Inspired by Kehinde Wiley

Materials: large decorative paper with patterns already printed on them, oil pastels, mixed media paper (any paper that works with acrylic, I like Canson), pencils, acrylic paint, paint trays, paint brushes, mirrors, sponge brushes/regular brushes with mod podge or school glue OR a glue stick, an iPad to view images of Kehinde Wiley’s work/ printouts of his work for showing the children

  1. add to the decorative paper’s pattern with oil pastels, making it the child’s own/enhancing the existing pattern (I did this with four and five year olds but with older children they could make the entire background on their own)
  2. model drawing the outline of your face, hair, ears, neck and shoulders for the children
  3. provide mirrors, and invite the children to use pencil to draw the same on their clean white paper (not the decorative background)
  4. provide premixed variety of skin tones and hair colors in acrylic paint, and emphasize the possibility to adjust them and make sure they match each child’s skin- children paint in skin, neck, and hair (no details on the face yet)
  5. when step four is dry, model how to draw the parts of the face and don’t forget to mention every detail (some children don’t realize they have white in their eyes, or eyelashes, or nostrils for example!)
  6. with pencil and mirror in hand, the children draw the parts of their face
  7. paint the parts of the face and shirt with acrylic (you could set out a variety of paint colors in paint trays, or set up a “paint store” of colors they will likely need in condiment cups and they can come get what they want)
  8. when the face is dry, cut it out for the children (don’t let them chop up their precious paintings!!! this is a painting lesson- they can practice cutting in a different project!), or if children are older they can do it
  9. children can glue the portrait to the background

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