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Monday, February 13, 2012


Self portraits are fun, revealing, useful, handy, instructive...and difficult!  Why do we do them?  Well, one very good reason is that we're there, we're willing (more or less), and we don't get wiggly and complain.  They can help us deal with our emotions, or just enjoy a playful mood. 

Explore expressions, too...it's hard to get a friend or family member to hold still for it, but you can sketch your own!

You can draw yourself with as much honesty as you can muster...that's what I tried to do in the top sketch.  (I'm happy to say that I LIKE patina, so I wasn't upset.)  I dealt with a very difficult time in my life by drawing a self portrait--it let me get some of that sadness outside my skin. 

I did quick sketches when involved in rehabbing the house next door or working on my shed studio...tired, dirty, and funny!

You can draw yourself as you'd like to be--younger, thinner, more hair--but why stop with the mundane?  Now's your chance...be a Medieval knight, a queen, a rock star, a mountain climber, a dancer, a tightrope walker, a Tarot card, a Pict, a native right out of Gauguin,  a nun! 

See yourself as a hobbit, Dr. Who, a Man in Black, an alien, Bigfoot, a dragon--or your favorite animal.  Draw yourself as a Steampunk hero, or someone from the Old West.

Draw your favorite outfit, or activity...put yourself in the picture!

Maybe you see yourself like this guy, which made me smile!

I wrote about some of this in one of my free art tips, ages ago, #23...you can read it here (and feel free to sign up for more tips, there will be 120 of them sometime later this week!  The signup form is here--and you'll get a newsletter full of links and news, too.)

Give it a try!  Make it simple, make it complex.  Use your favorite medium.  And then share it with us on our Artist's Journal Workshop Flickr group!


  1. I haven't done a self portrait in a long time. You have me inspired now :)

  2. Great! I'm looking forward to seeing what people do!

  3. I've NEVER done one... I love the how the kitty cat sees himself... that's too funny. Thanks for the inspiration, your top portrait looks like a way to pick just part of my face to start with... may be easier than the whole thing at once.

  4. So how about it, anybody giving this a try??


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