View Full Version : self portrait

02-27-2006, 11:30 PM
One of the requirements for the art schools I plan to apply to is a self portrait. Can anyone give me some tips to follow while creating the portrait? Thanks. :)

02-28-2006, 12:38 AM
What medium are you most comfortable with? Are you going to do it from a photo or mirror? Have you much past experience in doing portraiture?
WC is a great site, and I am sure as you progress, if you post it as it progresses, as a WIP, (work in progress), you will get lots of help. The portraiture forum would be good there, and depending on what kind of medium you choose, you can pose questions on that particular forum too. Good luck!:)

02-28-2006, 01:15 AM
The school requires it be done in pencil. I planned to do it from a mirror, but I am a bit scared of doing it that way. I may lay out a few photos to guide me while looking in the mirror for the biggest part of it.
I can do pretty well, i think, with drawing portraits from photos, but from life it is a bit different of course. I know the basic guidelines for doing them.
I was more worried about the expression, angle, and things like that.

02-28-2006, 10:44 AM
hello Abtrait,

I only have a couple technical tips. Be sure to note how much of your notsril shows when you start the drawing. Its very common, as people start to focus, that they tilt their head up slightly. Your drawing may start with one had position and end with another making it very difficult to achieve the natural structure.

In lines with this same concern I usually tape my mirror in two places. while closing one eye, I tape the very top and side of my reflection on the mirror. This gives me a guide to line my head up with if I start to move or relax so much that the pose changes.

Again, while drawing always keep refelection touching the taped guides and make sure you are not tilting your head up or down. Put some thought and heart into your design and outfit. Be yourself :)

good luck,


02-28-2006, 03:37 PM
if your going to do it from a mirror, sit on something comfortable!! Get everything you need, whether it is glass of water, lighting, all your materials, and a nice cushion and some musec - set all that up first to make yourself as comfortable as possible while you are drawing. You dont need to be fiddling after you've started, and being prepared will make it go a heck of a lot easier.

Also relax and have fun with it. Maybe do a few warmup "gestures" of yourself first to lossen yourself up, and just relax. Treat it like any other drawing you'd do :)

06-19-2006, 05:36 PM
Well, concerning your questions, don't do it straight on like the common standard portrait. You want something that is unique, that defines you as a person, and do an expression that you would make the most.
Like if someone who knows you well would look at your portrait that you drew, and say "that is SO you" because of the expression on your face.
If you haven't already started yet, do a lot of small thumbnail sketches of different poses and angles to see which one would be more visually interesting to the viewer (s).
Also, if you get stressed out after a while, walk away from it, or get someone else's opinion. When you come back, you might notice something that you hadn't while sitting there for such a long time.
And lastly, make sure to use a lot of contrast. If an area is black, make it black, if its white, use a white conte crayon for highlights. The nicer the contrast, the more depth it will have. Good luck, I'm sure it will look great. And let us know when you post it, maybe we can help you out some more.

06-19-2006, 05:39 PM
I'm planning on doing one, but I'm doing it from a posed photo.
Probably won't use a mirror, but who knows, I may when I get into doing it.