Sunday, September 19, 2010

A first for me...

on the back of a large piece of paper folded to 10" x 8.5"
Once a long, long time ago I started to draw a self portrait. I didn't finish it ... it was a miserable attempt and soon realized it. Today I decided while sitting at my desk with some scratch paper (very unthreatening to use paper you don't care about- know what I mean?) and used a ball point pen and proceeded to sketch my portrait. I'm not sure it's even a decent likeness (my face can't be that fat and my eyes surely can't look like that) but I'm happy to have finally done a self portrait. So many artists paint/draw themselves numerous times a year... that way they always have a live model around who doesn't complain. I think I'll try this again sometime.

Speaking about my work and my critiquing of this ball point pen sketch, I'm wondering how you handle your self-critiques. Can you be objective and move on ... maybe you can continue on with more sketches, but what about a more important piece of work that you are really trying to complete for a show etc. Do you have a trusted person in your art life that can give you an honest critique? and possibly tell you what would have made your painting better? Fortunately I do have someone who is willing take a look at my work and if asked will offer suggestions to help me improve the work ... my husband. He isn't an artist yet he can take one look and more often than not give me a suggestion that makes the painting so much better. What about you?


  1. Sometimes, the most honest comments come from non-artists.
    I do have several people with my plein air group that really give good critiques though.
    Congrats to you for having the guts to do a self-portrait!

  2. I think having fellow artists who are willing to give critique ... an honest critique, are not easy to find. I belong to one group I meet with every two weeks and a couple of them can and will give a decent critique, but I find most people just want to say something nice. I think they either don't know how to critique or are afraid of hurting your feelings.

    I found doing the self portrait in pen and not working on 'good' paper made it easy to attempt.

  3. I have a great friend with a fine arts degree who is a great help - she doesn't hold back, but also doesn't hurt my feelings! And my husband is pretty good, too!