A Self-Portrait With Character

“You will regret that cell-phone self-portrait in the bathroom mirror one day” ~ unknown quote

Every so often I need to break out of the routine and do something different and a self-portrait was just the thing.  I wanted to be loose, draw it free hand, make it fun and with a bit of character while trying not to make myself a Marilyn Monroe lookalike (which I have accused of, well, never).

Self Portrait 1

I began the drawing with a gray green hard pastel on grayish sanded paper and blocked in some color. I tried to get put in some darks and generally get the shape and feel of the subject (me).  I then knocked off the pastel with my trusty brush and went in again with more pastel.  I kept knocking it back, over and over and working it back up again with more pastel.

Self Portrait 2

As you can see I have a good photo reference.  A lot of painters do their self-portraits in a mirror but then everything is backwards.  I didn’t realize this until I looked in the mirror and thought “oh, oh, I have the teeth wrong” when, in fact, I had them correct but the mirror was showing me a reverse image.

Self portrait 3

I think parts of this self-portrait are close to being correct although the face is a bit narrower in real life, the eyes smaller and perhaps the chin not so Jay Lenoish.   I tried to work on the entire painting, not one part at a time, and added bits of color to the background to tie it all together.   My day was made when my husband, upon seeing the painting,  said “your face isn’t that fat in real life.”  Is this a backhanded compliment or isn’t it?


A few last strokes, a few highlights and here I am.  It is a close depiction of me and with a bit of character.  I believe that if it’s at least recognizable as me then I won’t regret spending the time doing it.  It was a lot of fun and I like it……


  1. Lovely!

  2. Patty Jasper says:

    Wonderful. Your use of pastels amazing. Can wait to see what is next.

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