Monday, April 29, 2013

Self Portraits of a 3 Year Old

Now that Big Brother is a little older he is able to start drawing things which are slightly more recognizable to other viewers. Although his drawings in the past year have often come with a story they were usually created as he told the story. And he tends to be a kid more interested in projects which involve painting and filling spaces with color versus creating line drawings. So several days before his third birthday I was pretty excited to discover he was able to draw faces with a little verbal coaching from me. After doing a few on his chalkboard one evening he then started drawing them more spontaneously on his own.

I realized it would be a great time to do a self-portrait project. Self portraits can be easily be done with kids of all ages once they get old enough to draw a little more concretely, they just get much more detailed the older they get. For younger kids, like my guy, it helps them further develop some self-awareness of themselves. Providing a mirror for kids while drawing themselves is not only fun for the young artist, but allows them to observe themselves and think about what they want to include in their drawing. We have a plexiglass mirror in our dress up stuff which I pulled out and propped up on the kitchen table.

By the time we did this project, he knew that faces were round or "circles" and started with that. As he worked I asked him some questions which he could answer by looking in the mirror. "What color are your eyes? What color is your hair? What else do you notice about yourself in the mirror?" He decided to include brown eyes, brown hair, a nose, ears, and two lips. He started with one line for the mouth, looked in the mirror and decided to add another line because he had two lips.

We were doing some discussion around his favorite foods in connection to a book we'd been reading, so we added a plate with his favorite foods written onto it.

On his actual third birthday I had him do another portrait. I'm planning on adding this to a birthday book (another post coming about the birthday book soon) and having him do a portrait each year.


  1. I love the face in the mirror!

  2. I love the idea of him doing self portraits. It is amazing how quickly they change how they see themselves. It is so cute the intense look that he gets when he is doing his projects.