Funny Faces and self-portraits

We are scheduled to study Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” this week. A pretty heavy lesson for a four year old and a two year old. I’m not afraid to cover the harder topics and themes with my kids and adapt it to their understanding (they understand so much more than we think they do), but I don’t want to get too somber, either.

I told them that his ear got cut off and mentioned that Van Gogh was often sick in his mind the way we sometimes get sick in our bodies. But I did NOT tell the details of the story: that he cut his own ear off and handed it to a friend at the bar because he was so upset about the fight they had just had. (GROSS!)

My son transitioned Van Gogh into the story of Peter cutting the soldier’s ear off and Jesus healing it.

Phew! Anyhow, I pulled out my Usborne First Book of Art and read the pages on “Faces” and self-portraits. We looked at Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s painting “Summer” which is a painting of fruits and vegetables made to look like a person’s profile.

So we did a funny fruit face of our own.

I cut out a couple of big faces that I found in some magazine adds, plus lots of fruit and vegetable and flower pictures from magazines. Then, we matched the shapes of the fruit to the shapes of the facial features—and did a lot of laughing!

It made an extremely somber lesson very preschool-friendly!


Published by Tracy
Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!

6 thoughts on “Funny Faces and self-portraits

  1. These are wonderful! What a great way to reuse magazines!

    This post counts as an entry in the Read.Explore.Learn. Reading Challenge for July!

  2. What a cute idea! My five year old would love this! TFS!

  3. So ingenious! I’m a relatively new homeschooling mom and can’t wait to try this! Thanks.

  4. I love this idea! I’d definitely like to try this sometime with my boys.

  5. I like their faces that’s so fun!

    At some point I need to find a good art curriculum.

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