6 children's paintings are shown. The paintings are self portraits.

Happy New Year!
These painted self-portraits for kids are a great way to kick off 2019 in creative style.

If we’re to believe all the Marketing boffins, then a New Year is all about a New You.
Bah humbug to that, I say! You just do you!
Although I have to admit, there is something incredibly alluring about the promise of a fresh start and new beginnings with the turn of the calendar year.

These self-portraits for kids were inspired by the idea that a New Year means you can reinvent yourself.
I used the prompt of “Who do you want to be this year?”
It was a fun question to ponder whilst we employed one of our favourite processes to create these portraits.

A children's painted self portrait.

What you will need:

Watercolour paper or heavy cardstock (I won’t judge you if you use standard paper- but it just doesn’t soak up the paint as nicely.)
Paints (We used a mix of acrylic paints.)
Old store loyalty cards
Black markers or black India ink

How to paint these self-portraits:

To create the mouth of your portrait, we used the scrape technique.
It’s a great way to make use of all those random plastic store loyalty cards that accumulate in your wallet.
(Or is that just me?!)

Squirt three dots of paint next to each other. Feel free to use more dots- I just find 3 to be the magic number.
Holding your card at an angle to the paint, scrape the paint across the page.
The challenge is to scrape the paint to create the mouth you want for your portrait.

You can see how we created a greeting card with this process here.

I prepped all of our paper and paint before unleashing the mini-artists.
With older kids, they could definitely do this step themselves.
However, the process is so fast and furious that it helps to have everything ready to go.
Plus my kids have very little self-restraint at this stage with paint, and I could just see puddles of paint across my house. Ha!

Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.

You then have two choices.

Add all the extra details. Or wait until the mouths have dried and then add all the extra details.
I went with the second option.

We discussed the shapes that could be used to create eyes and noses.

We began using black markers to add the other facial features. But then I took it to the next level and brought out the India ink. This stuff is messy but the results are oh-so-good!

Kiddy self-portraits are some of my very favourite things in life.

So who do you want to be this year?

And if it feels like the New Year took you by surprise, never fear! You get a second chance when Chinese New Year rolls around in February.

Check out these Chinese New Year crafts here.

If you try these self-portraits for kids, be sure to tag me @ohcreativeday on social media. I love seeing my projects in the real world!

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Colourful painted self portraits are shown with the text overlay of New Year, New You: Painted Self-Portraits for Kids