Òmó Oba (Prince) Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo - Yoruba Painter, Sculptor, and Collector

Objectives: Òmó Oba (Prince) Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo is an avid artist and collector. Much of his art both made himself and collected are heavily influenced by where he is from, his family’s past, the culture of his background, and because of the social importance art has for future generations. He enjoys working big, with spontaneous use of color, what makes sense to him at that point, waiting to see what the art piece is trying to tell him. He also likes to combine his culture and background into his work, even including photos of past family members. In this activity, you will take a photo of a family member or someone who is important to you, enlarge it, edit the photo so it’s without color, print it out onto larger paper, then paint over it using whatever colors you feel best
express that image to you.

Tools/Resources: MN Original video clip, iPad or tablet with simple photo editing app, printer (one that can connect to iPad or tablet), large quality art paper that can be printed on, watercolor paints and brushes, pencil and paper for artist statement


  1. Watch the segment and discuss:

    a. Òmó Oba (Prince) Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo likes to work on large-scale paintings – why?

    b. He is highly influenced by how his thoughts and emotions are in connection to the painting he is working on in that moment, what is interesting about that technique vs. realistically colored paintings?

    c. Why would Òmó Oba (Prince) Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo integrate photos of his family into his artwork?

  2. Who is one person in your life who is important to you?

    a. Take a photo of that person, or take a photo of a photo

    b. Using a photo editing program, adjust the photo so that it is black and white and details are easily seen (play around with contrast, brightness, and sharpness). The more “distinct” it is, the better

    c. Once the photo is done, print the photo out on large art paper (thick enough for paint)

  3. Think about how colors evoke certain emotions/feelings or memories, what colors would you want to use to paint over the photo?

    a. Choose three colors to use, paint over the photo in whatever way you chose with whatever colors you feel makes the greatest connection to the person in the photo.

  4. Write an artist statement, explaining who the person is, why they are important to you, and why you chose the colors to paint over the picture. Present your finished artwork by reading your artist statement aloud.
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