The Humanae Project Elementary Art Lesson


Nylah Khan @nylah.khan

Grade Level:

Middle School


Drawing & Painting

In my last post, I questioned how art teachers can tweak their usual skin tone mixing lessons to incorporate ANTI RACISM and have an important dialogue.

If you watched the link I shared in my stories of @angelicadass speaking her truth in a Ted Talks episode, you’ll know why I suggest using her powerful video to initiate an amazing class discussion on race and equality.

Her Humanae Project and these richesonart skin tone tempera cakes inspired this project geared towards my middle schoolers. After creating a grid on plain paper and painting each space with a skin tone (you’re still going to have to color mix them to get more shades) the focus will then be to draw as many diverse human portraits by looking at @humanae_project.

If you have more time, you can even get the students to collaborate and color mix all the different skin tones. But if you are pressed for time, you can create a smaller grid with 4 boxes instead of 16! For higher grades, more realistic details on the portraits can be added, even an addition of a white color pencil can add the perfect highlight! This project when completed will look great as a school or a class collaboration, celebrating skin tones!

Learn more about this lesson here.

Artists & Inspiration

The Humanae Project