Kehinde Wiley inspired…

Ever since I first saw Kehinde Wiley’s work I wanted to do a student project based on it. I have seen a few other teachers’ lessons, but I didn’t totally gravitate toward them. So I came up with my own, based on a lesson with different content I saw in a students teaching art show. This project was done with a 7th/8th grade class.

Sooooo, here’s how it went…

First students looked at a presentation on Kehinde, watched a video, and did a compare and contrast.

Next, students looked at black and white copies of western art and chose a pose they wanted to recreate. Using the iPads, students photographed each other in those poses. I printed the photos in black and white.

Students took the photos and traced them onto transparency film with sharpie. I chose for them to trace, because I wanted them to feel successful in their art, and they have not had but two art classes in their elementary and middle school times. Also, there is a good deal of attention and care that needs to be paid when tracing, so they were tasked to being careful observers of the lines and textures, and deciding what was important to trace.

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Following that, students used acrylic paint to mix there own skin tones and clothing colors. I made a laminated palette because kids kept taking way too much paint.

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Lastly, students designed a patterned background and could use any medium of their liking to add color.

The transparency portrait was paired with the pattern background to make the final piece. 🙂

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Pretty darn happy with these. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Kehinde Wiley inspired…

  1. I love these! I too have seen a lot of versions of the patterned background and the self portrait, but these are bold, doable and fun. Very cool lesson. Thanks for sharing it!


  2. Hello!
    I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to create a Kehinde Wiley self-portrait without doing a grid for my students. So glad to find someone who figured it out, Genius!! I was wondering, how did you attach the transparency to the background paper?


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