View Full Version : Yikes! WIP - Self Portrait

01-12-2007, 11:31 PM
I generally try to avoid drawing people at nearly all costs.... hahaha... but Diane's Self Portrait thread has inspired me to give a shot at one of my favorite photos of (shudder) ME from a couple of years ago... I generally prefer to be behind the camera to in front of it, but the high contrast in the photo I picked made it a natural choice. I have never done a person in scratchboard, so best to make lots of mistakes on a piece where the only person I will insult or make unhappy is myself :D It is going to be an 8x10.

First me ref, then where I am at about an hour and a half into it. Lastly a close up of about 100% crop.



In retrospect I think it would have been better to stipple the skin to give a smoother look, but this piece is just for fun and I didn't want to turn it into a MAJOR project, so decided to go with cross hatching.

01-13-2007, 12:28 AM
What an excellent start! I await the next step!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01-13-2007, 12:59 AM
Last update for tonight- about another hour of work.


01-13-2007, 07:19 AM
Just wondered is this on Black Claybord or Essdee black??

Diana Lee
01-13-2007, 12:30 PM
First let me say WOW. I must add that in my minds eye I imagined you older, closer to my age. So much talent in one so young. I am really glad you crosshatched instead of stippling. It is a personal preference, but I love the texture of scratching. It gives a piece a feeling you can't get with any other medium. I find it so much more difficult to work a piece that small, but I guess that is where stippling might come in handy. Again my hat is off to you.
This is such a dramatic reference photo and you are off to a grand start. And you started with the eyes! The one thing I say over and over is start with the eyes, if you don't get those right you might as well give it a toss. And you got them beautifully.
Good job!


01-13-2007, 06:10 PM
Thanks for your comments Diana :) Yep, I'm a fairly young whipper snapper; 27 now I think I was about 23 in that photo. There is some amazing young talent her on WC. In the animal forum I think 3 of the most talented on the entire board are in their teens or very early 20's!! While I do often do the eyes, first, not always :) I do find they add life to the drawing from the get go though.

And Bert, this is clayboard. I had some Esdee that I did a few drawings on in 1999 or 2000, but I had a problem with the black ink chipping off while I was working it. Maybe I just got a bad board, but it was enough to prevent me from wanting to use it again. I like the lighter coating of black on the ampersand boards.

I'm off to go work on it some more, so should have another update later tonight.

01-13-2007, 07:58 PM
Coming right along- another hour and a half or so. The cross hatching is coming out smoother and with nicer transitions than I thought it would.


01-13-2007, 09:37 PM
Both eyes nearly complete


01-13-2007, 11:34 PM
End of my progress for the night. I doubt I will get any more done on this for a while, as this is my last free evening for a bit, but will post when I make more progress.



Diana Lee
01-14-2007, 11:44 AM
You must be so proud. Beautiful work. I hope this encourages you to do more people.


01-14-2007, 02:09 PM
Kathy I knew you weren't an old bird but such a young chick I didn't expect, not with the prolific amount of mature and oh so talented work you do in scratch board art and photography. I love your reference photo, very striking! The scratch work is just as striking, coming along as well as any of your pieces. I've not used much cross hatching so am intrigued by both yours and Dianna's techniques here. Also intrigued by Dianna's comment that an 8x10 seems a more difficult size to do as most of my work is that size.

01-14-2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks TJ and Diana. I wouldn't count on seeing lots of people from me, I still prefer animals :D I am pleased with how it is coming along, though admit the lips scare me a bit :D Hope to work on it some this week, though not sure how much time I will have.

Diana Lee
01-15-2007, 01:20 PM
Please do the lips, it looks like you have gone Goth on us.


01-15-2007, 11:50 PM
Cathy, super job. I really admire you're ability to capture the subtle value changes. You have an excellent touch.

01-16-2007, 12:00 PM
I got some unexpected free time this morning and got started on the lips. They still have a ways to go to get the subtle detail and shading the way that I want it to, but at least I don't look GOTH anymore ;)


01-16-2007, 12:13 PM
No you look beautiful. Great work! Are you going to show us a close up detail of the lips?

Diana Lee
01-17-2007, 12:04 PM

01-17-2007, 07:48 PM
Well the face is pretty much done, with just a few more touch ups. I am not real happy with teh chin and will work that area some more.

I hemmed and hawed about adding the arm, but think it adds to the flow and composition so am going to put it in, though not as overexposed as it is in the photo.


And a close up- zoomed to about 150%

01-22-2007, 11:56 AM
Wonderful work! :clap:

Mary Woodul
01-22-2007, 01:03 PM
Incredible piece, Cathy!

01-29-2007, 01:10 PM
I haven't given up on this piece, though haven't had much time to work on it.


01-29-2007, 01:15 PM
Dang that is good. There is a Chinese phrase that translates to "eating vinegar." Sometimes it means jealousy, but sometimes more a whistful envy. This is so fine I'm envious. :) Terri

02-06-2007, 11:22 AM
I was hoping to finish this before I posted agian, as it only needs about another 2-3 hours to finish up the arm and wrist area, but have been busy with other stuff. I got REALLY tired of cross hatching the arm to get it lighter, so tried out the fiberglass brushes. I really wasn't able to get a smooth look, so then diverted to steel wool. I don't know if it was a good move or not. I then tried to take diluted ink and tone down the white on the arm a bit so that it didn't overpower the drawing. It didn't take the ink as well as I had hoped so only ended up with a VERY pale shade of gray.

Well anyways... its all in good fun.


03-02-2007, 01:56 AM
After using 3 of your photographs this past week, I had to go hunting through your profile to see what else you do. This is jaw dropping! Stunning work on the light and values and I really love the texture of your sp. Beautiful work, beautiful artist. Congratulations!


03-02-2007, 09:27 AM
THIS IS SOMETHING EXTRA!!!..perfect photo to work from..and wonderfully done....i'm floored...powerful !!!!!

12-27-2007, 04:29 PM
just discovered this wonderful wip, cathy you are an awesome artist/photographer! so generous of you to share your photos, too. i love this high contrast work. thanks for the inspiration!

12-27-2007, 08:00 PM

12-27-2007, 11:16 PM
Thanks for bringing this one back up! Appreciate the nice comments Linn and Serra.

12-28-2007, 07:12 AM
This self portrait is AMAZING!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Will there be a book in the future on scratchboard by Cathy Sheeter????????

12-28-2007, 09:47 AM

This is really quite good and you are quite brave :D . Peoples faces I stay away from because I always end up making one eye bigger or not in alignment with the other, which is why any work of mine of peoples faces or heads has a design over the eyes...heh...just so I dont have to do it...heh :D
This is very very good and you do have an excellent talent for doing peoples faces. Thanks so much for sharing :)

brandynne :)

12-28-2007, 12:12 PM
Thanks Bert and Brandynne. This was my first scratchboard person and quite a learning experience! My parents don't think it looks much like me though.

12-29-2007, 04:11 AM
It is an amazing work! You should be very proud of it!

12-29-2007, 11:49 AM
my chin is dirty from my jaw dropping to the floor!!!!!

12-31-2007, 05:19 PM
Fantastic job.

01-03-2008, 01:59 AM
Nicely done.