SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion

Students paint self-portrait that looks as if it is on the surface of a sphere.

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SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion


  • Crayola Tempera Paint
  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Bristol Board or Painting Paper - 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12") - 1 per student
  • Paper Towels
  • Water Containers
  • Plastic Lids for Palettes
  • Photograph of Self - or Image to Represent Self


Step 1
  1. Lightly draw diagonal lines from corner to corner on the Bristol board to locate the centre.
Step 2
  1. Cut out a circle with a 20 cm (8") diameter.
Step 3
  1. Fold the circle into quarters to find the centre.
  2. Line up the centre of the circle with the centre of the Bristol board.
Step 4
  1. Open the paper circle and trace it onto the Bristol board.
  2. Draw a square around the circle.
  3. Mark 2 cm (1") intervals on all 4 sides of the square.
Step 5
  1. Connect the marks on opposite sides of the Bristol board with straight lines.
  2. When you come to the circle gently curve the line as if you are moving over the surface of a sphere, then continue to the other mark in a straight line.
Step 6
  1. Scan or download a photograph of yourself.
  2. Crop your photograph so it is a 10 cm (4") square and shows a close-up of your face.
  3. Print the photograph.
  4. Mark 1 cm intervals on all 4 sides of your photograph.
  5. Connect the marks opposite each other to form a grid.
Step 7
  1. Cut out a circle with a 10 cm (4") diameter.
  2. Place it over your photograph and trace it.
Step 8
  1. Assign a letter to each column of the grid on the Bristol board and a number to each row.
  2. Assign matching letters and numbers to the columns and rows of the grid on your photograph.
Step 9
  1. Decide where to start drawing.
  2. Look at the box that contains your starting point and find the corresponding box on the bigger paper, e.g., 4G.
  3. Copy the details in that box.
  4. You may want to place small pieces of paper strips along the edges of the box you are working on to help you see only those details.
  5. Continue drawing from box to box until you have finished all the details.
Step 10
  1. Gently erase the grid lines and begin to paint.
  2. Mix a range of colours to show light and shadow.
Step 11
  1. Decide where you want your sphere to be.
  2. Paint the background adding tints of colours for highlights and shades of colours for shadows.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Mathematics,

    • Visual Arts

  • Grades:

    • Grade 6,

    • Grade 7,

    • Grade 8,

    • Grade 9

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