Self Portrait Project

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Project Description

The Mixed Media Self Portrait assignment is a dynamic and expressive project that encourages students to explore their identities, self-perceptions, and creative talents through the use of multiple artistic mediums. This assignment goes beyond traditional self-portraits and invites students to experiment with a diverse range of materials and techniques to convey their unique personalities and inner worlds.

Project Objectives:

The primary objectives of the Mixed Media Self Portrait assignment are as follows:
  • Self-Exploration: Encourage students to delve into introspection and self-exploration to gain a deeper understanding of their identity, experiences, and emotions.
  • Mixed Media Techniques: Introduce students to a variety of art materials and techniques, including drawing, painting, collage, and more.
  • Creative Expression: Foster creative thinking and experimentation by allowing students to blend and layer different mediums to communicate their self-perceptions.
  • Narrative and Conceptual Thinking: Encourage students to develop a narrative or concept behind their self-portrait, conveying not only their physical appearance but also their thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
  • Presentation and Communication: Teach students how to present and articulate their artistic choices, the symbolism within their artwork, and the message they aim to convey.

  • Materials Needed:

    The materials for this assignment may vary depending on the specific vision of the student, but commonly used materials include:
  • Canvas or heavy paper
  • Pencils, charcoal, or pastels for drawing
  • Acrylic paints or watercolors
  • Collage materials (magazines, newspapers, photographs)
  • Glue, adhesive, or mod podge
  • Brushes and painting tools
  • Found objects (buttons, fabric, jewelry, etc.)
  • Mixed media materials (inks, markers, oil pastels)
  • Scissors and cutting tools
  • Varnish or fixative (for preserving the artwork)

  • Project Steps:

  • Self-Reflection: Begin by asking students to reflect on their own identity, experiences, and emotions. Encourage them to consider what aspects of themselves they want to convey in their self-portrait.
  • Planning and Concept: Have students sketch out their ideas for the self-portrait, considering composition, symbolism, and the use of different mediums. Discuss the message or story they want to communicate.
  • Mixed Media Exploration: Introduce students to various mixed media techniques through demonstrations and examples. These may include drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, or any other combination of materials and techniques.
  • Artistic Process: Students should start creating their self-portrait, beginning with a foundation that could be a drawing or a painted base. From there, they can layer additional elements using various materials and techniques.
  • Narrative and Symbolism: Encourage students to incorporate symbolism and elements that represent their identity, interests, and experiences. These symbols could be drawn, painted, or collaged onto the artwork.
  • Layering and Blending: Demonstrate how to effectively blend and layer different mediums to create a cohesive and visually engaging self-portrait.
  • Presentation: Discuss the importance of presenting the artwork thoughtfully. This could include selecting a suitable frame or display method and preparing an artist statement.
  • Reflection and Critique: Hold a class critique session where students discuss their self-portraits, the creative process, and the symbolism behind their choices. Provide constructive feedback and encourage students to reflect on their growth as artists.
  • Final Presentation: Encourage students to present their self-portraits to the class, explaining their artistic decisions, the narrative or concept behind their work, and the emotions or experiences they sought to convey.

  • Learning Objectives

    Self-Exploration and Self-Awareness:
  • Encourage students to explore and reflect on their personal identity, experiences, and emotions.

  • Mixed Media Techniques:
  • Introduce students to various mixed media techniques, such as drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, and layering.

  • Creative Thinking and Innovation:
  • Foster creative thinking by encouraging students to experiment with unconventional materials and approaches.

  • Technical Skills and Craftsmanship:
  • Develop technical skills related to drawing, painting, collage, and other mixed media techniques.

  • Artistic Expression and Communication:
  • Teach students how to effectively communicate their artistic choices, symbolism, and narratives to others.

  • Emotional Expression and Empathy:
  • Allow students to use their self-portraits as a means of expressing and processing emotions.

  • Rubric

    Rubrics have become popular with teachers as a means of communicating expectations for an assignment, providing focused feedback on works in progress, and grading final products. A rubric is a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria, or what counts, and describing levels of quality from excellent to poor.

    The rubric for the self-portrait project can be viewed, downloaded and printed below. Enjoy

    Element of Art


    An element of art that is two-dimensional, flat, or limited to height and width.

    Artist : Vincent Van Gogh

    Vincent van Gogh is instantly recognizable by his reddish hair and beard, his gaunt features, and intense gaze. Van Gogh painted some 36 self-portraits in the space of only ten years. Perhaps only Rembrandt produced more, and his career spanned decades. For many artists, like Rembrandt and Van Gogh, the self-portrait was a critical exploration of personal realization and aesthetic achievement.

    Project Example

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    Project Demonstration

    Student Work

    You're Ready to Start Your Project.

    Project Submission

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    Self-Portrait Comments

    My favortite
    I looked very funny and I laughed a lot.
    The best.
    I like the self-portrait because it was a whole lot of fun. Another reason why I like it is that it was a challenge and it looked like it was very hard but once you do it, it is very easy. Another reason why is that drawing myself was really cool and fun. Another is that you get to draw stuff that you like a lot and it was fun drawing all of it. The final reason why is that coloring it was great and I wish we did this more often.
    I  loved it was so fun i  love drawing myself.
    First its the last project of the year. Next its easy. Also Its fun. Then you get to choose what you put in the background. Lastly the project is a cool way to show what we like.
    i like the self portrait
    1 I was good at shading so it was pretty easy
    2 It was fast because I was not there for some of the time and still finished it
    3 I liked using the markers
    4 I loved expressing myself through the painting by drawing things I like
    5 I liked drawing my sweatshirt
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    10 + 43 = ?