Self-Portrait Lesson

Definition: A portrait an artist makes using himself or herself as its subject, typically drawn or painted from a reflection in a mirror.

Many self-portrait artists painted pictures of themselves working on their art or in groups of friends. Often they are just pictures of the face and shoulders. It is believed that many early artists used mirrors while painting to capture their image. Many modern artists use photography to take their self-portraits. This requires a camera with a timer and some kind of tri-pod or stand. Women more commonly create self-portraits than men.

Some Famous Artists that made self-portraits include:

  • Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906)
  • Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926)
  • Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
  • Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903)
  • Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1972)
  • M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972)
  • Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954)
  • Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
  • Chuck Close (American, 1940-)
  • Cindy Sherman (American, 1954-)

Some of the REASONS that artists made self-portraits include:

  • Immortality (to make sure they are remembered in history)
  • Storytelling (to tell a story about their life)
  • Self-promotion (to advertise their work and themselves)

Some of the common art mediums that artists used to create self-portraits include:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography

Here are some of my power point and planning resources…

Want to EARN BONUS points on your Self-Portrait? Make your self-portrait ALSO fit the PTA Reflections contest theme of “I can make a difference by…”  OR make it fit the library reading art contest theme.(see our North Library for details)