There are certain rules to adhere to when drawing a face, we are all egg heads to begin with and the facial plane can be divided into universal segments. Then the scrutiny begins.
It is necessary to consider every angle and basic shape, to examine every expression and line, to describe shadows and indicate three dimensionality.
However the self-portrait can be more than just an image of yourself. Creative Arts student Julie Kline took a unique approach to hers as part of her Drawing 1 course. The following entries have been extracted from her learning log;
Having completed several studies of herself Julie concluded;
‘I need to be able to incorporate my confidence in drawing with a sub-conscious application while drawing to be able to capture the essence of ‘me’.
She needed to consider what it was she wanted to get out of self-portraiture. This brought up several interesting questions;
- Who am I?
- What are the distinctive things that make me ‘me’?
- How do I want the viewer to perceive me?
- I never see myself other than when I brush my teeth or in a photograph. How do I feel others see me?
- How can I express my multi-faceted life?
After pondering the above questions and making several more drawings Julie came to the conclusion that she could not just present herself with one drawing and needed to incorporate textiles that are such an inherent part of her.
Julie chose a line drawing of her loom and two of the more successful self-portraits, both in technical skill and character capturing. She played with them on the photocopier and through Photoshop to come up with a workable composition.
Julie expanded her experimentation incorporating her textiles background more and more creating stitched drawings.
Her finished self- portrait uses drawing (with the sewing machine) based on an actual drawing as well as actual photos of drawn images of herself.
I think Julie’s response to this exercise is a great way of thinking outside the boundaries of portraiture. Technical ability can be learned but through an experimentation of mediums and thought processes she has plenty to consider in future explorations of genre.