Self-portrait-Part 2

For my second attempt, I used a line drawing with an abstract feeling which is from my dreams.



Another attempt I have chosen a blue background A3 paper.

First, I have done my outline drawing with B6 pencil.


Then I decided to use charcoal and white conte stick to finish the other bits.


The outcome does show what I wanted with the expression. More reflection on it:

  1. The right side of the shoulder is smaller than it should be.
  2. I need to be more careful of the mid-tone.
  3. This pose is reclining to the right side that I need to improve the effectiveness of it.

For my last attempt, I have drawn the outline as the first step as well.

I have used pencil B6 to get the outline of my face shape.

Then I used the colours from a fibre tip pen set to put down the area of the face. At last, I shaded the shadows behind the sofa cushion, let it feeling dark and especially effective.


This is what I am feeling in the life and I did convey the expression from this self-portrait.


Self-portrait – Part 1

For doing my self-portrait, I am going to make a couple of sketches to describe my thoughts about myself.

Through this brainstorming, I would like to use a word to describe my situation which is: unconfident. As part of this situation, I would have a little pessimism in mine mood. I always dream of running around anywhere, from the field, farm, lake and climbing the mountain then I am tired but I couldn’t stop. So I have drawn some figures in which what I like in the running.

So I put the two elements together. But it is a bit like an illustration effect.

Anyway, I give an attempt at my face drawing. This shows what I was like in the morning, the empty thoughts in my mind.

Conte stick on A3 white paper

Then I try to finish it with more colourful tone.


Conte stick on white A3 paper

Then I spray some white dry shampoo on the highlights side. As this is an attempt

As this is an attempt I am trying to draw that I am a woman waking up and there is no hope just with the empty thoughts. The head still reclines on the headboard. Some points I will need to improve my technical that:

  • Perspective, from this view, the jaw to the chin need to be bigger than the head will recline over to the back.
  • The side of the neck, submental triangle I need to make it cylinder effect and more persuasive in the shadow area under the chin and jaw.
  • It is not quite clear the folding on my top.
  • For the outcome, I am happy with the eyes’ feeling.


Sketches for figures

Recently I did some sketches at the High Green art group.

A2 white cartridge paper with 4B and 6B pencil

The bottom of this lady’s nose has the wrong structure and I need to improve the middle tones.

A3 sketchbook with conte sticks

On the back of this lady’s figure, I didn’t draw it clearly from the hips to the legs.

A3 sketchbook with conte sticks

I do need to shade some dark areas.

A3 sketchbook with conte stick
A3 sketchbook with conte stick

I will do more of this kind of practice while a person sits in a chair with different gestures on top of the body. I am interested in this work.

A3 sketchbook with conte stick

I am not comfortable with the drawing of the hand and I need to improve the structure of the human body.

A3 sketchbook with conte stick

I drew his neck with an uncomfortable pose and with untidy hair. It is a cold day when I was doing this work but I drew his top which is looking too big with too many clothes.

A3 sketchbook with conte stick.

Reflection on my portrait work

I have chosen the subject: Using tone and line in a series of portraits and self-portraits with Conte sticks (I may change to some other medium like colour pencils or colourful drawing inks etc.), inspired by the artist Frida Kahlo.

For my final assignment, I would like to experience using some colourful medium, as I haven’t really used a lot of colourful pigments in this course. Through the process, I didn’t really consider exploring the idea of experimental styles outside of the construction.

Drawing a portrait is the most difficult for me because I still don’t know what effect I will be brought out at the end. Because the portrait includes the construction, perspective, emotional expression and character etc. So in this assignment, my aims are put colours on, find out the expression of the facial features.

For the drawing technology, I need to put attention on:

  • Line and mark-making
  • Tone
  • Colour
  • Light/middle/dark tone
  • Chiaroscuro

Facial Features & Expressions:

  • Draw the features with outlines of construction correctly
  • Practice eyes and put much attention on them because this is the area that conveys much of the emotion.
  • Gesture
  • Atmosphere
  • Mood

I know that the concept of “portrait” and “self-portrait” are flexible things and you can experiment with many methods like I have done in the research “what a self-portrait can be?” and gave examples of what artists have done.

How to express the portrait with the way to show more depth is the aim I am going to attempt for this assignment.

  • The features that are personal and distinctive. (Not everyone has same eyes, nose, mouth and ears also the same shape of the face.)
  • The expressions and the thoughts. (The difference persons have separate thoughts and they won’t be the same.)

In Kahlo’s works, she used a few of the elements with the metaphorically way to imply her feeling and thoughts. For example, she uses a few times of monkeys around her face and these monkeys like the situation in her life. There are other examples, Kahlo’s work used some else elements:

  • The Two Fridas (painted in 1939) is a double self-portrait which is included two figures of this artist. Kahlo is holding two items which are a forceps and a portrait. Also, she has drawn vessel and hearts outside of the bodies.
  • Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (painted in 1940). Kahlo used the elements are a thorn necklace, a small black hummingbird( like a pendant), a monkey sits behind her right shoulder(tugging at the thorn necklace, causing Kahlo to bleed), two dragonflies float in mid-air and A black panther over her left shoulder.
  • The Wounded Deer (painted 1946), Kahlo superimposed her face onto a deer which was fatally wounded by a bunch of arrows.

Is The Wounded Deer is a self-portrait? I would say so. As Kahlo has some more works which used the method for her style of symbolism. From her works, she was not painting attempting to conjure a real scene but she did arrange symbolic elements to communicate a feeling or idea.

So what can I do for my assignment five which is about the portraits and self-portraits? What can I change from my real scene? What elements can I add to my works?