I've had to make three self portraits in the last 2 semesters. This semester, I had to make the -largest- painting I've ever done: 3 feet by 4 feet! ...and it had to be a self-portrait. sigh.
The theme was 'playful'. We worked from a photograph of ourselves, and even though we were to try to emulate the image, it was understood that our personalities would come out in the painting process.
I chose a photograph of me blowing bubbles that my 8 year old took of me just before sunset. Below is getting started. I prefer to start with my darkest shades and work my way back towards the lightest. I realized I don't paint a specific area-- I paint all the places that are the same shade before moving on to the next shade and adding more white.