Friday, 28 November 2014

self portraits at speed

It's an interesting exercise, drawing yourself.  The model is always available, and does what she's told; that's one of the reasons I tried it in the first place.  But the main aim was to have fun, and hopefully learn something along the way!   The first sketch was drawn standing in front of my bathroom mirror using Zig pens. It took about five minutes, and looked quite like me; an encouraging start . . .

 first thing in the morning!
© Teresa Newham
Not all the portraits turned out to be so accurate, but I wasn't too concerned about getting a likeness - the important thing was the practice.  The problem with staring at yourself in a mirror is exactly that - staring - and several goggle-eyed versions later I managed to produce the drawing below.  At least I'm not in my bathrobe this time:

properly dressed  . .  .
© Teresa Newham
My sole effort in pencil demonstrated another pitfall of self-portraiture: I'm looking fairly grim-faced here because I was concentrating so hard -  possibly because pencil is not my favourite medium.  It really wasn't as harrowing as you might think  . . .

my 'concentrating' face
© Teresa Newham
I had several trial runs with chalk pastel pencils before I produced anything I could share.  I took my time over this one - around half an hour.  Not quite in the spirit of producing a quick impression, but it's my favourite and arguably the closest to how I really look, although I have slimmed my face down a bit:

playing with pastels
© Teresa Newham
At this point the whole project ground to a halt because I developed pneumonia.  As a result I didn't touch a pen, pencil or brush for nearly two months, until a few days ago, when I dashed off the pen and wash below in about fifteen minutes. At this point I should reassure the squeamish that although I'm still recovering, I don't look quite this bad;  I could put the result down to my drawing being a bit rusty, or maybe I was just channeling how I felt about my recent illness . . .

speedy pen & wash - well, I have been ill . . . .!
© Teresa Newham
So I won't be putting myself forward for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year just yet, but, as I thought, I've had lots of fun making these quick sketches, which is what it's all about.  I love playing!


  1. These are charming, and great fun!

  2. Wow, I love them all. I think I could now recognize you in a crowd. So sorry to read you were under the weather for so long. Keep drawing and sharing. You create such fun posts.

    1. Thanks LM, glad you are enjoying the blog!