Third grade students were inspired by the paintings of contemporary fine artist and illustrator Mara Kahlman. We noticed how she cropped her portraits so that the face, neck and shoulders took up the entire composition, giving her plenty of space to create clear and beautiful details.

We began by using mirrors and touching our faces in order to notice the details in our faces. We created pencil sketches, carefully noticing the shapes and proportions of our faces. We then did a second sketch on a larger piece of paper, using tempura paint in create the final details of our paintings. We created the large shapes, paying careful attention to our brushwork, color mixing, composition and contrast. We then layered details on top of our large shapes, using small brushes in order to create delicate details.