View Full Version : My very first Self Portrait
07-17-2007, 11:39 PM
I have always had a hard time doing people's faces and have avoided doing them most of my artistic life. But, I have decided that the only way to get better at them is to practice. I have had a lot of instruction, but I don't know what it is about me and doing people. It's like math to me. I know the rules, but I can't seem to get the equation.
I can already see some of the mistakes, but it seems to look better than when I used to do them before.
This is 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 on card stock.
Anyway, C & C is welcome.
07-18-2007, 02:03 AM
Nice start, all I noticed is that the eyes seem a little big or is it just me.
07-18-2007, 03:42 AM
I agree Retha, I would bring the bottom eyelids up to the iris. It is a good start, maybe also consider side lighting to bring in some depth. Just my humble opinion.
07-18-2007, 07:09 AM
A great portrait. It's true that the eyes seem large, but that can be a part of your style, and also the actual proportions of your eyes :-)
I like the lighter shades around the cheeks and nose, gives a nice lighted feeling.
07-18-2007, 08:22 AM
Self portraits are always so difficult. So much is based on what you feel about yourself and what you see may not be based in any reality but may be more affected by your emotions, etc. It is difficult to be objective about such a subjective piece. Add to that the whole straight on image you have your hands full.
All things considered, I rather like the straight on view and the delicate colors. The flatness is in some ways quite charming in its simplicity. The surface is delicate and umcomplicated.
IMHO, you have done a fine job of it.
You may want to try yet another and change the light source to a more angled view which would lend more drama. Many artists have done self portraits and if you check here in acrylics there was a self portrait challenge earlier this year.
These are actually quite fun and can show much about how an artist feels about themselves and since the sitter is so very familiar it eliminates a great deal of pressure as well.
Keep it up and try to find the fun in doing these little vignettes of an artist's life.
07-18-2007, 08:40 AM
I am not a portrait painter at all, this seems pretty good to me. Keep at it. Jan
How brave you are! Portraits are a challenge for many artists!
I agree with Howard, the self portrait has the added issue of self examination.
Keep at it and thanks for sharing this with us!
07-18-2007, 10:11 AM
Thanks all! Yes, the first thing I noticed was that something was strange about the eyes. That is where I have the most difficulty. I think if I made the lids come up to the irises it might help. I actually used a photo of me and I wanted my eyes to open wider than usual to indicate a "happy" look since I was not showing my teeth when I smiled. (I though smiling with teeth would make it more challenging than I can do at the moment.)
07-18-2007, 11:44 AM
I don't know what you look like but your portrait is very believable. You have good skin tones and shapes. I just watched a couple of videos on portraiture and one artist blocks in a mass of the skin tone shadow to show the sockets of the eyes then puts the eyes in. For the white of the eye, she used the lighter skin tone, which made the eye look much more believable. She also made sure the shadow cast by the eye lid was put in. Perhaps shading the whites of the eye and giving it more of an orb look would help. Oh, for a bit more of a smile she simply turned up the very corners of the mouth just a tiny bit. It was enough to indicate a happy person. I think you did great and the more of these you do the more quickly you will see improvement.
Eek, what misspellings and left out words. So sorry.
07-18-2007, 01:36 PM
I like to scan a picture I'm not sure about and then print a couple of copies to fool around with before putting paint to the original. That way you can add a smile, fool with the eyes and add shadows on one side if you want without having to repaint the whole thing. You will still learn a great deal. Try a few sketches with different lighting too for practice. Many successful artists did lots of self portraits throughout their careers. Free subject and good practice.
07-18-2007, 01:49 PM
Thanks to you. I am actually planning to work on the eyes a little more.
I thought I was smiling as that's how I usually look unless I'm showing my teeth. Boy, no wonder why people think I don't smile.
07-18-2007, 02:02 PM
[quote=Desert]I have always had a hard time doing people's faces and have avoided doing them most of my artistic life. But, I have decided that the only way to get better at them is to practice. I have had a lot of instruction, but I don't know what it is about me and doing people. It's like math to me. I know the rules, but I can't seem to get the equation. quote]
:) I know how you feel--about both self-portraits and math! I just finished my very first self-portrait too, which I just haven't had the nerve to post. (It says I think I don't have wrinkles.) And my friends also said my eyes were too big!
I like your SP--and since some eyes do look like those in your picture, I thought they looked o.k. Overall I thought the portrait was good.
07-18-2007, 02:49 PM
Hehe. Thanks! I also made a few "modifications" because I knew I would be tempted to paint every line I see and I would actually look a lot older than I am. I also have a little gray hair in the front, but I plan to color it some time in the future, so I didn't mind leaving it out.
07-18-2007, 02:56 PM
I like it! The only thing that stands out to me is the shape of the pupils not quite being round. I like the style you have. Works well for your portrait. :)
07-18-2007, 03:40 PM
Thanks! Sometimes I don't quite have a steady hand. I won't be able to work on it until tomorrow, though. I'll post a new picture then.
07-19-2007, 02:16 PM
Here is an update. I found the portraiture tutorials in the portraiture section and worked on the eyes. Also, here is the original photo I was working with so you can see what I really look like (but my face isn't really that red in real life).
I will also x-post this in the portraiture forum.
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