Being a self-taught artist whose goal is to become a full-time artist means you have to work every day to become a better version of yourself. A better artist, better time manager, better business person, better marketer. These things don’t just occur, they don’t just manifest. As much as you may want them to.
You gotta work. You gotta learn.
On my personal journey, I’m constantly pushing myself to be better. To learn more. To practice more. In that part of my journey, I’m currently studying portrait drawing.
During March, I set out to draw 30 portrait studies. Just simple sketching, nothing fancy.
What’s the goal?
I want to cement my style and drawing process. I’d like to get to a point where I can draw more from my imagination than from references.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using references, I feel that it is the next step to moving my art and career forward.
As a self-taught artist, I often feel like I skipped a bunch of steps. Capable of sight drawing with almost no problem and adept at composition.
There is almost a never-ending slur of ideas in my head.
But facial anatomy? Forget about it!
So I set out to learn as much as I can this month about the human face.
When I do a challenge like this, I don’t just set out to complete my goal. I also find learning resources that will help me advance and improve. I thought the best resources would be books about the anatomy of drawing faces so when my power was out on the first day of the ice storm I consumed an entire workbook on the subject.
What did that do for me?
I swear it set me BACK in my progress. Trying to follow all the rules the book laid out was making my artwork feel stiff and less realistic.
So I decided that I’d keep some info but not follow it 100%
I then proceeded to look on Skillshare for some portrait drawing courses. If you’re not familiar with Skillshare you should definitely check it out because I’ve learned a lot from the resources provided there.
Below, you can see my journey, discovery, and improvement from day 1 to day 30.
This challenge was a struggle but worth every moment. I can see a significant improvement from beginning to end and that's really what this was all about. I learned a lot, I discovered an immense amount about myself and my artistic style.
If you fell in love with this journey and wish to own a portrait study or gift one, check out the Request a Commission page for more information. You can also sign up to potentially win a FREE Custom Portrait by joining my newsletter.
Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments!