Teacher: Leigh Kermizian

Title: Miro Inspired Self-Portraits

Grade Level: 10th-11th

Brief History: Joan Miró i Ferrà was born on April 20, 1893 in Barcelona. He was a renowned painter, sculptor, and ceramist. In his paintings, he concentrated on symbols and portrayed those symbols in an eccentric manner. Miro style is typically categorized as Surrealism, but was not keen on being involved in any type of movement. He was heavily influenced by Dada and Modern art.


9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of dance, music, theatre and visual arts

9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts

9.4 Aesthetic Response

Goals: Paint a self-portrait in the style of Joan Miro


Discuss the work of Joan Miro.

Define and discuss the Surrealist movement.

Create a Miro inspired self-portrait

Requirements: Create a Miro inspired painting using symbols, color, and composition to portray yourself.

Resources/Visual Aids:


PowerPoint of Miro’s work



Canvas stretcher bars

Staple gun



Acrylic paint

Paint brushes


Teacher Prep:

Have supplies ready to distribute


Day One:


  • Review canvas stretching and priming procedure


Stretching the Canvas

  • Build frame by putting four canvas stretcher bars together to make a rectangle, staple each corner twice
  • Cut canvas six inches larger than the dimensions of the stretcher bars
  • Center the frame on the canvas
  • Starting with the longer side, fold the canvas over the stretcher bar
  • Staple the canvas onto the bar with three staples, starting at the center, and two on either side
  • Rotate the canvas and repeat on the remaining three sides, pulling the canvas tightly before stapling
  • Starting with the first side, working from the center going outward, add more staples while pulling the canvas tightly
  • Repeat the process on the remaining three sides
  • Fold the excess canvas at the corners and staple it down

Priming the Canvas

  • Mix gesso
  • Using a wide brush, apply the gesso in even strokes going the same direction (Only if applying two coats of gesso. If applying one coat, use a cross hatching technique)
  • Allow to dry
  • Apply another coat of gesso going the opposite direction of the first coat


  • Clean up

Day Two:


  • Show PowerPoint of Miro’s work
  • Explain project


  • Create a quick sketch of self-portrait on the canvas (allow the hand to move freely as an extension of the unconscious)
  • Begin painting paying attention to line, color and composition

Clean up:

Day Three- Six:


  • Review progress of students


  • Continue work on paintings


  • Clean up

Day Seven


  • Review process of a critique
  • Set up work




  • Clean up
  • Discuss effectiveness of critique

Critique/evaluation/assessment: Students work will be graded based on a rubric that will look at creativity, originality, craftsmanship, and participation. Students will participate in a critique based on the following criteria:

  • Prepare to critique
  • Examine Actual (literal) qualities
  • Examine Functional qualities
  • Examine Formal qualities
  • Examine Expressive qualities
  • Determine Relevant theories

Extension: Students will conduct research on Joan Miro and pick a painting to analyze.

Time budget:

Day One

Intro: 10 minutes

Work time: 30 minutes

Clean up: 5 minutes

Day Two

Intro: 10 minutes

Work time: 30 minutes

Clean up: 5 minutes

Day Three- Six

Intro: 5 minutes

Work time: 35 minutes

Clean up: 5 minutes

Day Seven

Intro: 5 minutes

Critique: 35 minutes

Clean up: 5 minutes


Surrealism: Artistic movement that captured dreamlike images

Realism: Representing an object accurately

Abstract: Non Representational art that focuses on the use of line, color, and forms.

Safety Concerns: None



Malet, R.M. (1983). Joan Miro. New York, NY: Rizzolo International Publications, Inc.



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