Final Project: Self Portrait

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For my last final project for Figure and Motion class, I had to create a self portrait using a picture of myself in black and white. The material that I used for shading was complete charcoal. In addition, I used my blend tools as well as my erasers to. My self portrait isn’t suppose to be realistic. What I was going for was to give my portrait a sense of politics, try to make it look political.

When I was making my self portrait, I mostly concentrated on which direction the light source would be coming from. Originally, I wanted the light to shine under my head but, that had taken away a lot of details from the picture. When I took the picture of the light shining above me, there were more details being shown. From that result, that picture became my self portrait. In addition, I like how it made picture look like it didn’t have eyes. For example, by looking at my picture, my eyes can’t be seen. Since the eyes can’t be seen, it makes me look somewhat anonymous. It makes the picture ironic because of how when a light shins above someone, it’s suppose to give an angelic vibe even though my eyes give off that anonymous vibe.

When I was doing the shading for the shadows on my character, I tried to be accurate as I can. For example, the shading for the shadows on my face were mostly going from a light to a medium shading. Because of they I had to leave negative space to indicate that there was a certain object/feature there without the use of lines. For instance, the frame and edges of my glasses can’t be seen but works as an advantage to my advantage because of how the negative space in-between the shadings helps imply that the glasses are there. Also, without seeing my eyes, the viewer will get a sense that my eyes are just staring right at you. In both the picture and the self portrait, my eyes can’t be seen at all making it one of my portraits’ strengths. I consider it to be a strength because of how the oppression of the portrait with my head tilted brings out the sensation that my eyes are there just staring back at whoever looks at it

To restate, my goal was to make my portrait look political. In my opinion, I had accomplished that, but not the way I was going for. For example, when I asked others about my portrait, they stated, “You look like a communist. You look like a narcissistic.” Granted, i wasn’t going for that but I went with that and used it to my advantage. When I did some research on Russian communist posters, the art style for their poster and my self portrait were almost exactly the same. For example, by looking at the poster, it can be said that the main figure has the light shine on him either in front or above him. By learning this information, I made my portrait adjust to that style and have it give the vibe of strength and power. This project does show that in my opinion; I have improved with needing lines, blending in different shades of charcoal and using the positive/negative space to my advantage. The result of this made me feel more confident to make more self portraits and try to continue making them in the near future.

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