Fourth Graders Create Self-Portraits to Learn More About Themselves
Shana Ryback, LS Art
Portraits can tell us a lot about people—where and when they are from, what kind of life they lead, who they consider themselves to be—or even just how they are feeling at a particular moment. Fourth graders viewed portraits and self-portraits from a wide range of artists, past and present, including Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, Romero Britto, Kehinde Wiley and Bisa Butler. They discussed what they might deduce about the people in the portraits based on their expressions, body language, the way they were dressed and their surroundings. Finally, they thought about what they would want their own self-portraits to say about themselves. 
Students posed for selfies and imported their pictures into the drawing and painting app, Adobe Fresco. Using the vast array of tools available in the app, 4th graders traced the contour lines of their faces and whole bodies in some cases. Tapping into their prior knowledge of the value scale from our last project—and inspired by Bisa Butler’s use of bold colors in her portrait quilts—the kids added color and texture to their self-portraits. They finished them with original creations or curated images in the background. Here are just a few of their masterpieces. All 4th grade self-portraits will be on exhibit in the BZ hallways following the Pesach break. What can you learn about these fabulous 4th graders from their self portraits below?


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