The children do exercises to learn about the proportions of their bodies and then draw self-portraits. Set out paper, black markers, and mirror. When working with six- to nine-year-old drawing children 4 to 5 years gradually, include pencils and erasers. Explain to the children that when an artist makes a picture of a person it is called a portrait.
When the artist makes a picture of himself or herself it is called a self-portrait. Tell the children that they will be drawing pictures of themselves from their heads to their toes and adding color to their self-portraits in the next session. Ask the children to stand and do some simple exercises to become familiar with their body proportions, or the relationship of their individual parts to their bodies. Begin by having the children rotate their heads in one direction and then the other so they become more aware of their necks.
Explain that the neck is sturdy and almost as wide as the head. They can feel this by sliding their hands along the side of their head down to their necks. Next, have the children move their hands from the sides of their heads toward their shoulders to feel how their shoulders extend outward, being wider than their heads. Ask the children to stretch their arms as far as they can above their heads to feel how long their arms are. Dropping their arms to their sides, have the children press their elbows against their body. Ask where they feel their elbows touching. They will be surprised that their elbows come down to their waist.
With their arms still against their bodies, ask them to gently pinch themselves. After many cries of “ouch,” they will realize that their arms with extended hands reach to their mid-thighs. With their arms hanging loosely, have the children wiggle and roll their shoulders. Discuss how their arms are also moving because they are attached to the shoulders. By touching their toes, the children can appreciate that their legs are almost half of the length of their bodies.