My light side and my shadow side : self protraits

Thursday, April 29, 2021

My bright side

- enthusiastic - yay is one of my main words
- brave - I love daring to try new things
- imaginative - my inner world is rich and deep
- easy going - we can talk about paper or stars, of tires or sharks
- inquisitive - learn something new each day, and you will never grow old
- optimistic - the sun always shines again, in the end, we will be ok

My shadow side

- impatient - if I can do it, why wait for anyone to do it?
- socially anxious - I rehearse chit-chat if I know I have to do it
- impulsive - I follow my gut, but sometimes it leads to stomachaches
- picky - it is hard to decide... it is hard to comply
- easily overwhelmed - sometimes I think I might be autistic. I hate noise, I hate people talking at the same time, I hate too many things happening at the same time or running out of time for the next item on my to-do list
- silent - sometimes I do not speak when I should and keep it all in

FABRIANO® | Artistico aquarelpapier 28 cm x 35,5 cm Cold Press fine grain
Faber Castell Polychromos & Caran d'ache Luminance
Ecoline Ink for paper color
5 days - own references

The Process

 When I was planning for these portraits, I was only thinking about light and shadow. I only wanted dramatic light where I could get it, at an angle that I recognized as myself. The point was to see if I could apply what I have been learning about values and portrait blocking on self-portraits (and end up with a new profile picture for my art account).

In the end, I had 2... so I decided on making both! One was brighter and the other one had more shadows. This way I could practice both options.

I prepared the paper with Ecoline Ink so I can test how to layer over a dark surface before deciding on buying colored paper. There were MANY ... many layers... But I am surprised all my pencils made it. These are the ones I used:

You can say I am obsessed with my Caran d'Ache Fluo Pink (which supposedly is Light Fast, but I haven't been able to prove it 🤷🏻‍♀️).

The beginning was fun, blocking the lights and dark, though I know I have a LOT to improve in this department. It took me about a couple of hours. 


(Sorry for the bad lighting ... I have no idea why I took the blocking picture with my low-quality camera 🤔)


After this, I began layering the skin and fixing some parts here and there. It took me a while to figure out which pencils to use.  But I managed to find a good combination with the yellow and coral. This took LONG and many layers... I tried counting them, but then I gave up.


I was debating how to address the hair... because I know I do not have that many indigo pencils (2...) So in order to save them, I decided to use Ecoline again but the same indigo color as a base. Which actually worked better than using the pencil since I could layer the colors on top without having to erase the light areas.

After that, I just kept going! Doing what was fun and even adding confetti 🎊💕

On an end note, it is not perfect... the eyes were bigger 😫 which I always have trouble with (either eye too big or too small)  but loved it. Hopefully, my next self-portrait will be more accurate.

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