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

    Self Portait
    Was not great but not bad. was a bit hard to do. Need to pay lots of attention and hard work. But was cool to do.
    Self portrait
    I liked the self-portrait. It was fun how you only had to draw half of your body, and it ended up looking really realistic.
    I loved this one! I liked the challenge of having to do the other side on your own. I learned how to better my shading and shapes. I also learn how to draw textures better! This was my favorite.
    Self portrait
    It was kinda fun i looked ugly but I'm a sigma
    Honestly, I really love how the drawing kind of looks like me, but in a gray form. So, it was really weird to find me in a drawing without color.