Self Portraits

Self Portraits

  • 60


  • Embrace Identity
  • Find Calm
  • Bring Joy

What you need

  1. Paints and brushes
  2. Pens and pencils
  3. Thick art paper
  4. Easels (if easier)


Vincent, Pablo, Frida and many other great artists have immortalised themselves with paint. Are you ready to do the same? Self-portraits don’t necessarily have to be lifelike; they can be abstract or wildly imaginative. They can capture how you look now, or how you did once upon a time. 

Since art has no rules, just put the materials out and whisper words of encouragement. 

This activity is best done in a quiet, private room with a small group of around 4 or 1-on-1.

The Activity

  1. Set up easels or seats at a table with paper, pens, pencils and paints 
  2. Invite the person or people to sit where they feel comfortable
  3. Tell them they’ll be drawing then painting a portrait of themselves
  4. Inspire them with some examples from other artists
  5. Discuss whether people would like to paint themselves as they are now or as they were in the past, and talk about various styles and techniques they could use
  6. Encourage each person to make a start 
  7. Throughout the session, visit each person and offer words of support and encouragement
  8. If a person seems very focussed on their painting, don’t interrupt them and come back a little later
  9. Carry on until everyone has finished
  10. If each person wants to, they can share their art with the group
  11. Carry on with the paintings another time, if one session isn’t quite enough time