Selfportrait #2


Five days ago, i did a self-portrait that can be seen here

It didn’t look a lot like me! – I got a comment from travelsopher who posted a video with some helpful pointers, and mir685 gave me some pointers regarding the proportions in the drawing.

So i thought, that now that a few days had passed, I’d try again with the same photo for comparability, and while i think that the nose and the forehead is better, some other things are way off. Add to that, that i have this spaced expression in my face, just staring weirdly into the air.. Oh wait, was that the reference photo?

Anyway – my thoughts on drawing something like this, is that you can’t learn to draw noses, eyes, mouths, heads, etc. But you can learn to draw. I think that people have the wrong idea when they say “here is how to draw noses”, and then they show you a drawing of a nose. Drawing a portrait is the same as drawing an object, a landscape or whatever – it’s a question of correctly reading what you see, and recording it to the paper, and oftentimes what you see is not the idealised nose, but a weird crooked nose with strange shadows and some odd wrinkles.

The reason my self-portraits look so much worse that everything else i do (no, it’s not because they’re SELF-portraits!) – is, that the brain is wired to seeing and recognizing faces – it’s something we’ve got from nature. We can very easily tell, if this is someone we know, or if it’s “anoter guy”.. When i look at my two self-portraits i definetly do not see myself – looking at my perspectives and so on seems to be better representations of my photo references, but i think it’s illusions.. So having sort of explained all this to myself, i feel a little reasured in having made anoter awfull self portrait. It’s not worse than the rest, my brain has just got a little higher standards when it comes to faces.

0 thoughts on “Selfportrait #2”

  1. What your brain is recognising is the difference in your sketch to reality. There is a very specific set of shapes, sizes and proportions that individually define you, and if not captured correctly create a portrait that doesn’t particularly look accurate. Our brain is very good at facial recognition as a survival instinct and social tool, so even if just one element is wrong it won’t quite look like the subject.

    Your general proportions are better on this sketch, although you have dragged your ear too far down! : ) Progress only comes with practice and application – and you’re showing plenty of both.

    • If it makes you feel any better, I’ve probably drawn my nose a hundred times and I STILL struggle with the stupid schnozzzz! Last portrait, I asked out loud to no one in particular, “How is it that I don’t know how to draw my nose by now?!?!? I should be able to draw it blind folded!!!!!” This was followed by many expletives. After reading this blog, I see your not going to give up on mastering this image. I suggested in another comment to stop drawing from it. Set it aside for awhile at least. Even professional artists must do this.


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