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Nate Williams Style Self Portrait

This self portrait art lesson for elementary students mixes very simple profile drawings with a bit of creative writing. It’s inspired by an amazing artist and illustrator, Nate Williams, who has a very childlike style.

self portrait art lessons for elementary students

Check out the Kids page on Nate William’s site, it’s too cute! You can inspired for all kinds of fun projects, just by taking note of his original style

The one tip I would emphasize is that the portraits look best when the words F-I-L-L the sections of the drawing. You can use initial caps, all caps, cursive, you name it. Just challenge yourself to get creative in how you fill the space. That’s just one of the features that will make your drawing unique.



  1. Students draw a VERY simple profile head, with our without a hat, with simple neck and shoulders. See the Line Drawing sample.
  2. About 3 or 4 lines are added to split up the face.
  3. All lines are traced with a marker.
  4. The sections in the face are filled in with words that students love: activities, food, hobbies. The words need to creatively FILL each section.
  5. After planning in pencil, the lines are traced with a crayon.
  6. The background of the writing is filled with watercolor paint. Other areas may be filled with crayon. 

Real Life Inspiration

Cards by Maddic, age 5 and Clark, age 6

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