Drawing from Selfies in my Sketchbook

How to practise drawing from selfies

 

I need a model! I want to sketch the same person in different attitudes. Well, I usually don’t like selfies, but for this I may very well make an exception. Let’s draw from selfies!

 
 

Materials

pencil-eraser-sharpener

For this drawing, you don’t need a lot, just:

  • a pencil (I use 2B)

  • a sharpener

  • an eraser

  • white paper (I draw on 180 g/83 lb grained A3 paper – I use the less grainy side).

Since I wanted to draw from selfies, I took a few pictures of myself in different static positions, with my phone and in front of a mirror, and drew from these. I explain a totally different process for taking selfies here, if you are interested.


 

Step 1 – Drawing the first selfie with pencil

To draw a figure, whether from a selfie or any other figure, I usually try to find out the right proportions first (although I did not do it this way in this other post), and to be aware of the foreshortenings that might occur (foreshortenings are when parts of the body are seen in perspective and must therefore be drawn as if they were shorter). In this example, there are foreshortenings of the arms and feet, and I struggled a little.

 

In the short video above, this runs from 00:00 to 01:30. It actually took me 7 minutes.

 

Step 2 – Drawing a sitting figure with crossed legs

Talking about foreshortening, there is a spectacular one in the right arm here (on the left of the picture). It was difficult because, when one draws a foreshortening, it usually looks at first as if it is going completely wrong. I had to push through, and then add the details of the wrinkles in the clothes, before I could be sure that it worked.

 

In the short video above, this runs from 02:22 to 04:06. It actually took me 7 minutes.

 

Step 3 – Drawing a standing figure with pencil

What you don’t see here is that I had technical issues with my lighting and camera, so I had to redraw this page of my sketchbook again and again. This is the fifth attempt! It was a good thing, though, because I made real progress in those five repetitions. It was much easier the fifth time, and quicker too!

In the short video above, this runs from 01:30 to 02:22. It actually took me 7 minutes.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. As always, I do not pretend to be a teacher, a seasoned artist or an expert in anything. I am just a very motivated learner who finds a deep joy in a regular art practice.

 

This is the course where I share my personal formula for drawing a portrait or a self-portrait with pencil, even if you don’t have a lot of time or haven’t drawn in a long time.

This is the course where I share my personal formula for drawing a portrait or a self-portrait with pencil, even if you don’t have a lot of time or haven’t drawn in a long time.

If you want a step-by-step guide to how I draw a self-portrait, with even more detail, check out this course, a simple guide to creating an elegant portrait or self-portrait, which will be ready to frame or gift in only 7 days.


 

If you liked this post, you will almost certainly like some of these other self-portraits. Enjoy!