I did a self portrait back in March when I was starting the exercises from The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, but I did another one to see if I was getting any better. And because I was low on drawing ideas. And because I was flipping through the book again.
Here's how it came out:
This one is better. I am getting better!
This is better because it looks more like me. The nose is more accurate, and I didn't even mean to do it, but I captured the way I tilt my head. Have been doing this tilt since I was a little kid. Not sure why I do it. I got pounded in middle school over it — they loved to make fun of me. I was actually kind of damaged about the tilt because of that for a long time, until I saw Modigiliani's paintings with so many of the women tilting their head. At one point there was a big exhibit of his work when I was living in NYC, and that tilt was really celebrated and kind of showcased. I accepted the tilt after that. And so of course it promptly went away — I stopped doing it. Its interesting that its come back here. It is probably because the mirror I was drawing from was a little small. Either way, that's the LONG story about the tilt.
One more thing: I had not noticed before, but tilting my head like this actually makes my face look more symmetrical. If you look closely at the drawing, my eyes are really skewed — if my head was not tilted, the right eye would be MUCH higher than the left one. My ears also are not symmetrical. I don't look weird in real life (most of us don't have symmetrical faces), but studies have been done that symmetry in faces really improves how attractive people think you are.
This is good thing to remember for portrait drawings: people's faces are not usually symmetrical. Its exactly the sort of thing our brains would correct for, thus making a drawing that didn't look quite right. But if you want, you can have the person tilt their head just a wee bit, and thus fudge the imbalance just enough to make them look good, but still look like themselves.