Archive | November, 2009

2nd Grade: Self Portraits

24 Nov

In Mrs. Johnson’s Art Room, 2nd Graders created a portrait from memory first, without any drawing instruction (called a “preliminary portrait”).

Then, we looked at artists who had created self portraits from observation:

Frida Kahlo, "Self Portrait with Monkey" (

Vincent van Gogh, "Self Portrait" (

Pablo Picasso, "Self Portrait" (

Then, students used mirrors to draw from observation – the challenge is to draw exactly what you see! We also discussed tips for drawing each facial feature and part of the portrait. We found that a face is really made up of a series of measurements:

Proportions of the head (

After drawing and coloring the portraits, students added an expressive background using the wet-on-wet watercolor painting technique. Here are some examples of our work:

Compare the preliminary portrait with the final portrait!






1st Grade: Kandinsky Compositions!

24 Nov

In Mrs. Johnson’s Art Room, 1st Graders viewed and discussed the abstract artwork of Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky.

The Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

Students identified lines, shapes, and colors found in Kandinsky’s artworks. Here are some examples of artworks we viewed:

Kandinsky, "Improvisation 7" (

Kandinsky, "Small Pleasures" (

Brainstorm: Can you identify some of the lines you see in these artworks? What does this artwork remind you of?

Then, using different types of thick and thin lines and blended colors, students created their own Kandinsky-inspired compositions! Here are some examples of student work: