Self-Portrait: Process & Final

I started this project by brainstorming various things that relate to me or how I feel at the current stage of my life. This the word list I created:

I decided to go through with the theme of reflections, as I feel that that best encapsulates myself and my current stage of life. Instead of taking the light-hearted path, I decided to do something more serious because just very frankly I could not think of anything fun and cute besides FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD!

Initial Idea

Here’s the very first sketch I did:

First Sketch

After consulting my classmates, I realised that my concept and idea behind this portrait is a little vague and all over the place. I, myself also felt a little lost in the direction as I just wanted to include so many things.

refining the concept

Taking the comments and feedback into consideration, I refined my concept. Instead of showing my made-up self in contrast to my natural (at home) self with the flowers in the background.

I decided to switch it up and include just one face of mine instead of two different faces and angles. This face will still sort of be split into half through the application of different colours. One side will now represent my trust in skincare products – it’s effect exaggerated through the use of flora and fauna. While the other side will show the downside of using too much of such products or “too little”. The negative side will instead have dead/dried flowers instead of blooming ones and my troubled skin further illustrated with redness and acne spots.


In this illustration, I will be using warm – earth tone colours and it feels more grounded and “realistic” which goes hand in hand with my overall theme of reflections. Furthermore, it is currently my favourite colour palette.

earth tones
A huge part of my inspiration came from Manjit Thapp. I love her portraits – her composition, elements, and technique all falls together so nicely all the time.


This self-portrait reflects how I look at myself not just physically but also emotionally. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror, I just wish I didn’t see redness, marks or any acne on my face. When I proceed to wash my face, I wish somehow a miracle will happen when I open my eyes again and somehow the face wash and its “essence” would have worked its wonders on my skin.

Thus, I used flowers and leaves to represent this “essence” on one side while the other side has dead and dried flowers together with a “bad” face to show how nothing works or basically there’s two sides to me.