20 Self Portrait Drawing Ideas for Kids

Self-portraits are a fantastic way for kids to explore their creativity and develop observational skills.

They get to focus on themselves, their features, and their personalities, all while translating it onto paper.

Whether your child is a budding artist or just starting to explore the world of drawing, self-portraits offer a fun and engaging activity.

This post dives into 20 exciting self-portrait drawing ideas for kids, catering to different ages, skill levels, and interests.

Classic Self-Portrait Twists (Ages 5+):

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall:

This is a great starting point, especially for younger children. Encourage them to sit in front of a mirror and use basic shapes like circles and ovals for the head, lines for facial features, and simple curves for hair.

Feeling Faces:

Go beyond a neutral expression! Ask your child to draw themselves happy, sad, surprised, or angry. This helps them explore emotions and how they manifest on a face.

Action Portraits:

Are they jumping for joy or kicking a ball? Let them capture themselves in motion, adding a sense of dynamism to their self-portrait.

All About Me:

Draw a self-portrait and decorate the background with things they love – pets, toys, hobbies, or their favorite food! This personalizes the picture and tells a story about who they are.

Family Portrait Fun:

Make it a family bonding activity! Each member of the family can draw a self-portrait, creating a unique group portrait.

Material Mashup Mania (Ages 7+):

Crayon Resist:

Draw a self-portrait with white crayon on white paper. Then, paint over it with watercolors – the white crayon resists the paint, creating a cool effect.

Charcoal Champs:

Charcoal pencils are a great way to add depth and shadow. Kids can use them to create a more realistic self-portrait or a dramatic, charcoal-style masterpiece.

Collage Capers:

Cut out magazine clippings, fabric scraps, or colored paper to create a collage self-portrait. This is a great way to experiment with textures and patterns.

Mixed Media Marvels:

Combine different materials like markers, pastels, and paint to create a mixed-media self-portrait.

Nature’s Palette:

Feeling outdoorsy? Collect leaves, flowers, or other natural materials to create a self-portrait using their natural shapes and colors.

Themed Adventures (Ages 8+):

Animalistic Alter Egos:

Does your child have a favorite animal? Let them draw a self-portrait with some animalistic features, like a lion’s mane, a cat’s whiskers, or an owl’s big eyes.

Historical Heroes:

Immerse themselves in history! Let them draw a self-portrait as a historical figure they admire, like a brave knight or an inspiring scientist.

Future Fantastic:

Fast forward to the future! Have them draw themselves in a futuristic setting, perhaps with a robot companion or a flying jetpack.

Imaginary Worlds:

Unleash their imagination! Let them draw themselves in a fantastical world, maybe a magical forest with fairies or an underwater kingdom with mermaids.

Superhero Squad:

Everyone has a superhero inside them! Encourage them to create a superhero self-portrait with a cool costume and special powers.

Creative Challenges (Ages 10+):

Blind Contour:

This is a challenging but rewarding technique. Ask them to draw a self-portrait without looking at the paper! This focuses on hand-eye coordination and observation skills.

Negative Space:

Instead of drawing them directly, draw the background around them, leaving the negative space to define their form. This creates a unique and artistic self-portrait.

Emotional Spectrum:

Draw a series of self-portraits, each representing a different emotion. This can be a powerful way to explore and express their inner world.

Cubist Capers:

Inspired by Picasso, break down their face into geometric shapes and reassemble it in their own cubist style.

Pop Art Power:

Channel Andy Warhol! Create a pop art self-portrait with bold colors, patterns, and repetition.


  • There are no mistakes! Encourage experimentation and celebrate the process of creating.
  • Provide a variety of materials. Crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints, and different types of paper offer endless possibilities

Taking it Digital:

  1. App-tastic Art: There are many drawing and painting apps for kids. Let them explore creating a digital self-portrait using fun tools and features.
  2. Photo Play: Take a selfie and use a photo editing app to add fun effects, filters, and accessories.

Beyond the Flat Surface:

  1. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (3D Edition): Use cardboard or paper mache to create a 3D self-portrait bust.
  2. Sock Puppet Selfies: Decorate a sock to resemble their face, adding hair, eyes, and a mouth. You can use buttons, fabric scraps, or markers. Now they have a 3D puppet version of themselves!
  3. Clay Creations: Mold self-portraits out of modeling clay. This is a great way to explore facial features in a tactile way.
  4. Selfie Sculptures: Use recycled materials like cardboard tubes, bottle caps, and yarn to create a self-portrait sculpture.

Extra Fun for Everyone:

  1. Blindfolded Self-Portraits: This is a hilarious and social activity. Divide into pairs, have one person draw a self-portrait blindfolded while the other person guides their hand. Prepare to be surprised by the results!
  2. Mystery Portraits: Each person draws a self-portrait without revealing who it is. Then, everyone tries to guess whose portrait belongs to whom.

Final Thoughts:

Self-portraits are a journey of self-discovery and artistic expression. This list provides a springboard for creativity, but don’t be afraid to get messy and experiment! Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process of creating together.

Sohaib Hasan Shah

Sohaib's journey includes 10+ years of teaching and counseling experience at BCSS School in elementary and middle schools, coupled with a BBA (Hons) with a minor in Educational Psychology from Curtin University (Australia) . In his free time, he cherishes quality moments with his family, reveling in the joys and challenges of parenthood. His three daughters have not only enriched his personal life but also deepened his understanding of the importance of effective education and communication, spurring him to make a meaningful impact in the world of education.

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