last few weeks.  I took the opportunity to come up with a few fun rainy day activities that consumed a large part of our house bound days.  These would work on sunny days too, but with spring approaching you might want to bookmark these to save. . .for a rainy day!

I found Drawing Head to Toe Self Portraits on a really cool art blog.  The blog Art for Small Hands is written by an art teacher.  The lessons are laid out in easy to follow instructions including;  age, tools and length of time for the activity.  I used the activity as a guide, but as usual M and M had different ideas of the direction their art would take.  You’ll notice my niece S joined this art experience, you’ll also notice she is quite a perfectionist.

what you need:  white construction paper ~ pen or pencil ~ crayons, markers or paint ~ full length mirror

While we were at breakfast I started talking about the difference between a portrait and a self portrait.  When I was ready to start the activity I set up the mirror near the art table.  I set three places with a piece of paper and a pencil.  I had the kids take turns standing in front of the mirror.

While they looked at their reflection I asked questions about their body. “What do you see when you look at your hair?  Where does your hair stop?  At your ear?  At your shoulder?”  I had them feel their arm, and tell me what they noticed.  I asked them to move their fingers and bend their knees.  The goal was really to get them aware of each body part.  Once they had some time to examine themselves, I sent them to the art table.  I had them complete the drawing before I offered other tools.  Big M chose colored pencils, Little M chose water colors and S chose markers.

Big M decided to make his a portrait of his cousin. . . no surprise there he adores her.  Can you see the little heart that is floating above her head?  He didn’t stop with that though, in his drawing S is also an alien.

S drew a beautiful self portrait.  At one point she ran to the mirror and returned to draw her ears.  I love that she even added the holes (no her ears are not pierced.)

Little M’s drawing is a bit more abstract… anyone surprised by that?  When I questioned her a bit about her stroke placements, I found out that she had a very specific plan.  She had drawn the dot dress she was wearing!  Fabulous!!!

It was really great to add S into the mix.  All three artists completed this activity is such different ways, it was fun to explore portraits with each of them.

Have you tried self portraits?  I want to hear all about it!

More Rainy Day Fun

Rainy Day Fun with Science
Umbrella Craft
Rain Walk: Rain Experiment with Kids


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