Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Skin Layer

Many years ago, a little girl in my class told her mother,"I have to put lotion on my skin because it is brown." She also said that her friend, E., "...doesn't because her skin is pink."

I feel very thankful and fortunate that this mother was comfortable enough with the me and with the program that she was able to share this story. Mostly though, class after class of 4- and 5-year olds have benefited directly from this because it is what started the self-portrait series. 

Please stroll through past posts about the self-portrait and Sense of Self to find out how the children first study their internal organs -- we mostly all have the same organs with a few exceptions, a kidney here or there -- we work outward to find bone and muscle, finally arriving at skin. From the same, or mostly the same, to fabulously different. The children mix their own skin colors -- and there is no pink -- using the same four colors of tempera (black, white, yellow, and red). The children work together, measuring and mixing, talking about which colors they have used, more or less, and arrive at their very own shade. A jar is labeled -- this is tangible, this is real, this is unique and special. It has a name and all of it needs lotion!

Covering the muscles and veins with skin

Jars of personalized, self-created skin tones


  1. I loved this project both times.

  2. What a great idea - you are actually fortunate to have a mix of skin tones, we generally don't & then when one child comes into the mix, it is difficult to be the only one. Love the self portraits - we do a similar thing this month - nothing as ambitious as yours, but the parents love them!