Self Portrait 2: Goofy Face

As a follow-up to the previous post, I submit to a “goofy” version of ‘moi’.

I have a photo of myself blowing a bubble, but it had popped before the shutter went off. I used this photo and added a complete bubble to recreate the missed moment.  I feel it is a much better likeness of myself and has more controlled use of contrast and softer gradation to help bring the wrinkles in line with age.

I want you to take a good close look at this finished piece and tell me if anything unusual or “off” jumps out at you:


I got a lot of generous comments on this portrait from fellow students.  And while I agree that it is a vast improvement over the previous portrait and certainly looks like me, I wonder if you have spotted the one glaring misstep.

Here’s a hint:  place one hand over the left side of the face… where am I looking?  Over your right shoulder, right?  Now place your hand over the right side of the drawing… where am I looking now?  Right at you?  or perhaps at your left ear?

This is a test that you should always perform before completion of a portrait.  And I failed to do that.  It is not extremely obvious and can fool many who do not know how to look.  But it creates a feeling of unease in even a novice.  We are automatically, intuitively, made uneasy by a mismatch in the signals a person’s facial features send us.  Eye contact is so important in a human social context, that we have become wired from birth to recognize the meaning of each expression and all its nuanced variations.  So when the eyes aren’t looking at the same location, we know something is wrong.

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