|3/2/14 Gel pen, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook|
The Bitstrips-like self-portrait I made last week was based on a recent photograph. Although I’ve sketched at least 100 self-portraits using a mirror (the ultimate selfie), and although it’s probably better practice to sketch from a reflection, it’s much easier to use a photo.
Today on this lazy, rainy Sunday, I took the easy way out and sketched more self-portraits from a photo, circa mid-‘60s. The pink one, sketched second, is a more accurate rendering of the photo, but the blue one, sketched first, better captures the exuberance of the original moment (I was at Knott’s Berry Farm during summer vacation).
There is something liberating about using garishly colored gel pens for portraits. I felt no pressure to render skin tones accurately as I would have with watercolors, nor did I feel compelled to crosshatch or blend tones delicately as I would have with graphite.