So, it’s been a shocking 30 years since my last self-portrait. And for good reason. They are hard. However, recently I decided to man-up and have a go at drawing people. The first one had to be a self-portrait, as I’m the only person who will sit still whenever I ask.
I chose to work in pastels as they give good colour coverage with minimum mess and are a good stepping stone from the way graphite handles, towards blending like paint. Also, they give a soft-looking result on the paper, which is sympathetic to portraiture.
My first sketch in pastels was little more than that – 40 minutes, not much observation in truth. All the proportions were wrong, it didn’t look like me, and the paper was nasty, lumpy and scratchy (despite being sold as pastel paper). The Conte pastels I was using were quite hard, and didn’t blend the way I’d hoped. Yet, in that brief session I learned quite a lot about what hadn’t gone right. What’s more, it didn’t deter me from trying again. Onwards and upwards…
Read the blog to see how the work developed.