Making a colour self portrait helps us to recognise that we all have different coloured skin, and this is something that makes us special.
Paint a self-portrait. Mix the correct paint colours to match your skin tone and hair colour as closely as you can. Everyone will mix their own special colour because we all have slightly different coloured skin and hair.
Naming your paint colours
When you are finished, try to think of a name for the colour you have mixed. Here are a few suggestions:
coffee, chocolate, caramel, walnut, mahogany, rose, coral, salmon, peach, olive, shell, milky, apricot, ivory, creamy, honey, gold, copper, ginger, sunshine, amber, straw, champagne, mustard, bronze, toast, mushroom, biscuit…
Thinking about others
If you are doing this as a group activity, compare your painting to those by other people. If you are on your own, try mixing some more paint colours and doing a portrait of friends or family. You will see that everyone has a unique colour, and that no one is ever truly ‘black’ or ‘white.’
There is nothing wrong with noticing someone else’s skin colour, because everyone’s colour is unique and beautiful. Colour is a good thing, because it makes life interesting and fun to look at. Can you imagine how boring life would be if we all looked identical?
Sadly in the world today some people are judged or looked down on because of the colour of their skin. Other people have an easier life, and are given opportunities and freedoms simply because their skin matches that of the majority. Generally in history, and still today, black people suffer prejudice and inequality because of the colour of their skin. This is very sad, but we can make a difference by being the change we want to see in the world – believing that all people are equal and acting that way. White people can be supporters and allies of black people so that we all stand together against inequality.
Take it further
Now you’ve made your colour portrait, you might want to explore more about the inequality in our world. You could take a look at A Parents Guide to Black Lives Matter – it is full of resources and ideas. Blue Peter also did a brilliant segment talking about race and the Black Lives after movement, you can watch it here.
You might also enjoy our Animal Farm: Celebrating Difference activity. You could also try making your own Solidarity Poster or explore your area with the History Gap activity.