“I need to make my ears more like elf ears because the top is pointy!”

It’s one of my favorite times of year in the Pre-K Studio… self portrait week!  Friends in Pre-K work on a self portrait for their portfolio at the beginning and the end of each school year.  It’s great to see how much their observations and skills change over the course of the year, and for children that are in Pre-K for two years, over the span of both years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

Next, I showed some different techniques for selecting colors that closely matched the colors that were unique to each of them.  Children selected colors that they thought would work after observing themselves in the mirror, and held them up next to their hands, hair, etc. to see which color would be the best.

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Declan: Oh my gosh, I look beautiful!  Look… I see I have two sharp teeth like a tiger.

Isaac: I have a bun on my head like you!

Mina: I found vanilla ice cream.  That’s my color.

Avery: I made my earwax.  No, no, my eyelash.

Asa: My lips are a little bit of two colors.  They are a little bit light and dark.

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Jax: I have hair.  I think it’s dark brown like this.  What’s next… oh… my mouth!

Nora: I made my head so big because I’m growing.

Adele: My skin is like vanilla, or maybe like sand?

Dayana: Let me find my color.  Oh, this looks good!

Joelle: I’m dark chocolate brown.  I drew my dark chocolate cheeks.

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Sammy: You have to look in the mirror to see what kind of skin you have.

Cesar: My eyes are different than my skin.  They’re darker.

Brandon: A mirror shows the reflection of your whole body.  And your whole face.

Julian: I made my head to look like a potato shape.

Alden: I have light brown hair and I have a swirl.  I’m drawing it long from the top of my head because I need a haircut.

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Beginning of the year self portraits are typically a one week process, but this year it seemed like a perfect opportunity to introduce children to self critique and adding detail. This week, children examined their self portraits and noticed parts of their face that they had forgotten to add.  This led us into a discussion on adding details, and how revisiting your work can make a stronger finished piece!  Friends found it hysterical that their self portraits almost went into portfolios when they were missing noses, ears, eyebrows, etc.

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Aurora: A detail is coloring in your skin.  And maybe I could add my dress!

Irvina: I can make my hair darker.  That’s a detail because last week I made my hair light!  I see different colors of brown on my cheeks, too.

Theo: Hey, why did I forget my ears?  It’s the same color as all my skin.

Africa Grace: A detail is when you add your color to your body so it looks like you.  And you can make your cheeks.

Santi: I forgot my ears… I gotta add them!

Isaac: I need to make my ears more like elf ears because the top is pointy.

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Naila: Details are maybe adding finishing touches?

Elizabeth: You need to add things to make it look more like yourself.

Bella: I’m adding more hair.  I didn’t put enough!

Drew: My detail changed!  I don’t have a dinosaur shirt on anymore.  Today I have a polo shirt with a horse on it.

Alina: Why did I forget to add my eyebrows?

Mateo: You could color in your face because your skin isn’t really white like the paper.

Katherine: Last time I did my skin peach, but I see my skin looks like peachy pie.

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Below are some finished self portraits, which show self reflection in making the work look more realistic.

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“I’m coffee colored and I have a nice smile!”

It’s one of my favorite times of year in the Pre-K Studio… self portrait week!  Friends in Pre-K work on a self portrait for their portfolio at the beginning and the end of each school year.  It’s great to see how much their observations and skills change over the course of the year, and for children that are in Pre-K for two years, over the span of both years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

Next, I showed some different techniques for selecting colors that closely matched the colors that were unique to each of them.  Children selected colors that they thought would work after observing themselves in the mirror, and held them up next to their hands, hair, etc. to see which color would be the best.

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Amal: I look beautiful!

Nazeer: My skin is a toast color.

Waju: I’m making my head an oval.  My skin is pancake color and my eyes are a little bit blue.  I look nice!  I’m drawing myself holding the pencil.  Wait, why do I kind of look like a huge potato?

Anders: Don’t forget your belly button.

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Autumn: Oh my!  I’m looking at myself.  Hi Autumn!  I see that I’m so hairy.  I have more than one hair on my head.

Isabella: I’m the color of spice.

Isaac: I’m coffee colored and I have a nice smile!

Konone: My eyes are dark brown like midnight brown.

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Phoenix: I’m chocolate brown and Autumn is chocolate brown too!

Mateo: I even want to draw my stinky feet.

Leonel: When you look in the mirror there’s another you.  My head looks so big because I have a big brain.

Gionni: My skin is brown like a brown  bear.

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Sophia: I’m sand colored.

Eden: I’m making mine silly and drawing my tongue!

Jax: I’m just like you… I have eyelashes too!

Aurora: I see my two ponytails.

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Here are some of the finished self portraits from our week!

 

“I look good. That drawing is an impostor.”

As the year is winding down, friends in Pre-K work on end of the year portfolio additions, as well as reflecting on their year and their hard work.  For me this means… self portraits all week long!  I love working on self portraits with children because it’s always so exciting to see the amount of growth from fall to spring… and for Pre-K 4’s, they will have 4 portraits to compare!

Just like in the fall, we began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and discussing the different shades of colors and shapes that make up our faces.  Children observed themselves in the mirror and matched colors based on what they saw.

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Ra’Maya: My tooth is loose.  I’ll draw it!

Elijah: I’m the color of honey, but don’t eat me!

Christian: My skin is like chocolate.  My eyes are dark brown like night time.

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Nneka: My eyes look like football shapes.

Sophie: I’m drawing my hair sticking up in one spot because it’s really doing that.

Zavier: I’m looking fancy in this mirror.

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Zeina: I’m drawing my flower earring.  I noticed last year I didn’t have earrings.

Mae: I see five different colors on my face.

Zoe: I wasn’t even trying and it looks just like me!

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Andres: My eyes look like potatoes.  They are mostly round.

Elijah: All of these colors together look like myself.

William: I see three colors on my face like cinnamon, tan and chocolate.

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Waju: Look what I did… it’s me!

Reese: My hair is curly so I have to draw bumps.

Marquis: I look good.  That drawing is an impostor.

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Kavalli: A mirror makes another you that’s doing the same stuff you’re doing.

Naomi: Stop copying me, Naomi in the mirror!

Jariel: My skin is a little bit brown, like peach brown.

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William: Whoa, Reese’s self portrait looks like the real her!

Iris: I’m making the little freckle next to my eye.  That’s a detail.

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Below are a handful of self portraits from the fall and spring… check out all those details!  Apologies for scanning them in backwards, so fall is on the right and the most recent ones from spring are on the left!

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Observing Darian’s Self Portraits

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At CCPCS, Pre-K classrooms are mixed age  (3-5 years old).  Children remain in the same classroom for two years before moving up to Kindergarten.  It has been exciting to see our Pre-K 3’s from last year transition into a leadership role as a Pre-K 4 this school year.  One part that has been particularly interesting for me to see is the progress they have made with their self portraits.

Self portraits are a key part of Pre-K portfolios.  Children add to portfolios throughout the year and share them with their families at their final conference of the school year.  During the first few weeks of school, children observe their reflections in a mirror and draw what they see.  It’s exciting to compare their portraits at the end of the year with those from the beginning, and to revisit work from the previous year.

Above are Darian’s self portraits, beginning with his work from Fall 2012, followed by Spring 2013 and finally, his most recent self portrait from Fall 2013!  He was just as proud of his growth as I was.