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That’s Me!

November 8, 2022 | Clara Buckley

Creating self-portraits is a key part of our art curriculum at Mustard Seed School. Each year students return to the theme showing their growth in artistic skills and knowledge of themselves.


Creating a self-portrait reflects many of our core commitments as a school. It requires you to:

Look closely at yourself, 

Consider what makes you special, 

Think about how God created us all to be different,

View ourselves as beloved children of God.


We begin by inviting the children to use a mirror to carefully observe their faces, then to draw, or paint, what they see.

In drawing, students use a black flair pen. Mistakes cannot be erased and the process of creating more than one draft is introduced.

Children studied their faces and hands to decide which shade of paint to use for their self-portrait.

In paint, the self-portrait is a multiday process. Stamina for a multi-step process is something that challenges most young children. Often they know and understand more than they can actually do. They get tired before they can finish. Muscles get tired from using them in new ways and the mind gets tired from remembering steps and processes. Working on one piece over the course of many days helps everyone build confidence and work carefully.

As three-year-olds work on the skill of drawing circles, four and five-year-olds add more representational details to their self-portraits. Everyone has two beautiful self-portraits reflecting their personality.

Clara Buckley

Preschool Art Specialist; Middle School Art

Clara Buckley’s teaching spans the ages of Mustard Seed School, from the youngest students in the preschool to students in the graduating class. She’s found many similarities between teaching three-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds!

As an art teacher who never enjoyed drawing, Ms Buckley’s hope is that each child she teaches discovers a way to create art that they enjoy, whether it be sculpture, printing, textiles, architectural drawing, or collage.

Ms. Buckley loves living in Jersey City, a place whose diversity and welcome for immigrants reflects her own family experience. When planning future travel destinations, art, food, and time with family are featured items on her list.

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