Portrait Guidelines


Size. 9x12” to fit inside the plastic sleeves we use for the finished artwork.

Media. Any 2-D media (although pastels may be vulnerable to smearing).

Surface. Any type of paper. Stretched canvas also works if cut from wooden frame. Please avoid any type of board.

Resemblance. What kids love the most is seeing their true resemblance in the portraits, and that requires getting their facial dimensions right. Artists are encouraged to poke holes in the large photos we provide to serve as reference points when sketching the children’s faces.

Artistic license. Artists are welcome to add creative backgrounds, change the color of a shirt, smooth out hair, and make other artistic enhancements as long as the face remains realistic (e.g. a child who gets an abstract portrait with green skin and red eyes will likely find it more confusing than pleasing).


Child's ID code and name. Write the child's ID code and name found on the photo we provided in the top left corner. 


Artist's photo. Attach a nice, respectable photo of the artist to the right hand side. This is VERY important, because the children love to see their artists. If a photo is not possible, the artist can make a simple sketch of herself/himself instead.


Hand outline. Each artist traces an outline of their own hand as a way of symbolically touching hands with the child.


Artist's first name and age. Each artist writes their first name and age inside the tracing of the hand. If they'd like, they can also write these words: "I was happy to make this for you and I hope you enjoy it." 


For security purposes, artists are not allowed to include any contact information.

The Memory Project
2163 N. Gateway St.
Middleton, WI 53562

(608) 616-0317

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2004. EIN: 20-1802885

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