Grade 6 Are Developing Fauvist Portraits

The grade 6 students have been learning about Fauvism, Expressionism and the meaning behind colour. These images are their practise portraits. They had to choose a dominant colour scheme either cool or warm and then think about balancing their colours. As we were using oil pastels for this practise the students had to test which colours mixed the best together. They discovered through trial and error that the colours next to each other on the colour wheel blend the easiest. They are now ready to apply their chosen colour scheme to their self portraits which have been traced from a projector and outlined with thick and thin lines using either ink or sharpie. I can’t wait to see their final results.


Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 5.42.20 PMFauvism was a style of painting developed in France during the beginning of the 20th century by Henri Matisse and André Derain. The Impressionists and Post Impressionists (Gauguin in particular) inspired the Fauves to explore colour use and symbolism.

The Fauves believed that color should be used to express the artist’s feelings about a subject, rather than simply to paint what they see. Matisse explains this perfectly by stating, “The aim of painting is not to reflect history, because this can be found in books. We have a higher conception. Through it, the artist expresses his inner vision.”Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 5.42.29 PMMany artists have been inspired by the Fauves and Expressionists, one I found whose style I adore due to her colour use the stylization is Martina Shapiro. These images are what have inspired my students. Aren’t they stunning?

Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 5.39.05 PMIn fact one of my very enthusiastic students has been VERY inspired by this artist as she can’t seem to stop creating these portraits at home and in class. I have been very impressed by all the extra work she has put into class. Some images she has copied to learn how it has been done and others she has used her own colour scheme. I can’t wait to see what Kanak will do with her own piece.

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