Self Study Portrait

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


Every year the Yellow House Atelier collaborates with outside artists to enrich each elementary student's Self Study Portrait. In our school, emotional intelligence is just as important as academic subjects. Every student is challenged to reflect on themselves and create an art piece and poem about themselves. Outside artist come to share their area of expertise to inspire and challenge the student's creative thinking. Working with outside artists gives this project a deeper dimension. These artist talk with the students about themselves and their artistic expertise. The artist then works one on one with every student to enrich their project. Below are some of our previous Self Portrait Projects:

Creating a Backdrop and Photography

Every student chose an emotion that symbolizes who they are. In additional to the poetry they each created, they worked with artists to create a backdrop to symbolize this emotion. The image on the backdrop was either a symbol or the recreation of an event when they felt their chosen emotion. The students created their art work and then transferred it on a large backdrop. A professional photographer came to work with each child individually on their photo shoot. They learned about lighting, mood, and they were part of the process of creating the set and directing the photo shoot.  

Light Painting

The children created poems about themselves. They worked with David Wilhem, a local Houston artist that focuses on light painting. Prior to working with David, the children learned about symmetry. They created symmetry through many different experiences. David demonstrated to the children how he uses his knowledge of symmetry in his light paintings. David then worked with each child to create a light painting based on their poem.


The children had been on a year long journey learning about foods and plants. For their self portrait, they were challenged to chose a fruit that represented them. They each wrote a poem about who they are and how their selected fruit symbolizes them. A Houston based photographer came in and worked with each student. The students learned more about lighting, mood, and composition of photography. They each worked with the photographer to take their pictures and they directed the shoot.

Stephanie worked with our elementary students to visually extend their projects. They learned about photo transfers, abstract and expressive art, and the variety of other techniques that Stephanie uses in her own art.