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self portrait sketch

Yesterday Woodrow Phoenix asked me why my pictures of myself never actually look anything like me. I said I'd get back to him, and thought that I could either start going into deep psychoanalytic mode or just try to draw a more realistic picture of myself. So here's a quick drawing, looking into the full-length mirror (which means it's me in reverse.) I'd still like to find a shorthand technique, though, there's no way I'd draw this realistically in, say, a mini comic, or I'd never have time to finish it.

Edit Here are a couple pictures that figured into my discussion with Woodrow... including his own not-very-realistic self portrait. (I love the spindly legs!) His version on the DFC site looks much more like him.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2008 09:23 am (UTC)
I think your cartoon yous do look like you. Or maybe they feel like you - if you know what I mean.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The thing is, my cartoon self looks very child-like with its big head and stumpy body. Which is good for some things (and I may just stick with it), but I'd love to find a way to draw my grown-up self, too. Not very realistically, and I'll exaggerate things to make it more fun, of course.

It annoys me, though, when I draw myself as roly-poly for fun, and people start telling me I have body issues. (I mean, who doesn't in this culture?) But they don't say that when people draw themselves looking heroin-chic thin, even when they're not. I think I like to err on the side of roly-poly, it's much more jolly and comfortable, and really different from women drawn in superhero comics. I guess if it means a lot of men aren't as interested in reading my comics, so be it.

...Ha ha, rant over. ;-)
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
Superheroes, and superheroines even more so, look ridiculous (prostitutes fighting crime!). Someone said my A-Z Wonder Woman was a bit podgy and too short... but I can't bring myself to draw those silly long legs that are too impossible to really exist. Saying your cartoon self looks 'roly-poly' is like complaining Asterix has an unrealistically big nose :-)
Aug. 22nd, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Kyle Baker once said : "Liz [his wife] asked me why I draw myself so fat. I told her it's because fat is funny. My daughter asked why I draw Mommy so skinny, I explained it's because Daddy's no fool."
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Then Kyle is a very clever man! I suppose I could get in trouble for saying roly-poly is more jolly, but there's something hard and sad about too many stick-thin fashion types in illustration. It suggests too many lives bereft of crème brûlée and breakfast pastries, replaced by smokes and Atkins. Tragic, really.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
if it's mirror reverse you does that make it your evil twin? I get confuddled with this things.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's my evil twin! :-)
Aug. 22nd, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
Sep. 4th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Ha ha... I just spotted this! Nice, I have Tozo eyebrows.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:03 pm (UTC)
Garen's right - your cartoony selves do show your character well, ie. slightly crazed, constantly yakking...
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
Hehe, that's me! I shall sit very quietly and demurely at our next coffee, and then burst out whooping with crazed glee if I can pull it off for two minutes.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Come on, Phoenix, everybody draws themselves how they feel rather than how they really look. It's all tied up with ego and denial and how the inner artist sees him or herself.
A comix friend was surprised that I have dark hair, since I usually don't black in my hair when I draw myself.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I draw for a living too - I figured that one out a long time ago, Mr Sadhead!

I wasn't telling Sarah how to draw (since few things are as maddening as other people's opinions on your appearance) merely saying that when I met her it took a moment to realise with some surprise that this was the person in the drawings. That wasn't a comment about self expression or character or any of that; they express her personality absolutely perfectly. There is a stylistic disconnect though. And when your inner self changes maybe your outer representation changes too. It took me awhile to design a 'me' that I recognised (that one above is from six years ago, DFC version a couple of months ago) so obviously it's not as simple as all that!

So how do you draw yourselves, commenters? Could I pick you out in a crowded room from your drawing of you?

Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
Hi Woodrow,
No, I didn't think you were telling Sarah to draw herself more realistically -- sorry, that comment was written between sleep and coffee this morning, sort of abrupt.
But yeah, she draws herself as this cheerful, rounded character. I've never met her but judging from the illustration above, she rounds herself overmuch. I'd never be able to pick her out of a crowd. (And she'd never be able to pick me out. The doctored Marcie in my other icon is a close relative of how I draw myself, as opposed to the guy with the cat whiskers in the above.)
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, that was the one Lettuce liked. :-)
Aug. 25th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
That's the one. Ah, that was a grand day.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
I look pretty much like the drawn version of me cept the real life version has eyes. If I draw them in a little piece of my soul is lost.

me as me</a>
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
I do that, too! Somehow I can project more on to my character when she's hiding behind her glasses. :-D
Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:10 am (UTC)

Look for a guy with the general air of disapproval.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
A general air of disapproval.. hehe. Except for Tozo, who really DOES look like you and always looks alert and pleased to face any challenge.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Nice SP, SM! But you didn't make yourself tall enough.

I think your cartoonier SPs look a LOT like you. You draw yourself embued with a lot of life in your comics. The SP above, while nice, feels more like a statue of you.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, I am tall, but I don't look it until people stand next to me and realise how tall I am. But it'd be fun to see if I could come up with a lively tall character.
Aug. 24th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
I thought you were surprisingly tall when I first saw you
Didn't get the impression of height either from the cartoons (not surprisingly, I suppose) or the photos (perhaps more surprisingly). But when I saw you in the CAPTION main hall, I was definitely surprised!
Aug. 25th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
Re: I thought you were surprisingly tall when I first saw you
And I was surprised you weren't wearing a big red period-piece ball gown! ;-D
Sep. 3rd, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
Just want to say I really like this drawing - it's a great mix of cartoony and natural. I really enjoy the "roundy" strips too - they're a great and funny shorthand for telling those amusing little stories. Your drawing is great all-around!
Sep. 4th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
Thanks, Scott!

How are things going with Friends of the Nib?
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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