Monday, August 29, 2011

Kids Art: Self Portraits

You may remember W-A-Y back in May...(when we were all looking forward to Summer vacation) :)...I shared with you a fun, easy and almost cheating way to do a portrait...That time I used our Chicken Pebbles as an example....This time you get to see how I use the technique with some young artists....

Aren't they cute!!

The first thing I do is take picture of them with my digital camera...I then edit it on Picnik (My favorite on line photo editing service)...I use the pencil sketch tool and make the lines as light as possible without losing to much detail....I then print it on Water Color paper.  (I have to cut the paper some so that it fits in my standard size machine). 

Here is an example after the portrait has been edited.

The next step is to have the children  trace the lines they want to show, using a black sharpie... (I like the ones with a super fine tip). After that they simply paint their portrait using water color paints....The ink from the printer does run (not the sharpie)... this shows up more with the lighter colors....We just consider that shadows. :)

I let the children choose their background color...but we do discuss it first, to make sure it complements the colors they have already used.

Notice the mustache she drew on herself...I love this kid!  She drew her Owl holding pistals..LOL...She cracked me up!!!

I also ask that they use more than one color in both their hair...(At least three) and their faces (usually two colors plus a "blush").

This is one of my favorite projects, not only because the results are fantastic but also because it teaches the kids to really look at a face or a picture and pull out the most important features....with that being said...sometimes...well almost always... I hear groans from someone part way through..." I hate my picture...Can I start over?"   Hmmm, the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no...all depending on if it can be saved or me, the most important part is that the child likes it!!

Anyway this truly is a fun and easy way to do a why don't you give it a try...Or better yet trot on down to your local school, volunteer to teach art and try it out on a whole "herd" of kids...You won't regret it!!!  :)
As always thanks for visiting!!
I will be linking up to some of those Groovy parties on my side bar...Won't you join me?


  1. This is sooo awesome!! LOVE it. Their portraits looks GREAT and they all look so proud, too : ) I need to try this with my boys!
    Jaimee @

  2. What a fun idea, I know my kids will love to try this!

  3. What a great idea! It would be good to have a sketch to start with. I am going to save this idea for sure! Thanks for linking up with DIY under $5!

  4. This is such a great idea! My daughter adores art and really likes a great looking finished product... this is a great way to help along the advanced look she'd love! Thank you!

  5. I used to be an art instructor and would have LOVED to do this on water color day... but now that I'm a fulltime momma I am definitely going to try this with my kiddo's. Thank you SO much for the inspiration- such a cute project :) Thanks for linkin up w/ us @ Whatcha Got Weekend!!!

    PS: Picnik is also my fav fav fav editing site. What did I ever do w/o it?! lol

  6. i just saw this on pinterest and LOVE this idea!!! i am TOTALLY doing this for the grandparents!!!!! thanks!

  7. What kind of printer did you use?

  8. Picnik no longer exsists :-( Do you know of another editing program that will do the pencil sketch?

  9. Can you suggest another editing tool? Picnik no longer available and I'd love to try this with my kids!

  10. Lovely project. I'd also like to know if you're aware of an alternative editing tool

    1. Ribbet has a pencil can find it at Have fun and thanks for asking!

  11. What kind of watercolors did you use? I notice the kids used a light pink for their lips, and I was thinking I know mine would go straight for the!



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