Early Years Portrait Painting

We had fun with this project. There are loads of processes involved and each child brought their own unique interpretation to it. Some followed what we were doing and others (generally the younger children) played with all the processes.

I say this time and again, but there’s no harm in reminding you, that at this age it’s the process that matters not the product.

Using a roller
Using a brush
Looking at a face
Placing paint
Choosing colours
Colour matching – looking at eyes, mouths, hair and earrings to select the correct colour.

Portrait Painting – How The Children Got On
Jemma started first. She’s been a regular at my art table for over a year now and remembers the processes well. She knows that the pizza trays are for printing with.

She helped me to mix a pale and dark skin tone. Then she decided she wanted to paint Grandma. So she chose the skin tone she wanted to use, rolled the paint onto the pizza tray and made her print. The printed skin tone disk became the base for Grandma’s face

Grandma then talked her through looking at her face to see what colour her eyes where and where about on the face they sat. She did the same for her mouth, nose, hair and ears.

Once finished I asked Jemma if she’d like to paint herself. She said, ‘yes’. I gave her a mirror so she could copy her image. Finally, she wanted to make a card. She took an A3 sheet of sugar paper, folded it half then on one side of the fold put blobs of different coloured paint, folded to paper over and made a print. She’d remembered some of the printing techniques we’d done last term.

George is a fairly new recruit to the art table so hasn’t the same experience as Jemma. However, you can see that he’s made a great attempt at a portrait and learned to control where he wants to place the paint. The ears are distinct but his portrait has multiple eyes as he just started blobbing these on at the start of his painting until I managed to stop him being random with his paint and think where he wanted to put it.

All the children enjoyed applying the paint with rollers to the point where some were quite reluctant to share.

Sarah, who’s about 18 months old, had a wonderful time exploring the paint with her hands. She grabbed big handfuls of paint and watched it ooze out between her fingers. She then tried lifting the paint to put it on the picture.

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