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Drawing From a New Perspective

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Created by Maya Ankenbruck

Hello it's Maya from the South Haven Center for the Arts!

Today we are going to be drawing on our backs with a piece of paper taped to the bottom of a chair. This exercise is inspired by the South Haven Center for the Arts' Frida Kahlo theme. Frida Kahlo is a self-taught, Surrealist and Magic Realism female artist. She had polio as a child and then suffered a bus accident at the age of eighteen. The bus accident left her with lifelong pain and medical problems. Due to this she made her paintings in an unusual way. Her canvas would be suspended in the air above her and she could paint with her limited movements this way. Frida Kahlo was in her bed most of the time, in the same space every day. She maneuvered around obstacles in her life to make beautiful, deep art. Sometimes pain creates great art, sometimes life is very challenging. Sometimes a new perspective can be enriching, or inspiring, or just gives a new outlook on your surroundings.

Materials Needed

  • Chair

  • Piece of paper

  • Tape

  • Drawing utensil

  • Mirror

Watch the DIY Tutorial Video!

To begin this exercise you will need a chair, a piece of paper, tape, and a drawing utensil. I recommend also having a mirror as I would like you to draw a self-portrait. We will tape the paper to the underside of the chair, get under the chair, and draw a self-portrait from this new angle. In Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, she used many symbols. Maybe you would like to add things that are very important to who you are into your art piece. How do you feel while making this art piece? Is it difficult? Does it give you a new perspective? What did you think about while making your self portrait?

Other variations of this perspective exercise could be, looking at yourself upside down in a mirror and drawing your portrait that way. I was looking at myself upside down and I just looked very different than I would normally, it was interesting. You could see how it would feel to draw without your writing hand, draw with your less dominant hand or try and draw with your toes or hold a drawing utensil in your mouth. These are also a way of getting a new perspective on creating art, trying new things can give you great inspiration. What other ways can you think of to create art in a new way? How can you look at yourself at a new angle?

I would love to see all of your ideas and creations, share your photos with us at

Self Portrait drawing by Maya


Maya Simone Ankenbruck was the South Haven Center for the Arts' Intern for the summer 2020 season. This opportunity was made available by a grant from The Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation.

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