Modigliani Mother’s Day Portraits

First grade students made Modigliani portraits with a twist! Instead of a self-portrait, we made portraits of our mothers. We began by viewing images of Modigliani’s portraits and talked about his distinct artistic style, specifically:

  • long neck
  • long, thin nose
  • blank, almond-shaped eyes
  • small, closed mouth

One of Modigliani's many portraits of Jeanne Hebuterne

I prepared this Modigliani PowerPoint, which you may find helpful.

Students began the portrait using Sharpie on white paper, then colored with oil pastels. The portraits are distinguished by hair style and color, eye color, skin color and jewelry. After drawing and coloring their mothers, students made a simple solid background.

First graders make portraits of their mothers in the style of Modigliani. Allow 2-3 40-minute sessions.


I have been teaching this project for years and the mothers love it! The first grade teachers hang the framed portraits in their classrooms for the annual Mother’s Day Tea.

I adapted this lesson from a project in the book Drawing Faces (see illustration on cover). I think it is out of print. It is available used, or may be available at your library.


About Rina Vinetz

Hi there! I'm Rina. I teach K-6 art to 400 students at a public school near San Diego, California. I love teaching art and sharing with other art teachers. Thanks for visiting!

One thought on “Modigliani Mother’s Day Portraits

  1. […] taught this project before – click here to see more examples of student work. This project would work really well for Father’s Day – Modigliani made many portraits […]

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