Split Face Portraits

Fourth Grade artists are finishing up their “Split Face Portrait” project this week.  We looked at the work of American Artist Mary Cassatt, who painted many portraits of her young nieces and nephew.  Of course then we HAD to draw our own portraits!

Cassatt’s “Mother and Child”

There was a little groaning in the art room at the thought of trying to draw our portraits…until I started snapping photos and introducing the split face idea.  Students drew one side of their face only, using the photograph on the other side of the paper for reference.  The results…very cool!



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10 thoughts on “Split Face Portraits

  1. This is incredible! Awesome project, Mrs. Brouwer! To all the 4th graders: YOU ARE GUYS ARE AMAZING!!!!

  2. I LOVE your blog and cannot wait to do this self portrait assignment with my 4th graders this year. How did you enlarge the photos? Using a copy machine? Thanks for the inspiration!


  3. Thank you, Holly! Sometimes I do enlarge photos on the copy machine – but they turn out grainy and not as clear. I printed these from iphoto; in the print area you can customize the photo size and specify black & white, etc. I think it was quicker to do it through a computer program instead of fooling around with enlarging on a copy machine! Either method will work for this project. Good luck – my kiddos enjoyed this one, especially the results! -josey

  4. Hi Erin…this project took four 50 minute sessions – one to introduce the project and begin, and three to draw and shade. I took the kids’ photos ahead of time as they were working on another project and had the photos ready to go the first day. Enjoy!

  5. This is very cool! I’m about to try this with my fifth graders. Did you let them chose which side of their face that they used?

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