I am drawing a self portrait through a mirror for college. Has anyone got any tips on this method, my fingers are neerly bleeding from rubbing out. This has to be the hardest thing I have ever had to draw.
Through a mirror? You can't just use a picture? Good luck!
Our faces are not symmetrical. So when we see our faces in a mirror, they don't look the same as how we see them in photographs. Left and right are reversed.
I've done the same exercise that you are doing. It's very disturbing and frustrating.
Try to get past your expectations of what you think you should see (or look like) in order to get at what you really see in the mirror. Think of Van Gough and Rembrandt and other artists whose self-portraits we know through history...were they looking at photographs of themselves? I hardly think so. But they managed to capture the essence of themselves.
Maybe you will write a Hub about this experience, and include your portrait.
Four things that might help,depending on what kind of portrait you are going for:
1. Realistic portrait - Draw a grid on the mirror with a white color pencil (lightly) or even lipstick if you must. Do it with a ruler/yard stick and make sure the squares are even. Then grid your paper lightly in pencil, and mark the squares on each grid with consecutive numerical and alphanumerical side and top grid coordinates. Have at it.
2. Semi-realistic (free hand) - Stop trying to draw "yourself" and just draw what you see. Look into the mirror for the shape of things, gauge distances visually by line/shape/shade. Don't see the person, see the relationships of the visual "landmarks."
3. Abstract - This is often a cop-out strategy, or viewed as one, but you can draw a portrait of the inner-you. This allows you to be creative without having to be accurate.
4. Humor - Take a picture of yourself in the mirror, and then trace the picture, INCLUDING the camera. You can then point out you have met the letter of the assignment. Shade it in free-hand though so it has some artistic quality.
Practice, practice, practice!!! Take some time to do some preliminary sketches throughout your portrait ordeal. Check out some other artists, I like to study Picasso.
Learn to "see" what is there and not what your left brain perceives is there. Every once and a while, flip your portrait around and hold it up to the light so you can get a view of the non mirror image.
DON'T GIVE UP!!!
The only thing I can think of that might possibly make that challenging assignment any easier might be to make sure there's lighting that shows up lots of shadows and areas of highlights. In other words, I'm thinking you shouldn't (for a number of reasons) stand in front of the bathroom mirror, with bathroom lighting, and try to drawer a self-portrait.
Thank you all for your advice I have to do it through a mirror, photographs are not allowed (lecturers know how hard it is!). I have managed to finish it now, I have to produce twenty of them so i should get better over the next few weeks. I am about to post it on a place what I can not mention.
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