Inspiring children one color at a time

Kindergarten Self-Portraits

By on Jan 27, 2011 | 16 comments

How cute are these? My kinder classes traced oval templates, drew in their eyes, neck and shoulders then embarked on a painting adventure. They painted their faces and necks first, their tops next and backgrounds last. Set aside to dry. Next class, paint eyes, nose and mouth. Add hair and voila! A beautiful self portr


  1. you are so inspiring! i teach at a a k-1 building and just finished portraits. i think i have done them differently every year….as always, this year is my favorite! i like that you had them paint the hair….drawing it is very difficult : )


    January 29, 2011

  2. Love these!


    February 4, 2011

  3. I love these too! I want to have all my 36 Kindergartens on my walls for our parent night on the 15th. What kind of paper and paint did you use? How did you get the “skin” colour?


    March 3, 2011

  4. Every time I look at the beautiful things your kids produce my heart is filled with joy! You must be an amazing teacher.


    June 29, 2011

  5. I love these kindergarten faces. I wish my kinders were ready for this. They still create head/feet people. We are working on it, but not there yet. Love your website and have been inspired many times over.


    October 4, 2011

    • My kinders did these near the end of the school year. There is a BIG difference from the beginning. Try doing a step-by-step tutorial and use templates for the face. Makes it easier for the little ones.


      October 5, 2011

      • Wow! These are amazing! I have the same problem as RDP with some of my KG students, mainly the boys. I like the idea of using an oval template for their heads. The thing is then they don’t use proportional sizes for the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!


        March 3, 2013

        • At this age, only a few Kinders will be able to make proportional faces. And that’s completely age-appropriate and darn cute, I might add. I do teach facial proportions to this age group and see what comes of it. Most of the time they do a great job.

          Patty Palmer

          March 3, 2013

  6. Hi Patty – any tips or resources on how to teach placement of eyes, nose, ears, etc.. so their faces turn out somewhat recognizable as faces? I’m not experienced with teaching art but am attempting this lesson with a small group of homeschool students. I’d love any tips you can give me. Thanks!


    October 10, 2011

    • No…thank you! What a great auction project!


      February 1, 2012

    • Wow, Laura! Beautiful!


      March 3, 2013

  7. HI there! Your site is fabulous and I love this project! :) I am wondering however, what kind of paper and paint did you use? How did you get the “skin” colour?

    Thanks so much!


    September 4, 2014

    • I use Tru-Ray sulphite paper in my art room. You can achieve skin colors by mixing nude tempera paint with some orange and some brown. I like Crayola.

      Patty Palmer

      September 5, 2014

  8. how would you document self portraits in kindergarten for the parents to understand what we are doing and why?


    September 20, 2015

    • I’m not exactly sure what this statement would be for–whether it’s for a back-to-school night or for an art show–but I would just type up a statement expressing your intentions with the project. It would be a nice addition to the child’s art so parents can learn what the process is meant to teach.

      Patty Palmer

      September 20, 2015


  1. first day « little school in the big woods - [...] she started a self-portrait (idea thanks to Ms. Patty at Deep Space Sparkle), [...]

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