After Drawing - Self Portrait

We’re at it again. About to embark on our final ‘after’ drawing. The ever scary self-portrait. But it’s not so scary now, is it? We’ve learned all of these methods of seeing what something really looks like and how this part compares to that in size, shape, angle etc. We also know the real proportions of our face, how estimate where features should sit on the face, and how to use this knowledge to lay out a rough gridwork to draw in a face.


Before we continue on with the ‘after’ drawing, we’re going to do two quick things:



Instruction: spend some time just looking at your before drawing, and comparing it to your face. Ask yourself the following questions:

what worked in this drawing – where does it look right, what features do you think you nailed etc

what didn’t work – what areas can you see that really didn’t work at all

what will you do differently – from the things which have and haven’t worked, what will you do differently this time, than the first.

what processes will you use – what didn’t you know the first time, which you now know that you will use to draw more accurately this time

Materials: ‘before’ drawing, mirror

Timer: 2-3 mins



Instruction: look at yourself in the mirror. Spend this time really studying your face – without drawing anything yet. Use a pencil to measure different features against each other, to see what relationship one feature has with another. Study the true shape of your eyes, what angles can you see, what does the negative space look in different areas like around your iris, around your lips etc. Imagine what it would take to draw that feature down, how would you pencil make that shape. Trace the features with your eyes.

Materials: mirror, any pencil

Timer: 5 mins


Self Portrait Redraw


Instruction: Set the mirror comfortably in front of you so that you can look straight ahead and see your whole face without moving or straining. It’s a good idea to roughly drawn in the oval-ish outline of your face. This gives you a base to work from and a way to judge roughly where features should sit on your page. From here you can either lightly draw in your proportion lines we learned in Week Three or start drawing without them and use them as a way of checking your work. Personally I at least always draw in the vertical middle line (down through the forehead, nose, middle of chin) and across the eye level. Whichever way you go, make sure to make these lines very light as you will be erasing a lot of this work as you continue drawing. And now draw. Draw what you see, not what you think you see.

Materials: 2H/HB to sketch, use full variety of pencils to shade and strengthen lines/shadows.

Timer: 60 mins

Let's Debrief

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