Self Portrait Project:

The Importance of Self Portraiture:

Self portraits have always existed because they had many advantages throughout history for the artist. For example, they are a cheap way for an artist to practise portraiture, facial expression, skin tones, etc. without having to pay a model to sit still for them. An artist can model at any time and for any duration.

Early self portraits were made possible with the use of two mirrors, this was useful, so that the artist would get a true representation of themselves rather than a mirrored opposite reflection. Sometimes the artist would play tricks in their self portraits, by painting themselves with jewels and really expensive clothing which they did not actually wear at that time. They perhaps painted a Duke or a Royal a week earlier and saw what they were wearing and then painted themselves in the same clothing or wearing their jewels. This is similar as to what the glossy magazines do nowadays by getting rid of any blemishes from peoples faces or by creating false backgrounds etc. Artists would sometimes paint themselves as an artist, holding their pallets or surrounded by their painting equipment. Other times they painted themselves surrounded by their belongings.

For example Vincent VanGogh had self portraits with his Japanese prints in the background, other artists such as Marc Chagall had such things as images which reflected his nostalgic memories of his life in Russia at the time when he was in Paris. A self portrait does not always have to be a photographic likeness of a person, it could show objects only associated with that person. The artist M.C.Escher showed only his eyes in one of his self portraits and the sculptor A. Rodin represented himself once by sculpting his hands. Self portrait often show the development of the artists style and influences at a particular moment in time.

Work Required:
You are now the artist and for your portfolio you must represent yourself.
There is no limit to the amount of work which you submit or direction you want to take for this project. However there is a set minimum amount of required work for you to complete.


All of the following must be submitted:
* 4 x A3 Observational drawings of yourself using any medium.
e.g. pencil, pen, colouring pencils, chalks, pastels, collage etc.

* A3 Mono-print. Roll out lino ink onto glass, take a clean page and place over rolled ink. Then take one of your line drawings and overlay this over the new page with your drawing facing up. Draw over your line drawing again with a pointed tool. (it is similar to how carbon paper works) Try some experiments.

* Written artist study. Select any artist who made a self portrait, research his style and two of his works. Write a 2 page essay mentioning the following: Historical information, style, medium, composition and include a sketch of their work.

* A3 Artist study. You must make a self portrait in the style of your chosen artist. This may mean either copying their style and composition with your image of yourself or using your own composition but working in their style and colours etc.

* A2 Finished Self Portrait. You must make a finished self portrait to represent yourself. Remember this may also be objects or colours associated with yourself or a combination of both these suggestions. Try to use a variety if media.