Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Watercolor Self Portraits using a grid

I taught an art class a few weeks ago, focusing on drawing our own faces using a grid system. We used mirrors (you can preferably used printed photos) with a grease pencil grid drawn on it. Then we created a grid on a sheet of paper and transferred each square from the mirror onto the paper. The two biggest difficulties with using a mirror instead of a photo is depth perception, and making sure you line up in the mirror the same place each time. Using a photograph makes things a lot easier.

After sketching in our faces, we then used watercolors to try to add color to our faces. Many of the adults in the class had little to no experience and made some really great results, here are three samples I was able to photograph and then my own:

Please note these were all done in one hour.

I strongly suggest trying this method on your own, because it is a great learning experience, and an easy way to make a very good portrait. Chuck Close is rumored to use a similar grid system in his amazing over-sized portraits. If you do not know Chuck Close check out the link, his work is amazing.


Unknown said...


Took said...

Neat technique...I am going to give it a "go" this week. I am NOT a painter...I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for posting this!

William Hessian said...

took! you really should. i would love to see how it turns out! i think you will enjoy it

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