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Self-Portrait Project

Middle School Painting & Drawing Activities: Self-Portrait Project

See more activities in: Middle School, Painting & Drawing

Modigliani created portraits of people around him in his unique figurative style. His paintings are long and linear, with dark lines and bold color. Your child can create a portrait in the style of Modigliani with the help of oil pastels!

What You Need:

  • White drawing paper
  • Mirror
  • Pencil
  • Oil pastels

What You Do:

  1. Invite your child to visit your local library or use the Internet to research Modigliani and learn more about his style of painting and life. He was an Italian born artist that mostly lived and worked in France, and had his share of ups and downs.
  2. Now your child can explore poses for his self portrait by positioning himself in front of a mirror and copying some of the positions in Modigliani’s paintings.
  3. Modigliani played around with a person’s body by elongating specific parts, like their neck or hands. Encourage your child to pick a body part they can emphasize in the same way and highlight in the artwork.
  4. Once he’s satisfied with a pose, he can use a pencil to create a light sketch of himself positioning his paper vertically.
  5. Now he can use oil pastels to finish his creation, using dark lines and areas of color just like Modigliani. Encourage your child to press hard with the oil pastels and cover his entire paper, honing his fine-motor skills.

His finished self portrait can proudly be displayed somewhere in the home for everyone to see!  

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

Updated on Mar 27, 2012
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