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FriYAY Family Fun Idea: Paint Wicked Awesome Self-Portraits

For this WICKED AWESOME Family Fun Idea we busted out the paint brushes yet again for some silly self-portraits- Here's what we did & how we did it...

(Above L-R: Self-Portraits of Kylie, Me, Krista)

Eric always teases that I graduated from an "Arts and Crafts School."

Though I spent 3 years at Ft. Myers High, I actually spent my senior year and graduated from Cypress Lake High School Center for Performing Arts in Ft. Myers, Florida. So, I guess there is a bit of truth to his playfulness. That being said, I was a Musical Theatre major with a minor in Digital Media Production, so there wasn't much of a Visual Arts aspect to my degree, though I did take a couple pottery classes.

But I digress... Of all my favorite things to craft and create, painting is my most favorite. I especially love to bust out my MANY boxes of acrylics when I desperately need to decompress after a stressful week; it brings me back to center.

I am by no means a modern day Renoir, as my paintings look more like a 5-year-old's rendering of a Picasso/Britto collab, but its really therapeutic for me. I've especially enjoyed sharing this favored pastime of mine with my two insanely creative step-daughters.

We have painted so many things together that an entire hallway in our house is completely adorned with our canvases- I call it: The Art Hall-ery (like 'gallery' but with an 'H', get it?!)

(Left: The Art Hall-ery)

Now that I've shared some snaps of my most prized possessions (our family's private collection of painted canvases) here's some self-portrait how-tos and inspo...

Here's What We Use:

  • - Acrylic Paint, as many colors as you want

  • -Paintbrushes, assorted sizes

  • -Blank Canvases, any size (we used smaller ones for this project)

  • -Cup of Water (for washing brushes between paint colors)

  • -Paper Towels (for drying brushes after rinsing)

  • -Mixing Tray (optional)

How We Did It:

Obviously, painting a self-portrait is pretty straight forward, but here's some little tidbits and ideas to spice it up a notch:

  • Instead of doing a self-portrait, paint portraits of each other - Krista painted a really cool photo of Pops (who also lives with us) and it's probably the coolest piece of art work we have in the house. Pops is an 81 year old hippy, so I think she really captured his true essence or as I like to call it, "Popsness"

(Above: Pops' portrait, by Krista)

  • Turn yourself into something fantastical. Paint yourself as a pirate, a fairy, a monster, an animal, a mermaid... the list is as limitless as your imagination. We are all pretty fond of mermaids in my house, so that's the route we chose to go with this set.

(Above: Kylie and Krista as mermaids, by Krista)

(Above: Kylie as a mermaid, by Kylie)

(Above: Me as a mermaid, by me)

  • Or, you can have your kids paint themselves as what they want to be when they grow up ie. doctor, fireman, actress, lawyer, flight attendant... whatever :)

  • Have your kids paint a portrait of what they think they'll look like when they're older... this one is fun and I wish I had an example... maybe that will be our next paint project!

  • Choose a famous character from a book or a movie and have them paint themselves as if they were a part of it. For me, I am a sucker for Zelda Fitzgerald (yes, F. Scott got the credit, but his works were said to be plagiarized from her diary) so I painted myself as a book cover for The Great Gatsby.

(Above L-R: Gatsby self-portrait by me, the inspiration photo)

  • Give them a well-known artist (Warhol, Munch, Dali etc.) and tell them to paint a portrait of themselves using that artists style. This is a great idea for incorporating a little education into the mix as they will have the opportunity to learn about different artists and their signature styles that made them famous.

  • Really, the only limit to this Family Fun Idea is your own imagination and creativity.... the possibilities are endless!

The point is to just have a good time, entertain the littles for a bit, and get in some productive and fun family bonding time. Truly, the conversations the girls and I have while around the painting table (especially when dad gets in on the mix) are some of the most thoughtful, special and often quite humorous moments we have together.

And it sure makes for awesome wall decor!

*names have been changed to protect the innocent

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