OUTLINE OF PORTRAIT: Very lighlty with pencil have kids draw an oval shape on their paper. For the younger grades, provide them with an oval template to trace around. This will eventually be the “face” on their self portrait. (if the student decides to do a profile or “side view” of their face, they can put the oval off to the side a little so it bleeds off the edge as though they are “looking in” on their picture). Have them draw eyes, nose and mouth. Then tell them to draw a neck and shoulders underneath the chin area, and lightly sketch the outline of their hair. THEN LEAVE OUTLINE ALONE UNTIL BACKGROUND IS COMPLETED.
CREATING BACKGROUND: Have the children first draw LIGHTLY with pencil, images in the background that represent them. Tell them to think of things that they like (ex: animals, pets, sports, favorite seasons) and draw images that represent their likes in the background (behind the outline of their face). With acrylic paint or magic markers, have the students brightly color in their background with patterns along their drawn images. (If you choose paint as the medium the kids are using, make sure you give background some time to dry before coloring in their faces).
CREATING FACE OF PORTRAIT: with paint or magic marker, have the students color in their eyes, nose, mouth and skin. Tell them to make sure they match their own eye color. Instruct them to paint in their hair. Have them try to think of texture that their hair has (ex: straight, fine, thick, curly, fluffy) and color/paint their hair in around their face. They may want to outline some of their facial features with dark colored magic markers to make them stand out a little more.
DON’T FORGET TO PUT STUDENT NAME AND YEAR ON THE DRAWING, at least one inch away from the outside border.