The Real Me Art Lesson: Celebrating who we are on the inside!

The Real Me Art Lesson: Celebrating who we are on the inside!

So way back when I first started teaching (cough cough, 15 years ago back in 2008, there was no Pinterest, no Instagram and very few blogs to gather lesson ideas. We all know the early years of teaching is rough, but when you have very limited access to other art teachers to share ideas with, and have to create everything from scratch it's really wild. So one of the first lessons I came up with on my own that was pretty proud of was a self portrait project that teaches students to not only draw their physical appearance but also an emphasis on who they are on the inside. Using collage, drawing, typography and various other techniques, this lesson was such a hit with my students!

Fast forward 11 years later, I had kind of forgotten about this lesson until I saw a specific illustration from one of my favorite illustrators and authors, Vanessa Brantley-Newton. I absolutely fell in love with this drawing of the little boy and all of the words of affirmation swirling in his head. It filled me with such joy and provided me with the reminder of teaching students it's not about what's on the outside, but the inside that matters! I knew I had to bring this lesson from my early years back!

With many updates and edits, I feel as though this lesson is new and improved and so adorable and meaningful for students of all ages! From mixing their own skin tones, to learning about facial proportions and how to draw and paint different types of hair textures and styles, to collaging and creating a inner self portrait inside their head- it's full of all the heart eyes and feels! You can find the full lesson here on my website, or in my TpT store (linked here). Please enjoy just some of these adorable photos of my students' work in progress and completed work! 

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  • Love this portrait lesson,

    Therese Turnage
  • What an amazing idea! Thank you for sharing!

  • Wonderful art lesson with so much depth!! Question: When you hung up the finished pieces, how did you hang them up so that the top part could be lifted open?

    Jenn Yegge

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