Drawing 1, Part 4: Nude Self Portraits

I decided to try and draw some self portraits using the technique of foreshortening. I was inspired by the work of Jenny Saville, and I intend to write a blog post about her and her work, in future.

I sat, naked on the floor, with the camera on my phone set to selfie format, and arranged my body so that my feet were positioned in the foreground. I then took a selfie.

I used the selfies as a references for the drawings, working with charcoal pencil and coloured pastel pencils. I used bold strokes and a free flowing technique. I started with the feet, then gradually worked my way up to the heads, which are chopped off at the top. This was intentional, and I feel it gives the images some ambiguity, and depersonalises them a little.

nude self portrait 1
nude self portrait 2
Nude self portrait 3

I felt very free and relaxed when I drew these portraits. Although I am self conscious about my body, I felt quite comfortable whilst drawing, and didn’t see myself as ugly, which I would have objectively done if I was looking in a mirror, although I still love my body.

I think the charcoal pencil suits the style of the sketch, though would also like to try in other media, such as biro, pen, watercolour, etc.

I intend to move forward with the self portrait work, using it as the focus for my project for the final part of this drawing module.

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