FREE LESSON: Frida Kahlo's Self Portraits
Frida Kahlo's Self Portraits
Here at A Little Bite Studio we love our flowers and foliage! We are so inspired by artists that use nature in their art and this week we are excited to bring you a study on the iconic painter, known best for her self-portraits, FRIDA KAHLO.
(Please note: These lessons have been designed for kids but adults are always welcome to get involved too!)
A LITTLE BITE OF HISTORY
The spectacularly stylish Frida Kahlo is a 20th Century mexican artist who famously created many self portraits. Most notably in 1938 she created a piece, which she called ‘The Frame’. The following year in 1939 it was purchased by The Louvre, in Paris, France, and is now on display in Musée National d'Art Moderne.
She was the first mexican artist to have her work purchased by a major international museum. Frida Kahlo is well known for her portraits. She created 143 paintings, and of these, fifty-five are self-portraits. She is an icon and inspiration for women across the world!
Want to read more about Frida Kahlo? Click here.
WHAT MADE FRIDA KAHLO SO SPECIAL?
Mexican Art: Her paintings are wonderfully colourful, bright, patterned, and symbolic that is strongly influenced by Mexican folk culture. It is full of feathers, flowers, dancing, music, and texture.
Animals: She often added animals in her self-portraits, such as monkeys, parrots, a hairless dog, and a deer.
Flowers: One of the most identifying features of Frida Kahlo’s appearance were the flowers she used in her hair, piled high.
Let's celebrate all the little things about us that makes us special just like Frida!
Record all the things that make you special. You can draw these or write them down, or both!
Download our inspiration sheet below!
Sketch your face.
You are incredibly special! Everything about you makes you uniquely you.
Get to know your face! Use a mirror and take a good look at all the details on your face. Sketch all the features that make you uniquely you, that you can see. Draw your hair, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and don’t forget your eyebrows!
Kahlo was known for exaggerating what she felt were her weakest features. She decided to paint her thick, black eyebrows as one long eyebrow that stretched across her face. You might hear people call this a ‘unibrow’. Kahlo also painted the little hairs above her lips so that they were very obvious, like a moustache.
Think about how you want to draw your beautiful facial features!
Download our activity sheet below, to sketch your face.
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 x A3-sized canvas (we used a piece of cardboard)
- A range of flower images from magazine clippings (or print your own from the internet)
- 1 x Glue stick
- Acrylic paint (red, white, yellow, and black)
- A small range of other acrylic paint (bright colours)
- Paint tray
- 1 x Medium-sized paintbrush
- 1 x Water cup
- 1 x Tea towel (to dry your brush)
- A portrait of Frida Kahlo (download our printable here)
- Optional decorations: glitter, pom poms, etc.
STEP 1: PLANNING THE DETAILS
Assemble your flower images on your canvas, just below the top (this will give you an indication of how big you would like your face to be). When you are happy with your layout, glue the flower images onto your canvas with a glue stick. Be sure to cover the back of the whole flower with glue, so it sticks well.
STEP 2: PAINTING THE FACE
Blend a little bit of red, white and yellow paint together on a paint tray, to create a colour that you feel matches the skin colour of your face. You might need to add a little bit more white to lighten the colour you have created. If you get stuck, you could ask your parents for some help.
Using your new skin-coloured paint, start painting the shape of your face and neck. Refer to your ‘Sketch My Face’ activity sheet from our warm-up, and paint all your unique facial features onto your painting (ie. your eyes, nose, mouth, etc).
Next use your bright colours to paint your shoulders and body all the way down to the bottom of your canvas. Be creative with your design. Remember Kahlo loved using colourful patterns in her art!
Don’t be nervous about wanting to get it right. Give it a go! If you make a mistake you can always paint over the outline until you are happy with your work. Artists make changes and add to their paintings all the time!
STEP 3: THE BACKGROUND
This is your self-portrait, inspired by Kahlo, and it celebrates your uniqueness. Paint your background in colours that inspire you. You do not need to stick to just one colour. Be creative! You might want to also add some of your favourite shapes and patterns as well.
STEP 4: ADDING THE FINAL TOUCHES
While the paint is still wet, feel free to decorate further and add glitter, pom poms or other small materials to your self-portrait, that reflect you and your unique self.
What an AMAZING self-portrait, created in true Kahlo style!
Here are a couple of creations from our students...
Were you inspired by this FRIDA KAHLO ART LESSON? If you were, please share it with your friends so they can be inspired too!
We would absolutely love to see what you create! Please send any photos of your art to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of love
Click below to download your FREE FRIDA KAHLO colouring sheet.
FOLLOW THESE LINKS TO LEARN MORE:
- FRIDA KAHLO by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Gee Fan Eng
- Frida Kahlo Doll and Book Set For the Littlest Dreamers by: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Gee Fan Eng (Illustrator)
- Pocket Frida Kahlo Wisdom by Hardie Grant Books
- Frida Kahlo (Revised Edition) Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists by Mike Venezia
- Frida Kahlo The Artist in the Blue House By: HOLZHEY MAGDALENA
Here at @alittlebitestudio, we use classic artworks and techniques to inspire little + big creatives to observe closely, think critically and discuss respectfully. We believe Art appreciation builds confidence, problem-solving and social skills, and has a positive impact on all areas of life.