Faces often intimidate artists, particularly when it comes to self portraits–you are not only revealing your technical skills but you are also letting the world know how you see yourself. However, our own faces make some of the best models–they are readily available, free of charge, and you can’t offend anyone other than yourself if your efforts are less than you expected them to be.
I don’t draw myself (or anyone else for that matter) with the intent of getting an exact likeness, but I do aim to get a correct approximation of facial structure, proportion and age. I also hope to capture the personality of whomever I’m drawing, as well as a sense of their mood and expression at the time I am drawing them. I am most interested in using the medium, in this case watercolor and a bit of ink, to capture the subject in as few strokes as possible. I do this by keying in on the features that make the person unique–the more you draw the same subject the more familiar you become with it. You get to recognize the forms and their corresponding geometric shapes and how light carves them out of the shadows.
Watercolor is a great medium for drawing faces–it’s fast, spontaneous and vibrant. If you are looking for an expressive way of capturing the personality of your subjects (including yourself) give it a try. Don’t forget to have fun with it, remember, you can’t offend the model.