As I needed a new profile image I painted a fresh self portrait. As an illustrator it doesn’t feel appropriate to use a photograph for professional social media profiles. It’s an opportunity to give a sense of myself and my work.
Lovely illustration agent, and teacher, Lilla Rogers reviewed my Instagram feed in November and seeing the following portrait gave some advice which I’ve now had the opportunity to put into practice.
As I’m developing my illustration skills my self portrait timeline is a measure of ongoing artistic development. I’m sharing this as I’m pleased with the progression, and to bare my past work in the hope that this inspires people to keep practicing at whatever you wish to improve. The portraits below go gradually farther back in time.
A self-portrait can possibly be seen as self-indulgence but a lot can be learned by learning to observe and portray the features. As it’s face one sees most often, although in reflection, and it’s always available as a subject it’s a helpful subject to draw or paint.
Learning the techniques, materials, surface, observation, brush dexterity and choice of hues all plays a part in this progression. I find myself using a range of brush sizes, tube and cake watercolours, and am very surprised that I am often holding a magnifying glass to paint tiny details.
I use the mantra – Practice Makes Better, as I don’t believe in perfect; and I think that the pressure of attaining perfection can stifle experimentation, and thus can also inhibit progress. So I practice, practice, practice…
I look forward, next, to simplifying my portrait and maybe using a concept to communicate more. Here’s to seeing where the future leads.
The below is a bit of an anomaly, I feel it’s quite good compared with some of what came after, but no path is ever completely straight.
I’m sharing this because everyone has to start somewhere, and is a beginner at the start of a new endeavour.
Enjoying the journey, whilst developing is, in my opinion, a wonderful exploration. I wish you luck in your creative practice and those activities at which you’re determined to get better. What is it you want to develop skills at? I’m interested to know how you motivate yourself forwards?
Here’s to a creative 2021, hopefully one where we can all enjoy more freedom.
Bye and sincere thanks for being here.