I finished up the final three self-portrait studies today. I’ve done enough of these studies that I know now how to go about technically making the drawing. I’m waiting for a shipment of Dura-Lar to arrive, so I’ve got some time to think through what my next step is going to be. The aspect that I’m really debating right now is whether I want to introduce layers with both the figures and self-portraits. I had initially planned on layering several drawings on top of each other, but it seems like a lot of detail might get lost and the form might be too difficult to decipher. I’m also suspicious that I’m wanting to do the layers as a gimmick, and that really I need to just be do a simple, straightforward format and let the drawing speak for itself. I think I’m hanging onto this layers idea because it’s familiar and leftover from my last project, which probably means it’s time to move on.
A major theme that I want to explore with these self-portraits is this idea of having to constantly put on a front that says that everything is okay, when really it’s not. I think we’ve all experienced this to different degrees: being forced to act cheerful and positive when we’re actually torn up inside. It’s hard and exhausting to keep that up over a sustained period of time. I want to do something with these self-portraits that demonstrates this experience. My first thought is to mix in some “positive” self-portraits to demonstrate the emotional front. I think perhaps juxtaposing the contrast between the portraits could be interesting.
In this detail below you can see the cross-hatched marks create with an exacto knife.