Colorful Cultural Artwork

Kathy Barbro, art teacher from California and creator of the website Art Projects for Kids, loves to bring color and culture into her classroom and has done a marvelous job with these Maasai African portraits. Located in northern Tanzania and Kenya, this African tribe is known for their distinctive headdresses, jewelry, and clothing providing a great opportunity for discovery and creativity during craft time.
This project requires few materials; a piece of drawing paper, patterned tissue paper, and various sized black markers. Using pictures printed from the internet or found in resource books, have your students draw their portrait on a piece of drawing paper. Once finished, a piece of tissue paper should be taped to the front of the drawing paper so that portrait lines can be transferred onto the tissue paper.

Lines should be carefully re-traced with black marker. After the basic portrait shapes have been reconstructed, instruct your students to use the black marker to color in the face and other appropriate detailing. Remind your students to be careful as the tissue paper is not as strong as most mediums and could tear. Because of this, Barbro suggests the project be completed with third graders or older. The finished product is vibrantly colorful and will add some excitement to tired classroom walls!

ART PROJECTS FOR KIDS: Maasai African Portraits

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