End of Journal Self-Portrait #1, ink & watercolor, 7x5"
End of Journal Self-Portrait #1, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

End of Journal Self-Portrait #1, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

I finished my Sock Monkey Journal on New Years Eve by doing my usual end of journal self-portraits, drawing directly in ink. I did several, trying again and again to get a likeness. Each of them had bits of me, either in feeling or appearance, but none got a real likeness. This was my favorite, above.

Trying a profile (again and again), 7x5", ink

Trying a profile (again and again), 7x5", ink

Since I only had a few pages left in the book I did all the starts above on one page. It’s tricky drawing a profile view in a mirror. You look, then draw, then look, then draw. It’s also rather painful looking so closely and seeing the effects of another year of gravity. But better than the alternative!

Worst one, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

Worst one, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

I think the one above is the worst of the bunch. At this point I realized that I needed some serious studying and practice at drawing heads which I began doing the next day.

Self portrait with ponytail

Self portrait with ponytail

Had I not added all the stupid ink to try to make shadows before painting it, this one might have been OK. Instead of using a mirror for this one, I took a photo with my iPad propped on the window sill while looking away from it and then worked from the photo.

Since I did these, I’ve already learned a lot about drawing heads from the Loomis book, “Drawing the Head and Hands.” I’ll be posting my practice from that book soon.

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Category:
Faces, Ink and watercolor wash, People, Self Portrait, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. How brave of you. I was just thinking of trying a self portrait…but I like the iPad idea…..I am looking forward to the work you post on heads and hands!

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    • Thanks. I will post some of it soon. I’m looking forward to doing more of it–got sidetracked by all the stuff I needed to do to get ready for the work that was supposed to be done on the house this weekend but now that it’s projected to rain the construction probably won’t happen. OK with me! I’d rather focus on art right now and do the work after I get back from my Arizona workshop first week in Feb. J

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  2. I think you are brave to post all the sketches, including the ones you don’t like! It is a good exercise to do self portraits–one that I forget about, so thanks for the reminder. By the way, I like all of your efforts in this exercise.

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  3. I like the first one too…and the last one….with, as you stated, a little less ink! They all look pretty good to me…it’s been years since I tried to draw myself! Actually since I was a teenager…which means an abundant amount of my face has gone south, my hair is thinner, my mouth thinner…hmmmm it might be fun to make the effort just to see what I come up with!

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    • The funny thing about doing self portraits and looking at them later is realizing that you thought you looked funky then but should have really appreciated the positives instead, since it’s only worse now! [?] And it’s a good way to practice acceptance. Jana

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  4. I’ve never understood the point of self-portraits. Initially wasn’t it just the easy availability? I’ve only done 2-3 and tossed them all. Now at age 52 I can barely stand to look at my face long enough to apply minimal makeup a few days a week. So, I think you are brave to do so many and brave to post them!

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