A tutorial on making a living portrait, where the artist’s own face becomes part of the actual picture. This technique shows how any artist can become a living part of their own portrait quite easily and for the amusement of other people viewing the artworks on show. Begin by cutting out a hole for the real face to look through in the centre of a piece of board or card, onto which a larger portrait will be painted over, including the hole. The artist’s face is then painted into the larger portrait using the same colours to camouflage them as if they were part of the larger image. A large abstract portrait gives added disguise as it is less easy for a viewer to interpret immediately. Once on show, the real artist can blink, speak or change expression within the picture to give the viewer a pleasant surprise.

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Teach

Children could look at, compare and contrast portraits by Banksy and Picasso. They could use these images as inspiration for individual portrait styles. Classes could create a fun living portrait gallery in school as part of a school event.