Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), Portrait of a Young Woman, 1632, oil on panel. Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1961. (1961.35)

Create a portrait with colored pencil, crayon, or oil pastel. Artists create portraits to capture the image of a person. This painting, Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Young Woman, realistically captures the details of the woman’s face and clothing. The artist accomplishes this realistic effect by layering thin layers of paint. You can capture a similar layered effect using crayons, pastels, or thinned down paint at home. Often, artists create portraits of themselves, or people they care about. Before photographs, paintings and drawings were the only ways people could capture an image. We still create portraits today because they are an important expression of creativity and emotion.

Create your portrait and then create a decorative frame for your portrait with cardboard, matboard, plastic, or found objects. Try making a frame that captures the personality of the person in your portrait.

Steps to Make a Portrait:

  1. Create a pencil sketch. Draw lightly so you can erase if you need to.
  2. Create an outline by darkening your lines or tracing with a marker or dark colored pencil.
  3. Color your portrait with crayons, oil pastel, or colored pencils.
  4. Create a frame for your portrait and hang it on a wall!

Share Your Art on Social Media!
Tag @atownartmuseum & #AAMatHome.