Tuesday, 20 September 2011

You Have Three Minutes To Tell The Truth.

A three minute portrait sketch.
Writers block has decided to be my companion for the evening, so I took to my sketch pad instead.
I thought you might like to see the result. It is a self portrait, a very bad self portrait. My pencil was in a cruel mood, I really do not bear any resemblance to this chap, who if you ask me looks a lot like Dr Harold Shipman, the mass murderer. Also I have made myself look old and decrepit, when the reality is that I am extremely well preserved and youthful in appearance. Of course I realise that I could have kept drawing until I produced a true likeness, but that was not the point of the exercise. The actual point is... Look to be honest I don't know what the point is. But it is a fun thing to do.
Do you want to have a go at drawing a self portrait? No? Oh well, in that case I'll wish you good night.
But just in case you change your mind, here is how to go about it. It is quite fun.
Sit yourself in front of a mirror with a pencil and piece of paper, and copy what you see. You should start with the left eye if you are right handed or vice versa if left handed. Once you have begun to draw you must not lift the pencil from the paper until you have finished. No cheating now, keep that pencil moving. Using this method leaves lots of lines all over the place and I think makes for a very interesting portrait. You must work quickly, do not stop if you think you have made a mistake. Hold the pencil loosely and just keep the flow going. You are allowed three minutes to complete your masterpiece.
Me. Pretending to look old. A difficult skill to master.
If you don't want to do a self portrait, ask your nearest and dearest to sit for you. If you are not happy with the result do not throw it away. Put it to one side and look at it again tomorrow. After that you might want to post it online for us all to admire.
Oh dear God! Is that me? Do I really look that old? Here is a photo taken just now. I do look old, but hey I'm not downhearted. I just need to trim my beard that's all, and of course the lighting is terrible. Also it should be remembered that the drawing is a mirror image. There must be some distortion in the mirror glass, and as for the photo well they always distort self images don't they? Don't they?
Maybe artists block and writers block have teamed up tonight, with photographers block tagging along for the ride.
I'm off now. I need my beauty sleep. Badly. Goodnight all.


  1. I like your self portrait sketch, though it might not look exactly like you as you said, but it still resemble you.

    I'm sorry that the hand written signature didn't work out for you. I don't know where you got messed up, so if you want to leave me a comment or contact me, then I will be happy to help.

  2. Awesome. I dabble in art enough, I will try this sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  3. i felt really glad to found and read ur plae it is a deep pleasure to have someone around with such a great positive energy ,just loved ur ABOUT ME,

    and could not believe that this sketch is made by yourself,it has really alive expression on it,have a wonderful life and stay as blessed as ur god bless

  4. I wouldn't know where to start,John. I used to play around with the pencil but what landed on paper didn't look like anything.

  5. I cannot draw to save my life, I have tried but my brain doesn't tell my fingers what my eyes can see.
    Jane x
    PS I hope you ate the blackberries in the header shot.

  6. I think your portrait is excellent - and off course you are very handsome John :)

  7. I haven't done a self-portrait since having that assignment in high school. I wonder if I know where that is? I think you did a great job. (Sorry, I know you don't want to look like that- you can say that the technique made way too many extra lines!)

  8. Hey...I thought you had "writer's block".LOL!
    Just kidding...you are well preserved.:)

  9. As you said, John, you are much better looking than the sketch. So just WHO is that fellow you have drown?

  10. oh my I can only imagine what horrible image I would create if I were to try this. I shudder at the thought but perhaps for the sake of a blog post I may try this some time. If nothing else it will give people cause to laugh at me :)

  11. That is a wonderful self-portrait and it does look like you. I do not see the age you see. What I do see is a darkness. Perhaps it is because you had a few shadows when you were looking in the mirror or maybe you were peeved at your writer's block. Portraits seldom look exactly like the human subject. I think you also see lines in your face that are not present in photos. I wish I had any artistic ability. I love to see others' accomplishments but I have absolutely no talent.