- Take a photo of yourself in dramatic lighting (light & shadows). Mine, above, isn’t very dramatic. Try side lighting for a better effect.
- Edit the photo. Make it black and white. Turn it upside down. (both easy to do with a cellphone in edit mode)
- Create a black and white portrait in 20-30 minutes. You may draw it in pencil first. However, if you do so I suggest doing it once again without drawing. Just paint it loosely. Use whatever medium you like–watercolor, acrylic, markers, pencil, but stick to black & grays. Concentrate on the forms, designs, lines created by the shadows. Don’t turn it right side up until you finish the piece. 20-30 minutes. You might be surprised you don’t even need that long.
- Extra credit: paint it again, entirely in black and white. No gray.
- Another extra credit: try doing someone else’s portrait this same way.
It is always interesting to me how much easier it is to draw a portrait if you have no emotional attachment to it whatsoever. That’s what happens when you turn it upside down. MUCH easier.
Don’t forget to send me your paintings! Lots of people love to see our results!