Kindergarten Weeks 6 & 7 ~ Exploring Self Portraits


2.5  Use lines in drawings and paintings to express feelings.

2.6 Use geometric shapes/forms (circle, triangle, square) in a work of art.

Student Objectives:

Students will use lines, shapes and forms to create self portraits that express their feelings.


watercolor paper cut to 9″ x 12″ sheets, pencils, watercolor brushes and sets, paper towels, cups for water, oil pastels

(Some teachers added the tempera painting backgrounds by painting on another sheet of paper and later gluing them together.  This aspect reinforced color mixing and was quite successful.)


Day 1: 

We talked about our faces being made of shapes and lines.  We looked at ourselves in mirrors to study our unique features.

I had the children use their fingers to follow the ‘line’ that goes across their face at the same height as the top of their ears so that we could do our best to avoid eyes in our foreheads of our drawings.

We used pencils to lightly sketch our features while looking in the mirrors.

 photo 3 (8)             photo 5 (6)


Day 2:

We read the book about skin colors and that we are all different colors and how colors make us feel.

We discussed how to mix colors, the basics of the color wheel and watercolor studio techniques. (cleaning our brushes, using a paper towel, mixing colors in the tray and not the color well.)

I gave a demonstration on watercolors and how to mix them properly, add water to make the tones and to work in layers and allow an area to dry before painting over it with any details.

photo 1 (1)              photo 2 (4)            photo 2

photo 3 (1)              photo 4 (1)            photo 4 (5)



Some Kindergarten teachers wanted the students to add backgrounds using watercolor and oil pastels to make patterns about feelings.  The students added clues about themselves in writing below their portraits to see if their families could guess who they are during open house.  It was a huge success, and fun!

Here are some of those examples.

Grant's Class Display 2        Group of Self Portraits 2        Grant's Class display        Group of Self Portraits



Some Kindergarten teachers wanted to explore mixed media, using tempera for the background paintings, then gluing the watercolor portraits on top.  We enhanced some of our features using oil pastels if the artists chose to do so.

Displaying photo 3.JPG

Here is an example in progress of a background painting in progress:

photo 5 (5)

And a few examples of the final artwork from this exercise –  watercolor self portraits, tempera painted backgrounds and oil pastels to enhance details.

Trevena's Class 2       Trevena's Class        photo 5 (7)         Trevena Class


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