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I think one of the most challenging subjects facing an artist is the self portrait. I know for many of us this has been a standard exercise in many drawing classes and its always hard to bring a fresh approach to a subject that most of us see everyday. But I think there is an opportunity here to explore not only what we show the outside world but what we keep hidden on the inside. A successful self portrait should be revealing, it should offer up something about the artist beyond what a camera can provide. It is an opportunity to be authentic, transparent and vulnerable.

I personally have always dreaded approaching drawing or painting myself, aside from the fact I apparently have no idea what I look lit since people tell me the end results never look like ME. Every time I do aproach using myself as the model, I always wind up discovering more about myself. I dont think as artists we can spend that much time on a subject and NOT learn something about the model, even if it is ourselves =)

The benefit to using ourself as a model of course is access. We dont have to pay ourselves to model, we can work whatever hours we wish and we dont have to carry on a conversation with ourselves, unless of coure you really want to =). Many artists are known to us through history as a result of their self portraits... Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh to name a few. Their paintings give us a glimpse to who they were not as an artist... but as a person. In the case of Rembrandt for example, we get to see him age through the years via a series of self portraits. The older version is much more humble then the arrogant young Rembrandt.

These self portraits I think are successful because they reveal something about the artist. See if you can learn something about these artists from a glimpse into their portraits!

Self Portrait by Ausila   :thumb44939379:

Self Portrait by Lv21Fish   :thumb45951389:

   :thumb42520883:

:thumb58258367:   Self-Portrait As 220 Grit by donnerstag22

Self Portrait by DeRoodeKoning   Self Portrait by blind-awakening

Self Portrait with Beard by carts   self portrait 5 by danjacob

4-1-2004 self portrait by crimmy   Self Portrait by infernovball

:thumb70673458:   Self-Portrait by dekooning

:thumb78941105:   self by Darkdesyre
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:iconlv21fish:
Lv21Fish Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008
Thank you for the feature (and sorry for the belated response)!
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2008
Ha no problem, Im glad you enjoyed it.. even late !
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:iconblacksmithy84:
blacksmithy84 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
I must say I am a big fan of your postings and journals! Keep it up, you have a great eye for great work!
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
Thank you hun!
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:iconmegan11:
megan11 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
I`ve done a self portrait before, a couple...Though thinking about it, they don't say much about me. I left out details and was skimpy on shading. This makes me want to do an exaggerated version of myself, highlighting the negative bits instead of the positive for a change of pace. Think I'll try it : D
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
I cant wait to see it, you will have to send me the link when its done =)
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:iconmegan11:
megan11 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
: D <3 will do!
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:iconimperfect:
imperfect Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
What a wonderful news article.
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
Thank you!
Reply
:iconrosary0fsighs:
Rosary0fSighs Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
great article :) very interesting
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
Thank you, Im glad you enjoyed it =)
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:iconangelofgod87:
AngelofGod87 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Heh... I've NEVER been able to draw myself... so I content myself with drawing figures and faces out of my own sweet head :giggle:

:clap:
Great feautre...and great artists also

TTFN
Me
:)
Reply
:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
Thank you, I hope you challenge yourself by trying to draw yourself occasionally though. Have you ever drawn from live models or just all out of your head?
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:iconangelofgod87:
AngelofGod87 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I've used pictures of my friends and drawn them... but I don't know... lately I can't seem to draw things really well so I havent uploaded any of my doodles.
Funny, my poetry used to be amateaurish and now its getting better...:roll:
guess I'll just have to dare to draw something again. :)


TTFN
Me
:)
Reply
:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
I hope you do, Id love to see some drawings soon!
Reply
:iconangelofgod87:
AngelofGod87 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks... heh I'll try again soon :)

TTFN
Me
:)
Reply
:iconatomic-matty:
atomic-matty Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
I did a self portrait for my art exam earlier this week. It was strange as it started to look more and more like my own face as I progressed. It was like looking into a broken mirror as I fixed it.
I'd submit it but I can't take it home until it's been marked.
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
Thats what is cool about self portraits.. the act of discovery as you work on them over time you learn more about yourself =)
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:iconliesaa:
Liesaa Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
wooh that's awesome and soo true..
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:iconxalexutzax:
XalexutzaX Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Professional General Artist
wow.great feature.
you've selected great self-portraits
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
Thank you!
Reply
:iconxalexutzax:
XalexutzaX Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Professional General Artist
you're welcome :giggle:
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:iconjetjames:
JetJames Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Great feature. Amongst all of them, none tickle with the meta physical realm and are true to the physical representation.
There is nothing wrong with that, but it would be worth considering artists who paint outside of those norms.
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
Im open for suggestions.. I was going for some sense of realism. I think if the portrait is abstracted too much it is hard to connect with the image of the artist... at least for me.
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:iconjetjames:
JetJames Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I understand that :) The famous Australian portrait prize the Archibald Prize, is fascinating to see [link] Some of the most significant portraits in our country can be seen there. One of my favourites is a winning portrait by Brett Whiteley called "Art life and the other thing, 1978" its a example of a more contemporary way of seeing the self. [link] :D
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2008
Great links, I enjoyed looking at them! And I agree that Brett's was a very intriguing self portrait, I liked it =). Thanks for sharing it with me!
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:iconlatul1pe:
LaTul1pe Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
*grins* I learned from those(girl friends) who looks at my own portraits that I have a "flirtive smile" hahah!
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
Ha! I think they are flirting wit you =)
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:iconlatul1pe:
LaTul1pe Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
hahah! :)
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:iconvillarica:
villarica Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
it inspires me a lot....:hug:
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
Cool!
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:iconredhag:
Redhag Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
I have attempted to draw my self portrait before and have always (not unintentionally) made myself look better then i do now. That in itself has made the painting.... well...not me. your journal entry really helped and made me think about it. thank you!
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
I think its human nature to want to portray ourselves in a flattering light... but I think as you said that makes the portrait not authentic because you doesnt accurately reflect who we are. I think its so courageous for an artist to portray themselves in a silly, serious or unflattering moment. It reflects our humaness and makes it so much easier to feel a connection with the artist represented.
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:icongreeniegirl96:
Greeniegirl96 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have never attempted to draw my self portrait. My art teacher said if and when I do not to use a mirror. Seems that the mirror reflects your appearance backwards and you don't get a true picture of yourself. He suggested using a very good photograph of yourself for the self portrait. I applaude those who have done this for I am not ready to make that attempt yet.
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:iconbreakingbad:
Breakingbad Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I had the same problem with the mirrors. I solved that plastering my room in giant mirrors and drawing the reflection of the reflection.
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:icongreeniegirl96:
Greeniegirl96 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OOH that was pretty hard wasn't it? I still can't bring myself to start a self portrait. I guess I don't fancy seein myself on paper. LOL I bet yours turned out great! :D
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:iconbreakingbad:
Breakingbad Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not to self promote, but check my page and see if I did a good enough job.
All it takes is just a little courage to step over your fears and put the pencil to the paper. It took me over three years before I got a image that I even looked related too!
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:icongreeniegirl96:
Greeniegirl96 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well I think you did a nice job! I like the Change Jingler the best. You have more nerve then me and youth is on yourside too. :D I'm waiting til summer when I think I look better. LOL. And thank you!
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:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
I look forward to seeing your first attempt at a self portrait, you'll have to send me the link!
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:icongreeniegirl96:
Greeniegirl96 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When I attempt it. You will be the 1st to see it when It's finished. Thank you! :D I gotta work up the nerve first. Lol.
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:iconstarrynienna:
starrynienna Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
"I think one of the most challenging subjects facing an artist is the self portrait."

Indeed, and I'm very glad you decided to feature ones that reveal something about the artist's personality. I also like the change/development idea.
Reply
:icondarkdesyre:
Darkdesyre Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2008
I always admire artists who can get "real" with their self portraits =)

I can speak to my own self portrait, it is done to represent myself after a painful divorce, hence the similarity to a crucifix in the design. The choice was the marriage or pursuing my art, which made my spouse at the time very resentful. The red drape is symbolic of shed blood at all the hurts and the cast sculpture is a reference to the choice to pursue the art in the end.
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