My Self-Portrait Sketchbook is the first title in the new “Sketchbooks” series, created by Patricia Geis. An activity book for young artists to experiment with recreating self-portraits by different creators from art history and in a range of styles.
In 18 exercises, readers will learn to look at themselves in different ways and to find their own artistic style. The aim is to find out a little more about art history, the biography of well-known artists and different techniques from each of the works analysed in the book.
Creators from all periods of history have portrayed themselves in their art in order to experiment, express their ideas and get to know themselves better. Self-portraits are the “selfies” of the world of art. Dürer painted himself as a gentleman, as he wanted to be seen by others. Some artists preferred to disguise themselves: Magritte hid behind an apple, Duchamp cut out silhouettes of his profile and Warhol camouflaged his face in the background of the canvas. Others, like Malevich, have imagined themselves as geometric shapes. Van Gogh and Mondrian, however, chose to draw themselves using simple lines. Muniz made a collage from magazine cuttings. Frida Kahlo and De Lempicka posed with animals and objects that were important to them. Melito went one step further and tried to represent his ideas and thoughts.
In fact, there are as many ways to create a self-portrait as ways of experimenting. Therefore, extra material with textures and backgrounds is included at the end of the book for more daring artists.
Princeton Architectural Press, Franco Cosimo Panini and Editions Palette… have joined Combel’s first edition. We hope to see Self-Portraits translated into many other languages very soon. In the meantime…