Tag Archives: portrait

Reindeer Portraits


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I like to accommodate teacher requests when feasible. This is one of those lessons. One of our preschool teachers came and asked if we could do reindeer portraits. She sent me an example of what she wanted and this is what I came up with.

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Students followed a directed draw with me. The first class painted using tempera paint which was too dark to see the features they had drawn.

With the next class, we used watercolor paint for the brown of the reindeer and tempera for the rest. While these 4 year olds did an amazing job, I think I would have them go back over their lines after the painting dried. It may just be that this lesson is better suited for kindergarten or first grade.


Klimt Pattern Portraits



Second grade students learned about Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918). They looked at portraits by Gustav Klimt today. His portraits are interesting with their simple faces and complex patterns.

Students were directed to draw their own face. They could add hands if they wanted to. Once that was complete, they were encouraged to fill in their picture with lots of patterns and lines. When they finished drawing, they painted with tempera paint leaving the face white.

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While we did not have any gold leaf handy, we did have several bottles of sparkly glitter paint (an art room donation) that students could use if they chose to.

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Explorer Portraits



The Social Studies books come with decks of cards. The teachers use them for all sorts of things. I like to use them for portraits. For fourth grade, we looked at the early CAlifornia Explorers. For fifth grade, they look at the explorers of the world. I have had the students use chalk pastel, colored pencil or marker for this lesson.

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They frame their portraits in interesting borders and use a name ribbon across the picture so that viewers know who the explorer is.


Student used the social studies cards for reference or they could find other images of their explorer.

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