Stone experiments


This is a simple exercise which engages the children in trying to create a self-portrait not by looking but by feeling their own face. This allows the children to approach the idea of representing self in another way than through sight.

Drawing what you see can sometimes hinder expression for some as drawing according to sight can limit the creative process to making the drawing look exactly like the portrayed. This hindrance is taking the backseat to imaginative drawing in this self-portrait-exercise.


Quick facts about the experiment:

Target group

Children 7-9 years


Art teacher

Time scale

120 minutes




Training sensory & motor skills and the ability to reflect upon self.


A3 papers, oil pastels, water colours, paint brushes


How to:

  1. Start out by investigating your own with your hands. Palpate your head – how does it feel? How big is your head? Where is it soft and where is it hard?
Stone experiments
  1. Now it’s time to investigate what kind of shapes and forms your face consist of. Touch your eyebrows, eyes, mouth, nose. Together with the children, try to make them touch one part at a time – e.g. the nose. Take a good time to really touch the nose. What kind of shape is it? Can you make out the shape by feeling it? Do this with all the elements of the head: hair, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, mouth, nose, chin and so on.
  1. Draw your face based on your remembrance through touching it. What shapes did you find when touching it? Draw up your face with oil pastels and if you feel like it then you can use water colours as well to add some other textures.
Stone experiments


Reflections about the exercise:

Every drawing excersice can be made easier if the teacher add a sensory activity to it. It makes it more fun and easy this way . The forms and relation between elemnts of the face can be much easier to first touch and feel to understand and then after that start to draw or paint.

It could also be interesting to try other materials and techniques – e.g.: making a mold of your face, using textile scraps or coloured sheets to create it from.

Stone experiments