Woman with Pink Scarf PLUS Too Soon PLUS Woman with Blue Scarf PLUS Softly, Softly

Trying to draw self-portraits seems to be important to me. I’ve never known what I look like, so drawing focuses my attention on the details that I can’t see on my own. I sit at my easel and look into a mirror propped up to the right, so it feels as if I’m always looking back at myself. I don’t feel as haunted as these self-portraits suggest. I like looking back at self-portraits I tried when I first started art school, and will continue to do self-portraits from time to time as a way to gauge what is important to me at any given time.

There’s something else I like about drawing real people, including but not limited to my self. When I take a photograph of someone, a photograph of my self, I have captured the image at a particular point in time. The picture is taken, and then it is over. When I draw myself, I do this over an extended period of time, making observations of my face, which may be affected in microcosmic ways by what I may be thinking about throughout the drawing process, so I feel as if, unlike a photograph, a drawing is a reflection of the changes that can impact a face over the time of the sitting.

Different micro expressions show up in different parts of the face at different times. So the drawing of a face is a composite of those expressions over the time that the face was observed, not a “moment in time” expression of a photograph. It might be interesting to animate a drawn portrait.

Here is a link to a website that discusses micro expressions. https://www.paulekman.com/resources/micro-expressions/

Woman With Pink Scarf (S.P. #13); 22″ x 30″ charcoal, pastel.

After sitting with the self-portrait #13 for a day, I made some changes, reflected below. It still doesn’t really look like me, but I’m keeping both up here so I have a record on my blog, and a reminder not to jump the gun, so to speak, but to let things settle in for a while before I declare them finished. In the next iteration, I fixed the jaw line; toned down the ear by making it smaller and lighter; added some light blue in the background; darkened the sweater collar and shoulders.

Woman With Pink Scarf, s.p. #13 (revised); 22″ x 30″, charcoal and pastel.

Next, I want to try a self-portrait using only shades of blue. And in the next version, I’ll work on getting the eyes smaller and farther apart.

Woman with Blue Scarf, s.p. #14, 22″ x 30″. Pastel. Version 1
Woman With Blue Scarf (revised). S.P. # 14. 22 x 30. Pastel.
Softly, Softly. S.P. #15. 24″ x 28″. Pastel and charcoal on brown paper.

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