in Assignment 1 – Research & Process, My Work

self-portrait #1: class sketch & reference artist!


really messy sketch that doesn’t do the beautiful Christy any justice :'(

As a prelude to the self-portrait exercise, we partnered up and did a quick sketch of our partners. It’s been a while since I drew analog so this was a great activity to get things started 🙂 I think that doing everything digitally (and also the undo/redo key) has made my working style even messier and I basically sped through the portrait……. so I really have to work on that! And also focusing on proportions and realistic representation a little more I think.

I also see Christy quite a bit around school so I’d say I’m pretty familiar with how she looks but before this sketch I never really spent too much time staring at her (because that’s kinda weird right). Overall it was a really intimate exercise! I wonder how it would feel to draw a stranger, or a family member. Would it affect the quality of the drawing? the amount of detail or lack thereof?

REFERENCE ARTIST #1 – Manjit Thapp 

Manjit Thapp is an illustrator from the UK who takes inspiration from a variety of experiences in her normal life and popular culture such as music and fashion. I love the sketchy strokes/texture incorporated in her illustrations and the distinctive, signature way she draws faces. In particular, the colour scheme for the first image really inspired my personal portrait.


The Wounded Deer (1946)

The Two Fridas (1939)

So for a self-portrait assignment I absolutely had to look towards the modern artist best known for her iconic self-portraits: Frida Kahlo. Drawing inspiration from her life and experiences, her paintings incorporate lots of symbolic imagery and layers upon layers of meaning. These two paintings are my favourites because of how melancholic and haunting they are. I also really love the symbolism and surrealist art because there’s so much to dissect and understand about it, although Kahlo didn’t consider herself a surrealist painter.

They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. (Frida Kahlo)