In today’s art project, we’re going to create a self-portrait inspired by Frida Kahlo.
Frida Kahlo (officially named Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Y Calderón de Rivera) was a Mexican painter most known for her self-portraits.
Frida’s artwork was inspired by Mexican culture and folk art styles and often mixed realism with fantasy. Frida’s paintings became a way for her to express her own female identity and explore the emotional experiences of her life.
She was sickly as a child; she contracted polio at age 6. While ill, Frida spent extended time with her father Guillermo Kahlo, who was a photographer and painter. She enjoyed art from an early age but did not consider art as a career.
At age 18, Kahlo was severely injured in a bus accident. While recuperating from her accident, Frida occupied herself with painting. She was able to paint in bed and a mirror was placed above the easel so she could paint herself.
Painting became her way of exploring herself and the world through her eyes, the way she saw things.
Frida is very well known for her marriage to fellow artist Diego Rivera.
Frida and Diego traveled together while working as artists and eventually settled in Mexico City.
Later in life, she spent most of her time at La Casa Azul (The Blue House), her childhood home.
La Casa Azul was opened as a museum in 1958 and is one of the most popular museums in Mexico City.
For this art project, Self Portrait – The Frame, 1938, by Friday Kahlo is our inspiration.
Supplies needed for this project are:
- 8 x 10 vertical acrylic frame
- Markers for ceramics and glass
- Colored pencils
- Printed color copy of Frida’s Self Portrait – The Frame artwork in 8 x 10
- Canva and PicMonkey applications to create self-portrait photo (free online)
- Printed black and white self-portrait photo (tutorial included below)
The first step of this art project is to create a black and white self-portrait that will be colored in with colored pencils inspired by Kahlo’s original painting.
Using the steps below you can upload the portrait photo of your choice and create a black and white drawing of your photo.
Once you’ve created your black and white drawing of your photo, print it out on regular copy paper.
Using the colored pencils, color your photo.
You can use the original artwork as inspiration for your colors or choose your own.
The next step is to slide the color copy of the original artwork into the 8 x10 acrylic frame.
This painting will provide the template for us to color our frame.
Following Frida’s painting as your guide, use the markers to color each of the shapes of the frame.
Do not color the portrait just the design of the frame around it.
Once you finish coloring all of the large shapes, use the black marker to outline some of the edges in black.
Next, we’re going to trim our portrait to fit our frame.
First, trim a plain white piece of paper to fit into the 8 x 10 frame and slide it into the frame.
Next, cut around your portrait shape and also slide it into the frame on top of the white paper. Once you’re happy with the placement, you can secure it with a bit of tape or a glue stick.
Our final framed self-portrait.
The original Self Portrait – The Frame alongside our colored version.