Drawing Faces Ink and watercolor wash People Self Portrait Sketchbook Pages

End of Journal Self-Portraits

End of Journal Self-Portrait, ink & watercolor
End of Journal Self-Portrait in Stillman & Birn journal, ink & watercolor

OK, let’s just get this over with. At the end of each journal I sketch a self-portrait. In the one above from the end of 2012, I had new glasses but was in need of a haircut.  I put on some lipstick and mascara to get in the spirit. Even though it’s not very complimentary (or maybe it is? Yikes) I think it looks like me.

End of Journal Self-Portrait, February 2013, Pitt brown Brush Pen and watercolor, 8x5"
End of Journal Self-Portrait, February 2013, Pitt brown Brush Pen and watercolor, 8×5″

This one was done quickly last month in a Moleskine watercolor notebook with a brown brush pen (still wearing the same old grey hoodie plus a down vest to stay warm). My hair and clothes look right but NOT my face. Oh well.

I’m now using a giant Moleskine watercolor notebook, A4 size I think. and I’m really loving it. I have a whole bunch more sketches and some oil paintings to post…. but since I feel the need to go somewhat in order I had to get these posted first. Done. Moving on.

10 replies on “End of Journal Self-Portraits”

Thanks Sue. It’s funny, but it does feel brave–maybe because I usually don’t like them (or looking in the mirror often times).

By the way, I meant to reply to your previous question about requesting permission to sketch in stores and businesses. We don’t usually request permission unless it’s a small venue that we’re likely to overwhelm or we are asking them to stay open later for us. Surprisingly we have had quite a few places stay open just for us–one even served us cake and tea! Sometimes I’ll call ahead to make sure they’re open and to let them know we’re coming and word it like, “…if it’s ok…” and only a couple times have I been told it wasn’t a good idea for one reason or another (e.g. they were remodeling and the main dining room was closed). Jana


Jana, I enjoy traveling through your journal journey along with you. And, you are terrific to put yourself out there with your self-portraits and your commentary. Looking forward to more!


I think they both are remarkable. The one from November is particularly striking and I love the steadfast gaze in your eyes. There’s a lot of energy in the more recent one. I’m glad you do these and share them. I might try that myself — I think self portraits are very deep journal entries — when we are in our 90s we will love looking back at them and seeing how we perceived our former selves.


Thanks so much Joy! When I first sketched it I thought I looked grumpy, surly even, but when I looked at it again to post it I saw the same thing you did. I like your comment about looking back from the 90s too. I remember a wise woman telling me once after I complained about my appearance to enjoy it now because it’s only going to get worse…and to remember back in my 20s how I didn’t appreciate how I looked then either, but would love to look like that again now! Jana


I tried a self-portrait once. After I stopped laughing I threw it out. I think you did a great job on both self-portraits. But I agree with Clareclare that you are much prettier in your profile picture. 🙂


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