Self-portrait (your portrait) is a type of art aimed at the author’s image of the artist him/herself. It can be a picture or another type of creativity. Probably, every famous artist made self-portraits, because who else, if not him/herself, would be better than others to show their own personality.
When there was no photograph yet, drawing or painting were the only ways to capture the image of reality and save it for future people. But even now, when almost every person has social media profiles, instagram, a phone with a camera … people are still attentive to works of art, and artists continue to portray themselves.
I think that any picture of the artist – to one degree or another, depicts the author. I have already expressed this theory in the post “Whom does the artist really painting?”, And I don’t think that self-portraits in this sense are something unique. From my own experience I can say that it is interesting and fun to draw yourself, which is probably why people do this so often.
An artist himself can become an ideal model, especially now when you can take a picture of yourself and process it in Photoshop, then display it on a tablet or laptop. Drawing from a photograph is one thing, but what if you draw from a reflection in a mirror or from a video, or at least from a photograph of yourself. We know ourselves well, seen many times in the mirror.
I have already made many self-portraits — from sketches to oil paintings. Some of them:
How to draw / paint yourself?
First, you need to select the source of image. How will you look at yourself — in the mirror (portrait in oil) or in the photo (last sketch at the table); you will draw from memory or from imagination (other works). You can watch a video or take a stop-frame on YouTube video, and sometimes change the frame to feel the volume. You can draw yourself from a different paintings. And you can even make an abstraction, based on sensations or on the logic only you understand.
You need to immediately understand what your task is. Do you want to “make it beautiful” or “draw such picture that people will recognize you”. Do you want to have fun or work hard for a customer. Do you plan to make good money on your picture or want to fit it into a thematic exhibition. Are you learning something or training? Understanding why you are drawing, it becomes easier to understand how to build the process of creating a self-portrait.
Do not be afraid to experiment and portray yourself in different images and personalities, in different styles, to use a variety of artistic styles and tools. Even if it turns out not what you expected, you can always say that this is what you intended to do. Or maybe, you painted that woman over there. Or even this one. And there is nothing wrong with self-portraits, not only narcissistic man and egoists love to paint themselves.
It is interesting to compare later your self-portraits with your other works. For example, I found out that in many of my paintings I can see something that is inherent in me and I draw “these moments” in self-portraits. But even when I don’t paint myself on purpose, something moves from one painting to another, regardless of my desire to make everyone look like me.
Or maybe … are we all alike?