Sep 10, 2010

Modigliani Inspired Self Portraits

Inspiration: The elongated portraits of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884 - 1920) and this lesson plan from 'Art Projects For Kids'.

I was so impressed with how well my grade 3s did with this that I've posted pretty much all their portraits.They were drawn with white chalk onto black paper, coloured with oil pastels and then painted with a wash of black dye, which turns all the chalk lines black and creates an interesting wax resist texture.

This last one is Modigliani's 'Jeanne Hebuterne', a portrait of his muse which the kids all thought looked like me. I guess it does a little.


  1. These are just lovely - they should all be very proud of their work. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Very good pictures. I don't know if my 3rd-graders could handle that assignment. Maybe I'll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks so much for the link, I ADORE all of these drawings! I'll have to try your chalk + black dye combination. It's way up on my "To Do" list.

  4. These are fantastic. I would never have thought they were created by Grade 3 students. May I ask how you made the wash of black dye?

  5. Thanks Pam - just a black edicol dye :)

  6. Pam,
    I had a lot of trouble finding edicol dye. Wasn't something that i'd ever heard of, or that is sold around here in New England. So I tried the lesson with an india ink & water solution. Worked great! As usual, a little bit of ink goes a long way.

    Hope this helps! Would still love to know where to get edicol dye locally. Maybe it has a different name?

    ~ Laura (elementary art)

    1. Edicol dye is basically a powdered food colouring. Not sure what it may be called in other countries but glad the diluted ink worked for you :)


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