I made this oil pastel self portrait drawing during my sophomore year of college. At that time, I was taking quite a few studio art classes. It’s also around the time I decided that I was going to pick up art as a double major, instead of just minoring in it.
I really enjoyed working on the face and eyes for this piece, although the hand was a bit of a struggle. I thought it was fitting to share a piece from my past, to illustrate how much your work can change and develop over time. Your work won’t always be “perfect” or turn out the way you’d like it to, but each new work of art you make will help you grow a little more as an artist.
Back in college I kept a few sketchbooks where I’d work on studies of various subjects. This color pencil drawing is from one of those sketchbooks, when I was studying different expressions for my upcoming series of collage portraits for my senior thesis. I was also playing around with different color schemes, which is why this is done with cool colors.
This is a graphite self portrait drawing that I did back in high school – I think I was around 16 at the time that I made this. I remember that I had a mentor at a local gallery back then, an artist who gave me feedback on a few of my works of art. This portrait was made during the mentorship program, and the last piece I created during the program was this self portrait painting.
In general, I think that self portraits are really difficult to do. It’s really tough to portray yourself, especially since we have so many assumptions about how we look based on the everyday routine of looking in the mirror. It’s difficult to take a step back and peer at yourself like an outsider in order to create a portrait. As a result, I feel like most of my self portraits don’t entirely capture the way I look, however I do like to refer to them as portraits that are version of myself.
This is a charcoal drawing that I did back in college, when we were studying the figure. In college I really enjoyed making figurative artwork, especially portraits. People really fascinated me, as well as the broad range of emotion that can be conveyed in different facial expressions. I also liked how every person has something about them that makes them their own character.
Anyway, this drawing really does show off that I was way more interested in drawing the sitter than capturing the environment he was in. I remember my professor critiqued me on not putting as much effort into his surroundings. What can I say? People are more interesting to me than a classroom full of empty chairs.
The other day, I mentioned that I was going through old sketchbooks. This is actually another one of the drawings I came across – it’s a self portrait that I made with color pencil.
I’m realizing I really need to revisit other mediums and play around with them. These older drawings of mine are inspiring me to start changing things up a bit. As much as I enjoy making collages, I’m gearing up to start having my variety in my artistic life.
The other day I was going through old sketchbooks that were in my closet, trying to figure out what to get rid of. Most of the pages were full of notes, jotted down back when I was in college. However, on some pages I found a few drawings, so I removed the pages that had drawings and threw out the rest of those books.
This is one of the drawings I came across – it’s actually a self portrait. Self portraits have always been a bit of a struggle for me – it’s really difficult to depict yourself. So whenever someone says one of my self portraits doesn’t look like me, I like to say it isn’t supposed to. It just represents a version of me.