Create a Cubist Self-Portrait Activity

1.7 based on 7 ratings
Updated on Mar 14, 2014

Is your child a budding artist? Support his creative nature by helping him to learn about art styles, and work on art process explorations. The cubist movement began in the twentieth century with the creation of abstract, broken up works of art. Translate this into a fun activity for young students by encouraging cubism-inspired art made at home.

The cubist collage self-portrait activity will help your child to better observe, analyze, and reconstruct his own imaginative thoughts. Additionally, it reinforces basic math skills such as geometry. It promotes self-awareness, and can even help build aesthetic awareness. Moreover, he'll learn a little art history while he's at it!

What You Need:

  • Construction paper (at least two pieces)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, oil pastels, or markers
  • Mirror

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to take a look in the mirror. What does he see? How does the face change with each expression of emotion he makes?
  2. Now it's time for your child to create a pencil drawn self-portrait. This can be a close up of just the face, neck, and shoulders or a full length portrait.
  3. Have your child color in the pencil self-portrait with crayons or makers. For added fun, try oil pastels. Using these soft, crayons-like utencils is a great way to introduce your child to different artistic tools.
  4. After the self-portrait is finished, have your child cut the drawing into pieces that form geometric shapes. Make sure that the pieces are not too small.
  5. Have your child rearrange and reassemble the cut-out shapes of his portrait. Then, have him glue them down on a blank sheet of construction paper. He should rearrange them in a way that makes a completely new abstract portrait. Let his imagination run wild! There are no limits to the ways in which he styles his composition.
  6. Enjoy your child’s abstract cubist collage!

Try extending this project by asking your child to create several self-portrait collages. Each work of art can be varied by altering the facial gestures, their arrangement, and even the colors used. Ask your child to choose colors that connect with the emotion in the drawing. For example, a sad picture may be blue while a happy portrait could be bright yellow.

Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely