Frida Kahlo is hailed as one of the greatest Mexican artists of the 20th century. We’ve been learning about this fascinating lady the last couple of weeks. This children’s primer by Mike Venezia is the best one I’ve found on Kahlo. It features a wide variety of her works and has interesting text about her life and struggles. Though it features a few of her provocative works such as “The Two Fridas” and “Without Hope”, it does not include works of mature subject matter.
We focused mainly on Kahlo’s extensive self-portraits.
My young artist loved Kahlo’s use of bright colors. She chose “The Frame” as her favorite.
In the past I’ve seen my young artist become so frustrated trying to draw a face that she wants to quit. To make this project more enjoyable and avoid discouragement, I took a photo of her face at close range.
In all of Kahlo’s portraits we looked at her expression was one of strength and self-awareness; her look was serious, with no smiling. So in keeping with the style of Kahlo, I had my daughter look directly at the camera with a calm, confident expression.
I printed out the photo and then gave her some transfer paper. She carefully traced her features.
Here’s the blue outline after she finished tracing.
She sketched her border design in pencil while I set out a variety of acrylic colors. I let her pick her colors, reminding her that the color of the frame and the area around her face needed to contrast.
Painting her frame…
Adding a bright pink bird…
She decided to use red-violet around her face. I think Frida Kahlo would’ve approved, don’t you?
Here she is on the second day of painting, working hard to paint the right amount of highlights in her hair.
Remembering the need for contrast, she changed her shirt color from green to blue since it would’ve blended in with the grass at the bottom.
The third day of painting was the most exciting. It was all about her face. We spent a few minutes looking at her reference photo and discussed all of the values that go into flesh. To simplify it, I gave her 3 shades to use (medium, light, and very light).
And I was amazed! It’s like a light-bulb went on and she finally saw the values and tried to paint them, not just color it in like a coloring book.
She gave this her best effort and worked carefully over three days. I think it turned out AMAZING!
So proud of this girl, she inspires me every day!
Hope you have a great weekend! I’ll be going ‘out’ to visit many of you tomorrow and see what you’re working on, thanks so much for stopping by!