July 6th was Frida Kahlo’s birthday.  She is one of the most prolific female artists from Mexico. She’s known for her self-portraits that told stories of her pain, passion and her voice for women as well as indigenous rights. Her work is strongly influenced by her life full of illness and a terrible accident that broke many bones including her spinal cord.

Her paintings are full of dramatic symbolism and bold colours. Parents should be advised to view her work beforehand as a couple of paintings may be too strong for younger children.

Take a look at her work, talk about the bold colours, the objects that could be seen and what the story might be. It’s important to know her life story of her love, pain and political influences. There are some great videos on YouTube, even a movie on her life. Let’s paint a self-portrait in Kahlo’s style.

Let’s paint a self-portrait in Kahlo’s style.


  • Sketchbook, we used one that had heavier paper
  • Dr. Ph. Martens, Bombay Set – India Ink
  • Cupcake liners
  • Coffee filters
  • Oil pastels – we used a child set, could also use wax crayons
  • Heat gun – there are low heat versions available


Start with painting the cupcake liners and coffee filters to allow time to dry.  In fact, this project could be a two-part activity as there are many ways to colour them. For example, markers could be used instead on half of the filter and then fold and wet thoroughly. Today, we used ink to paint our filters. They were fun as there’s no wrong way to do them.

Next, it’s time to draw the self-portrait. The video shows a time-lapse of this process using oil pastels. Use a mirror to see yourself. Don’t colour everything in, this is where watercolour or ink could be used. This technique is called wax resist.

If you can, draw in some things that are important in your life. Tell a story with these objects. It’s great to look back like reading a diary.


Once your portrait is drawn and painted as well as dried. It’s time to glue the coffee filters and liners too. Scrunch them up to resemble a flower then use a glue gun to affix to the painting. It’s best to use a glue gun as there is wax on the paper so white glue wouldn’t be as effective.


Our in-house artist can tailor this activity for an event suitable for all ages. Contact us today.

Watercolour Tutorial  Reach for the Stars

ArtyPants loves watercolours and teaching to all ages.  Watch the video to learn how you could paint your own galaxy.  The best part about watercolours is that it is quite versatile with lots of different techniques.  So get making art and experiment to develop your own style!


There are lots of different papers, watercolours, brushes and more out there.  A lot of it comes down to preference.  For myself, I prefer a smoother finish to the paper so hot press it typically what I buy.

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Contact ArtyPants to have your own paint party at home.  Our in-house artist can tailor an event for all ages.

Let the Wild Rumpus Start ~ Monster Art

How exciting to be celebrating the birthday of Maurice Sendak, illustrator and writer of children’s books.  He became well-known for his book and now movie Where the Wild Things Are.

Since 1963 when it was first published, Where the Wild Things Are is still a popular book depicting Max a boy who wasn’t happy about being sent to bed without any supper. I’ve taught this book while teaching ESL overseas, even made this into a play.  The children loved the characters and the imagination of Max.  So today, let’s make our own monsters!


  • Where the Wild Things Are book
  • cut up colour paper in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • glue
  • beads
  • googly eyes
  • feathers
  • pom poms
  • stars
  • masking tape
  • add more things if wish: glitter, stickers, different types of paper, string, the list is endless


After reading the book, roaring and rolling our terrible eyes. I set up the table as an invitation to create.  There is no one way to create a monster, that’s what is fun. Use your imagination just like Max!