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Art is Painting Yourself

School: Conservatory Lab Charter School

City/State: Brighton, MA

Grade(s): Pre-K

Format(s): Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Preschool students at Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton, MA painted their self-portraits as part of an expedition called “Portrait of an Artist.”  Shown here in two formats: a book and a series of postcards, each product from this exhibition includes quotes from the students reflecting on their work, or responding to the prompt “art is…”

Prior to painting the final draft of their portrait, the students learned about the color spectrum, how to mix paint to create different colors and experimented with various art mediums. The students listened to different types of music and made connections between color and the emotions brought on by different musical tempos. They also visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to view self-portraits by master painters.

The students created multiple drafts of their portraits, paying special attention to mixing colors to match their individual skin tone, and adding details that make each portrait a reflection of their unique self.

The book, “Art is Painting Yourself” is professionally printed and is available for purchase on the Conservatory Lab Charter School website.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Students did multiple drafts of their work, and accordingly, this is high quality work from young students
  • The quotes included in the final products demonstrate what the students learned about portrait painting and add a charming, individual touch to their work
  • Producing a professionally designed and printed book demonstrates high value placed on student work

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can speak using words I hear in books.
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