Kindergarten Self-Portraits

Teaching kindergarten about self-portraits is really fun because they come up with such creative ideas and their drawings of themselves are so happy. It’s been a very long and tiring week of teaching but seeing the art my students create always makes me happy and reminds me of the reason I love teaching art.

One kindergarten class drew self-portraits from head to shoulders. They added yarn for hair and buttons/sequins as decorations.

The other kindergarten class painted pictures and then drew a self-portrait of themselves as an artist, holding a paintbrush and painting the background.


I started teaching at my current school in February 2021. Because I was a new teacher starting mid-year and I wanted to get to know my students, our first project was a self-portrait lesson. We looked at Kehinde Wiley’s art and compared old, neoclassical art with Wiley’s updated versions of these artworks. We also discussed patterns, colors, and representation in art and throughout art history.

Students then created their own versions of a self-portrait with their own patterns and designs in the background.

Here are some of the self-portraits made by my students:

For the future, I would also include an alternative assignment where students can create an indirect self-portrait. Students can choose an object that means something to them (for example, a toy, a book, clothing, etc.) and draw that object.

For example, I did an indirect self-portrait in college of a scarf because I am known for always wearing scarves: