Process: Self Portrait x2

self portrait march 11x14w

I like drawing self portraits.  They’re convenient to make, and they’re empowering.  I like to look at self-portraits of artists, and when I make my own, I feel a connection to other artists.  I’m participating in precedent.

Only I can draw a self-portrait of myself.  They’re also a great space to practice drawing shapes from memory and from the inside out.  One of the first exercises in learning how to draw is drawing your own hand.  I’m really bad at drawing hands.  I don’t have the patience, and they don’t have eyes.  Eyes sort of change everything.  They give life.  I put four of those bad boys in this portrait.

I like drawing portraits in general.  They are how I appreciate and celebrate my friends.

This portrait is a great example of my desire to balance what I draw and what the viewer can infer.  Sometimes I get too mixed up with the details.  Sometimes fewer lines are more effective communicators than more.  More lines are more opportunities to get something wrong or to change and crowd a face.

I edited the source photos for the portrait to take away shapes that would distract me.  Here’s a few layers of the process:

Once I simplified what I was working with, I drew the lines (with 3 different weights), and filled in the shapes with colors from the non-edited photos.


I’ve drawn a lot of self portraits.  Check em out!

Screenshot (6)

I also update the “Disclosure” section of my blog with different portraits.


In Real Timeish ARTING
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  1. Thanks, Catjoi! I’m exploring the relationship between what is simple and what is dynamic. I wonder what it looks like in things other than faces. We will see!

  2. Wow, that’s so cool! You are so talented. I don’t know the first thing about drawing but I know what looks good!

  3. You’re a great artist! I loved this blog post. I’m a high school student taking art, and we’re doing portraits right now, so this is quite inspiring.

  4. Really interesting portraits. Especially the main one. The way you show your personality through it is incredible. Would love to see more! Followed. XX

  5. Anita! Your blog writing and photography is incredible! Def the stuff I like to read! I use my photos as source images for my drawing! This portrait is digital drawing, so I traced right on the photo in Photoshop. My free hand stuff is..let’s say…a bit rougher or more stylized. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I love that you can see my personality in the portraits! I wonder if the personality you read from them is the same personality people read when they meet me. Interesting!

  7. Qitanga! I am so happy that you came across my blog because I’m stoked to have just now found yours! I really like your voice and how you combine pictures with words! You have many different style!

  8. Oh thanks very much 🙂 I love writing and being creative and glad you like my blog. I have been writing for a year now, amazing!

  9. Thank you so much for your kind words. It was nice to read. I really appreciate it. Cheers Q ♦

  10. This is so so cool! I love these type of artworks because it adds something so much more to the subject then just a plain old portrait. It really makes the work stand out!

  11. Hi My Creative Wall! Oh wow! That’s really cool! I try and do something new! That means a lot coming from a blog that deals with the creative industry! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Self-portraits really are empowering; and they capture a specific emotion or appearance that you wish to preserve forever in a drawing. I need to take an art101 class.

  13. From what I’m seeing re your drawn “selfie”, you don’t need any (your words) “practice drawing shapes from memory and from the inside out.” In one word, you have attained PERFECTION. You clearly know yourself, which is the key element in any creative endeavor… be that art or writing. You have transformed what (for other artists) could’ve been ordinary… into something extraordinary!

  14. Interesting way of doing portraits! Totally agree with you about the importance _and attraction_ of eyes! And two double that interest is genial indeed! May i ask you what is your method when drawing? What medium are you using?

  15. Your drawing animation (second video) is really great. Your lines speed through in layers, just like all the layers and wrinkles in our everyday expressions! Thanks for sharing your process as an artist.

  16. Wow, this is a great revelation, although I am new to this concept, but this unfolds happier thoughts, and at the same time self catharsis.

  17. Mickey! I like that interpretation! At first I thought you were going to say that the animation went too quickly. I’m glad that the layers serve as characterization! Cheers!

  18. I am also a sort of artist, and ironically enough, I absoulutly hate to draw myself. I’m not a big fan of what I see when I look in the mirror. When I was in art class I would do anything to weasle out of drawing my own face, but your article redefined what a self portrait is to me. Thank you so much and please keep writing and drawing your an ace at both.

  19. Sabotage Turtle! Hooray! I love to read people being honest, and I want to write what I like to read. Makes sense. But it’s SO DIFFICULT to be honest. Self portraits are a way for me to be honest through implication. What I look like is soooooo not the whole story. It’s not everything I have to say. But self portraits are a start. Addressing the self. I know there are other starting places to come, but for now, this is it.

    Thank you so much for this feedback! Best of luck with your self portraits!

  20. Thank you for posting your portrait. I’ve shied away from drawing or painting mine even thought I’ve been an artist all of my life. You’ve given me inspiration!

  21. Love the photos! Love the snap chat dog and your angles in the glasses one! I’ll def play around with these in the next few weeks and keep up with your blog! Hooray! Thank you for the self portraits!

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