Self Portrait, Blue

I’m always the most convenient portrait to draw, so I decided to use the shapes of my face to create a portrait that gets lost and found in shapes, lines, and colors.  I used layers, brightness/contrast, and hue/saturation to modify the drawing and original photo.  I altered the opacity of all of the layers in order to blur their lines.  The original photo is not a part of the final drawing.  I created this on Photoshop to make a 11″x14″ 300 dpi print.  I’ll take you through the process:

I decided on this for the final image because there is enough ambiguity to the shapes to make a viewer look twice (I think), but also enough clarity for viewers to piece together a face/person.  I wonder how this would work if I combined two images.  I kind of combined two images, but the second image I decided on (in addition to the portrait) was not based on a reference image.  The sky portion was completely dependant on the shapes of the portrait.  I just used the idea of sky to add lines and layers that would complicate the portrait’s lines enough to create a sense of unity.

self portrait blue_11x14 for web

The image below is the same as above, except I changed the brightness/contrast so that the layers are more evident.

self portrait blue_11x14 web process

I started with the shapes of (and surrounding) the face:

self portrait blue_11x14 web process 2 self portrait blue_11x14 web process 3

And then I echoed those shapes with background and foreground lines.  They’re simple lines, mostly sweeping from one side of the page to the other:

self portrait blue_11x14 web process 4 self portrait blue_11x14 web process 5

This is where it gets a bit embarrassing, but oh well.  When I decided I wanted to make waves/clouds the pseudo second image, I changed the colors of my face (the hue) to a bluer tone:

self portrait blue_11x14 web photo edited

The first lines I drew were traces of the positive/negative spaces of brightest/contrast=modified photo:

self portrait blue_11x14 web photo edited 2

The below image is a photo that I started with on the computer, but which I had already edited on my phone.  On my phone, I edited the photo for clarity, and then I added a lens that emphasized the different shapes/shades in the face.  Again, this is a bit embarrassing (because I do not find this photo flattering, and I edited the photo so I could draw it, not so others could see it…though I suppose I knew I’d end up posting it here anyway…):

self portrait blue_11x14 web photo

Was this interesting?  Why?  What information did I leave out that you would like to learn more about?  Can I start swearing in my posts?  I deleted so many expletives while revising my explanation to be user-friendly.

Do you like the final image?  Where did I go wrong?

Am I asking too many questions?  🙂


  1. The finished one is definitely the best imo.

    The (almost) complete lack of lines makes it very fluid.

    (And one eyebrow slightly raised is the universal symbol for intrigue…probably)

  2. Makes me think of Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo, or, perhaps, Joni Mitchell’s Blue. In either case, they are smooth and ethereal like your picture.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s