How to Draw a Self Portrait

Part 1

Setting up Your Workspace

  1. 1


    Set up a mirror where it’s easy to see. Place it where you can move your head back and forth as little as possible while you draw. A rectangular mirror is preferable, but a circular mirror may be used as well.[1]

    • Using a mirror allows you to see what you’re drawing in 3-D, and allows you to adjust your light source as you draw.
  2. 2


    Angle the mirror based upon the profile you want to draw. Choose a comfortable pose that you can maintain for a sustained amount of time, as you’ll be using this pose throughout your drawing. Keep your eyes on the mirror roughly 80% of the time as you draw.

    • Because you’re drawing what you see in the mirror, you should spend more time looking in the mirror than actually drawing.[2]
  3. 3


    Use a photograph in place of a mirror for easier reference. Stand against a plain background that makes your features pop out, such as a solid-colored wall. If you can’t find a solid-colored wall, use a solid-colored drop-cloth to hang in the background. Adjust the lighting to cast shadows you desire.

    • Use top-lighting or lighting from above to find more shadows for your photograph.
    • Using a photograph gives you a 2-D reference that is easier to use than a mirror. The photo stays in one position, so you can reference the same image many times without adjusting your drawing.
    • Drawing from a mirror is more difficult and can help advanced artists improve their skill.[3]
  4. 4


    Keep your drawing surface as vertical as possible. Invest in a cheap table easel that has a clip built into it. Use the clip to hold your drawing in a near-vertical position while you sketch.

    • The self portrait can become distorted more easily on a flat surface.[4]


Source: wikihow. com

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