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Half Portrait Tutorial

Here’s an easy self portraits for kids art lesson, complete with step-by-step directions. Drawing half a face leaves lots of room for a name.

Easy self portraits for kids art lesson, complete with step-by-step directions. Drawing half a face leaves lots of room for a name.
A finished Half Portrait drawing

If you would like to have your students practice drawing faces, and you’re tired of seeing them draw really small, this self portraits for kids project may be just what you are looking for. It instructs them to draw from the top to the bottom of their paper, and practice their facial proportions while creating their own self portrait.

Self portraits are great projects for students of all ages as they give them a unique chance to express themselves. And the more they learn about the fundamentals of drawing faces, the more freedom they will have in drawing their own.

Art has the role in education of helping children become more like themselves, instead of more like everyone else.


Using Drawing Guides

The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing is to give them a few guides to follow. Does that mean printing or drawing them first? Nope. The easiest way to get some quick guides is to just fold the paper so the creases can tell them where to start and stop their lines. All of the tutorials on this website have at least one horizontal and vertical dashed line to refer to, and they make quick and easy reference points that actually disappear as the art is colored in.

This project in particular has lots of shapes that fall right on those lines, so there’s very little guesswork involved. The chin should fall on the bottom line, the nose on the middle, and the eyes on the top horizontal line. To get those extra horizontal lines for this project, just fold the paper one extra time in the short direction. Be sure to make a nice crease before opening so it’s easy to see where to draw.

Why Make a Half Portrait with your Students?

Many students tend to obsess over making perfectly matching eyes, ears, etc. when they draw anyone’s face, especially their own. By drawing just half the face, they can concentrate on only one eye, and half the nose, and so one. It also takes a whole lot less time to draw half of a face, so they are free to make their name extra fancy, if desired.

This Half Portrait makes for a great back-to-school project as it will help everyone learn each other’s names, and doesn’t require fancy supplies or take a lot of time. Just imagine how great your classroom will look with lots of colorful faces up on display. Lots of teachers have shared their happy results with this project every year. It’s a keeper, as they say.

You can get a print friendly PDF tutorial simply by joining my email list below. It’s a great way to have my newest tutorials come to you, instead of you searching them out.

Preview of the Step by Step Tutorial

Easy self portraits for kids art lesson, complete with step-by-step directions. Drawing half a face leaves lots of room for a name.

Materials for the Half Portrait Project

  • Pencil. The Ticonderoga brand are the most reliable, make nice dark lines when you need them, and are the easiest to erase. Buying the pre-sharpened ones will save busy teachers a lot of time.
  • Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tip erasers, especially when erasing leftover pencil lines after tracing.
  • Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
  • Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
  • Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.

Directions for a Half Portrait Project

Time needed: 1 hour.

How to Draw a Half Portrait

  1. Fold to make guides. Start the head.

  2. Draw the neck.

  3. Add ear, nose and mouth.

  4. Plan eye with two dots.

  5. Draw the eye.

  6. Add eyebrow and hair.

  7. Draw the name in stick letters.

  8. Outline letters.

  9. Trace and color.

More Self Portrait Projects for Kids

back to school art projects
Me & My Goals Self Portrait
minecraft art project
Draw a Minecraft Selfie
self portrait ideas for elementary students
Sunglasses Self Portrait
abstract self portrait ideas
Abstract Self Portrait
Draw Modigliani Self Portrait
easy abstract art
Draw an Abstract Face
Big Eyes Self Portrait
Draw a Cubism Face
Draw a Profile

Here’s a new option for busy teachers and parents. You can now easily download this drawing as a coloring page with the red button below. Just click to open it as a PDF, and save it to your desktop. You’ll have a free coloring page that you can print as often as you want, for whatever kind of project you want. Use it for younger students that want in on the coloring fun, or as a full size visual aid for those that are following the drawing tutorial. For many more fun things to color, please see my COLORING PAGE GALLERY It’s never been easier to see and download so many all in one place!

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Easy self portraits for kids art lesson, complete with step-by-step directions. Drawing half a face leaves lots of room for a name.

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