Self Portraits

Self Portraits

I like to paint or draw a full self-portrait at least once a year. Regularly painting a self-portrait is a useful way of measuring artistic growth and progress. My two latest ones here are my 2014 and 2015 self-portraits, both painted on November 1st for International Self Portrait day.

Typically, for self-portraits like these, I’ll set up a wee lighting scheme and take a timed picture of myself with an HD camera, and then use the photograph to produce a grid method line drawing. With the line drawing as a base, I’ll paint the portrait, beginning with broad strokes of a dark, light and mid-tone, before going on to further bring out the values. To finish up I’ll go in real close to detail some areas (usually the eyes, mouth, nose and ears, but especially the eyes), I’ll add some texture to skin and hair with custom brushes, and then use a selection tool and soft brush to work on the hardness and softness of certain edges.

Along with some of my other portraits and studies, I may at some point in future present them all in a collected booklet or sketchbook.

For more information on the International Self-Portrait Day, check out their Facebook page here –

Nov 2014-2015
Personal project