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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > May-17 > Self-portraits and how to catch a likeness

Self-portraits and how to catch a likeness

In the first of three articles on how to paint faces and portraits in a direct, lively and fearless manner Hazel Soan demonstrates three quick self-portraits in watercolour

FACETIME : 1 OF 3

PHOTO A facing directly into the mirror
PHOTO B turning to the side in the mirror
PHOTO C lowering and moving head in the mirror

To study and paint faces there can be no better model than yourself – endlessly patient and equally critical – you are the perfect subject for starting on this exciting journey! So we start with selfportraiture. I have chosen watercolour as the medium for this workshop-style article because it is immediate and easy to use anywhere in the house, and I want you to paint without anxiety.

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About The Artist

Follow cover artist Henrietta Graham's example and set yourself a challenging project to create a series of paintings on a particular subject matter, or why not try something different from your usual practice to keep your creativity flowing? Our professional artist/tutors offer plenty of ideas this month, from how to paint loose watercolour landscapes by Lea Nixon, unusual compositions from a high viewpoint by Jo Quigley, and how to use pattern to dramatic effect in your still lifes by Penny German. Hazel Soan demonstrates how to paint a lively self-portrait in watercolour, Glyn Macey shows what you can discover by studying Rauschenberg's work and techniques plus we include articles on understanding the structure of the head and how to measure and see more objectively to help improve your figure work. Oil painters will love Martin Kinnear's new series on oil techniques, starting with the importance of value and chiaroscuro, while Charles Williams takes a thought-provoking look at the age-old issue of 'when is a painting finished?' With more besides, you won't be short of inspiration and helpful advice in this month's issue!
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