Meet Gerry Bryceland and some of his portret painting ideas? While drawing from life with a self-portrait involves using a mirror, and it is challenging, it’s also a challenge that is definitely worth taking. Many artists will tell you that there’s nothing quite like drawing from life, so even though drawing while looking in a mirror might be difficult, it’s quite rewarding. One thing you can do to make the process a bit easier on yourself is to take a backup photo. Once you have your pose in the mirror down, take out your phone and take a quick picture. You can use this as a guide to ensure that your light source doesn’t change and to help you capture little details that may not show up in the mirror. Sometimes less is more. But that’s not always the case when you are drawing a self-portrait. You could draw a minimalist self-portrait, and it could turn out amazing. But if you want to do a highly detailed self-portrait, you are going to have to spend some more time and effort on the process.
Lightly sketch an egg-shaped circle on your paper, you can use an HB pencil for this if you’re worried about drawing too hard. Then make a straight vertical line at the middle of the face, dividing it in half as symmetrically as you can. Then make a straight horizontal line in the middle of the face measuring from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin, crossing over your vertical line. At the image below the top of the head, the center, and the bottom of the chin are all marked using blue lines. Observe on your model or your reference where the hairline is and mark that on your portrait drawing, in the sketch below it is marked with the topmost red line. Using that hairline marking and the marking at bottom of the chin, divide that section into three equal parts. Below, red lines are used to show these three divisions. These lines will serve as your main guide lines for drawing in each of the facial features.
Gerard Bryceland‘s guides about portret painting: Facial hair like eyebrows and eye lashes are usually the same color as the hair on the head, but they are painted more delicately with the smallest brushes. The underpainting in these areas is simply a darker shade of skin tone. The soft texture of the hair on the eyebrows and eye lashes is slowly built up with delicate strokes of a thinly mixed ivory black. It is very easy to overdo these features, so you should start by applying a few strokes, then stopping to check the effect. Apply a few more, then stop and check again. Continue this process until you achieve the satisfactory density of hair for the eyebrows and eye lashes. It is often better to omit the lower eye lashes which tend to obscure the the tone and consequently the form of the lower eye lid.
Self-Portrait Drawing Tips: Don’t obsess over creating a perfect likeness of yourself. As an artist, you should be working to express yourself, and that expression includes drawing what you feel as much as what you see. If you want a perfect copy of your face, you can take a picture for that. If you want an intriguing and thought-provoking self-portrait, then worry more about the mood of the piece rather than trying to create a photo-realistic drawing. Color can be your friend. Whoever said that a self-portrait has to be black and white? You could draw your self-portrait in graphite or charcoal, or you could be more adventurous and try colored pencils, pastels, or oil pastels. Or, you could really step your game up and try painting a self-portrait with watercolors, gouache, acrylics, or oils.
About Gerard Bryceland: I’m Gerard Bryceland an artist based in Maidstone Kent and regularly get commissioned to do work doing paintings and portraits of people and their families. I’ve always been an artist from my childhood, I loved drawing my friends and family initially just to mess around with my friends and had a lot of fun drawing them. But as i got older it really just became a business as my friends and their families would want me to do family portraits and that type of thing. With word of mouth word gets out and before you know it you know it I’m 35 and still doing the same thing.