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clyfford still | museum
Self-portrait of Clyfford Still at age 23, graphite on paper
Clyfford Still, PD-46 (Self-portrait), 1928 (detail). Graphite on paper, 8 5/8 x 11 3/4 in.
Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO. © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY

CSM at Home Activities: Self-Portraits


In a self-portrait, the artist can control how they want to be portrayed. Self-portraits may reveal information about the artist’s life, what is important to them, or how they want to be understood. Create your own self-portrait to show your style and share your story.


  • Any drawing instruments
  • Paper
  • Mirror


  1. Sit in front of your mirror.
  2. Decide if you want your self-portrait to focus on expression, detail, color, line, or something else. Some self portraits are completely abstract, and some are lifelike and detailed.
  3. Think about your outfit, your surroundings, and how you want to be portrayed.
  4. Draw yourself!


  • Does a self-portrait need to include a person? Is there something else in our life that demonstrates your personality and life better than your face or body?
  • Try making multiple self-portraits that each tell a different story.
  • Look at some of Clyfford Still’s self-portraits throughout his career. What do you think he was trying to communicate through them?

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