self portrait practice

Here’s an art challenge to everyone: get better at self portraits. Here are the rules:

  1. Time limit is 15 minutes.
  2. Paper size is sketchbook size (roughly letter size).
  3. Sketchbook must be held in hand while standing up, looking into mirror.
  4. Use only a pencil and an eraser (nothing fancy).
  5. Start with toned paper which does not count toward your time limit.
  6. After time limit, write one new observation about the process on your drawing.

I used this as a warm-up exercise for my high school students in advanced drawing,  and everybody got better.

This was partly inspired by a TED Talk by Matt Cutts on trying something new for 30 days – mostly the idea that you can pretty much pull off improving at anything you try for 30 days.

As a challenge, there is one extra rule: post your progress somewhere on the internet. Below are day by day scans of my progress.

ceramic face tile with jawbone antlers

This is a ceramic tile. The antlers are jawbones from a groundhog (possibly?).

the assignment

This was my product from an assignment I gave my class, which was basically:

Make a 3″ x 6″ x 1/4″ tile with a face on it. The face must project out from the tile (as opposed to being scratched in).

LASERs for added awesome

When photographing this, I used LASER beams to light up the eyes. That’s why there are two versions of each angle. And that’s why it’s awesome.

 

4312 davron ln 37918

In order to help sell my old house, I whipped up a little WP site full of photos of the place. I’m not really sure exactly why, but I made a QR code drawing / painting which linked to the site. The house was sold before I completed this piece, and the code links to a domain that is now pointless to maintain. So, now the link will point to, you guessed it, right here. Until the domain expires. But, the finished piece is still pretty cool to look at. (Part of the lesson learned from this experiment is to link just to a site I plan on maintaining, like this one.)

method

First I drew the grid on watercolor paper. I painted the ‘black’ squares in a checkerboard pattern of blue and green. Next, I masked off squares about an eighth inch smaller than the grid cells and painted the ‘white’ squares yellow. After this, I still needed more contrast, so I drew alternating diagonal lines on top of the blue and green.

This artwork is also in my scraps collection on DA.