All vanity lost

self portraitSelf Portrait

version 1This has taken me two hours and is still a work in progress. I drew from the mirror without my glasses on and it was looking pretty good until I put my specs back on! It is with regret that I say I think it looks something like me. I was hoping for an enigmatic smile but was unable to translate that onto the paper; maybe with more practice. I think it makes me look very stern and sharp, but we can’t help what we are born with. My plan is to use this base and work into it with different materials such as watercolours, inks and oil pastels to make a series of different versions.

Update June 20th. Over the past couple of days I’ve been improving my portrait. I’ve emphasised the “smile” line at the corners of the mouth and added a few more crows’ feet and I think this has softened the expression a lot – much closer to the enigmatic smile I was going for! I’ve also changed the nostrils (on my daughter’s advice), evened up the sizes of the ears and redrawn the jaw line. I am now happy with it and this is the version I’m taking forward for developments.

I’m enjoying drawing more than I ever thought I would. I am painstakingly slow, but the end results are quite pleasing (to me anyway).

…best viewed large…click on pic…a scary prospect, but possibly true…

Art: Making a Start

I have decided to go for an Art GCSE. This is a qualification normally taken by fifteen and sixteen year olds at the end of their secondary education. I work in a secondary school and spend a lot of time in the Art department, and as I dropped the subject at the age of fourteen, I thought it might be a worthwhile challenge for me.

I’m a fairly creative person, but that creativity has mainly been channelled into textiles or fashion. I have never drawn; in fact I’ve avoided it like the plague. So the decision to do this art project has been quite a scary one for me. I rarely challenge myself, so I thought it might be good for me personally, but also in a professional development capacity.

Anyway, I have chosen two topics to work on; one is “Landscape” the other is “Pattern and Decoration”. The latter I feel is in my comfort zone, the former not at all, but I think it could be interesting. As well as these, I thought I should do some random sketching of objects/still life/portraits, and then I will have to do a controlled assessment along with the pupils at school some time next year.

So, this evening I picked up my new sketchbook and pencils and did two portraits. This is the first time I have drawn a face since I was about twelve years old. My first attempt (Philipp Jelenski) was a little problematic. I started with the general shape of the head then added the features. The face ended up too wide and the ear too small, but I was reasonably content.

The next study (Alex Gilbert) was much better. I started with the eyes, then added the nose and mouth before I drew the outline of the face and ear. I think it was much more successful, but the irises are not perfect. It’s a start.

My next step is to plan out a face map with correct placement and dimensions, and hopefully my drawings will improve.