There is no such thing as too much practice…. A self portrait challenge


(updating this to now make it a complete post as writing blog posts from my phone with more than image seems to lead to losing the majority of the text!!)

Now that the busy’ness of the last few months has come to an end (hopefully) I am managing to spend much more time in the studio. I had been pin-balling from one event and exhibition to the other with lots of deadlines for my sculptural characters so have had little to no time for drawing or painting. It is so good to be able to remedy that now!

I had a couple of ‘blah’ days in the studio last week where I felt so out of practice and achieved little work and alot of procrastination and staring at the walls. On days like this sometimes it is better to indulge myself a little and not put the pressure on – writing and thinking and dreaming is enough and luxuries that I do not always allow myself.


But there comes a point – always – when I just have to break out of that and get out the paper and materials and just draw something – anything – no matter how good or bad. Work the rust off and blow the cobwebs away and that in time will lead to a breakthrough of ideas for new work and a period of intense painting.


So that is what I worked on. I find that the most limiting thing for me at the moment is confidence in drawing figures and faces and poses – or the ability to take them further than I have before and with no spare cash for life drawing classes I decided to work on a series of self portraits. It is something I have worked on a little before but I wanted to seriously motivate myself so I have set myself a challenge. 100 self portraits – drawn, sketched or painted – taking as much time as it takes. I don’t want to worry about how good they are it is the process that is important and the act of getting in the studio as much as I can. So I will be showing the good, the bad, the ugly and the unfinished. Of course I will over a long period of time do more than 100 but I thought that was a nice round figure to start with and it is always good to have a goal in mind!


So here are the first four with the most recent at the top of the page and the first at the bottom (a really poor effort but not to worry – a reminder that the process is important and not the outcome!) I was so very out of practice as you can see but even in this short time I can see and feel a big improvement. I want to explore many different mediums and challenge my mark making skills so it shall be interesting to see how they develop.

Have you set yourself any challenges lately?


2 thoughts on “There is no such thing as too much practice…. A self portrait challenge

  1. hi gillian, i’ve just watched you on ‘show me the monet’ – i’m simply thrilled that you sold your painting! and i’m so proud to own already one of your pieces – she’s still my all-time favourite 🙂
    anyway, just wanted to say ‘hello’…
    and i am in awe of your self-portraits – esp. the first one! – one day i’ll pluck up courage to try one…

  2. I really like the white highlights in the first portrait! (Sometimes it’s good NOT to have a goal – just begin with line or colour, and see what happens. Less pressure, and the results can be amazing …) =D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s