Art Discovery Lab - Romero Britto Inspired Self Portraits

Today was supposed to be day one of my first Art Discovery Lab... and then we got Houston Snowmageddon #2!  So while everyone hunkers down and stays off the ice, I'm cheering myself up by re-living an AWESOME discovery lab I did a couple of weeks ago! 


If you think you're not familiar with Romero Britto's work, I bet you're wrong!  This Miami-based artist's bright, cheerful work can be seen around the world from galleries to giant public sculptures in places like Hyde Park to Build-A-Bear!  He even collaborated with Cirque du Soleil for 2007's Superbowl halftime show!

I love to introduce kids to great artists and then let them explore the style and make it their own!  And these kids sure did! We started with drawing our portraits in pencil and then went over our drawings with black marker.  Then we started filling in the spaces with fun, bright patterns- just like Romero Britto does!  I think they did an AMAZING job! 


A couple of tips for guiding your own kids in creating a Britto-inspired self portrait:

- Create a quick head shape template.  This will help them get the head size and shape right, quickly and easily.  OR if they're feeling like an alien on the inside that day, they can use the head template for eyes instead. ;) 

- Help them draw in a super-light cross with their pencils first.  Tell them to tickle the paper with their pencils and not to press down at all, because this will be erased later!  This is useful for spacing when drawing the eyes, the nose, and the mouth.  You'll start with the eyes, using your fingers as spacers from the horizontal line, and you'll continue onward to the nose (the bottom will be in the middle of the vertical line), then the mouth. 


- From there, you can draw in the neck and shoulders (tell them to slant the shoulders line down instead of up, so it looks like they're shrugging... unless they want to be shrugging!), the hair, and all of the fun patterns that can fill each space!  

- We used oil pastels on paper for our project, but you could use colored pencils, crayons, or paint, just like Romero Britto, himself!

- To introduce Romero Britto, check out this Youtube video!  I think your kids will find it inspiring!  I know I did!

Let me know if you try it out! I would LOVE to see what your kids do!

Give a kid some art supplies and a little guidance, and she's going to create something amazing every time!