Self Portraits – How to Make Hand Print Art

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Welcome to Week 2

Hi everyone, welcome to week 2 of Art Camp at Home. This week’s theme is The Best Version of Myself – we will be exploring self portraiture, self expression, and how to use art to help others… 

Roy Litchenstein

I wanted to start the week with some self portraits, but self portraits can be daunting and scary – where do you start? How do you show all of yourself in one picture? Plus, drawing faces can be quite tricky! So, to avoid feeling overwhelmed, we are going to break it down and concentrate on just our hands… 

Hands can tell you a lot about a person, and you have great power in your hands; with your hands you can be kind, you can be cruel (don’t be), you can be helpful, you can give, you can grow, you can hurt and heal, you can create…. 

Let’s explore… 

Hand Prints

Andy Warhol Inspired Handprints

The easiest place to start when exploring our hands in art is to make hand prints. So that is what we are going to do this morning… 

What you will need:

  • Paper or card 
  • Paint (any kind)
  • A brush or sponge 
  • Water and soap
  • A towel 

To start with, just have a go at making handprints – compare your right and left, compare with each other, look at the sizes, lines, shapes… how does it feel to paint your hand and focus on it? What colours do you like best? Does it work better with more or less paint? 

NOTE – if you have children who really don’t like the feeling of paint on their hands, you can draw round your hands instead, and then colour them in. 


Next, once you have a few handprints – see what you can make them into… can you use your handprint to become the head of a stick man (the photo above was a lovely creation from one of last year’s art campers)? Think about how you see yourself? Maybe you’d like to turn yourself into a handprint animal?

handprint animals

Or maybe you could become a tree? Or something else? Your handprint is completely unique to you, and you have the power to turn it into anything you want! Isn’t that exciting?

handprint tree

Artist Inspiration: YOU!

Whilst I have some ideas from other artists to share with you, there is no specific artist inspiration for you today, because I want your inspiration to be YOU!!! Think of all the amazing things about yourself – make a note of them in your journal – start with 3 things that you like about yourself, then see if you can add more… and some more… Now think about the kind of art you like to make, and what are your strengths? Is it painting with colours? Drawing in black and white? Making things in 3D? Collaging and mixed media? What kind of artist are you? 🙂 

Keep this in mind this week; you are your greatest inspiration! 

Escher - hands drawing hands
Hands Drawing Hands by Escher

Lunchtime Viewing

Here’s your lunchtime viewing today… What a Wonderful World.. enjoy… 


Check back after lunch for some wonderful Hand Portraits 

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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