Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

What do artists do with self portraits?

I just want to get some other people's opinions on this. If you are a painter, I don't think you have much choice, sooner or later you have to do a self portrait. At least this is how it seems to me personally.

However, my question is, when you paint a self portrait, what do you do with it when you are done? Do you put it up for sale? The problem here is that even though there are a lot of people who know I am an artist, I haven't been able to think of a good reason why they would want to have or house a painting of me. Even I don't want to have a picture of me.

It seems to me that with a self portrait all I can do is keep it in my house in a box somewhere, or on the wall to just sit there where very few people will ever see it. I know one of the prime values of a self portrait is just that it gives you very good practice as an artist, but please let me know what your opinion is on what to do with self portraits once they are completed.



  • If you have children, give it to them.  Hehehe.
  • If painted in their youth they put it in the attic and pledge their soul in order to remain as ever youthful as the portrait.

  • I hang them in my studio. 
  • I have done five so far.  Four are in my closet.  The fifth is on a large, lovely piece of linen so I am thinking of destroying it so I can paint something else.  They are fantastic practice!!!  "Paint to learn" is David Leffel's motto and he is the Master of self portraits so I say, go for it.  When you become famous, you'll have people llined up to buy one.  
  • Agreed, great practice  - I am also in the process of putting together a "line of progression" as an art work in its self, so all the progress photos I took while painting the self portrait, will be Giclee printed same size as original work, with the last stage being the work its self, all set in a custom frame, I will post once i get it completed.
    Good topic @JohnWallie
  • I am a master of self portraits  :p I use them for my Instagram DP  :# But everyone thinks of them as photographs...they look so real  :open_mouth:

    Maybe when you're done with 250 or so, you can do an exhibition of exhibition of individualism  =)
  • edited September 2020
    I hang 'em in the barn, attic, crawlspaces to scare away itinerant snakes and local vols, mice and other creepy urchins of the deep.  HA.
    Actually, I prop 'em here and there, hang on to them.  I'm always looking for a painting I can do over as a way to see if I've improved over they years.
    I remember doing a quick self portrait while at a workshop some years ago.  The guy who ran the workshop came by, saw my painting, and asked, "Is that really the way you see yourself?"
  • They are good to capture a moment in time about yourself. When you look at one of your self portraits you will immediately remember what you were doing in your life when you painted it. Its kind of diaristic. Anyways, not everything has to be salable and most of our paintings as artists aren't anyway. Painting self portraits is cool. 
  • I tend to paint over them. Actually, I paint over a lot of my work.... ;) 
  • i admire the beauty of them!! ha ha,...
  • Nobody else will sit for me! I just paint them for fun and practice. 
  • I agree with @MichaelD mine was painted in college and it sits in a closet in my studio. LOL However, back when I used to be a park ranger, I brought it into work one day and hung it in my bosses office when he went home for the day. LOL its a decent size so he had a nice surprise when he came into work and sat down at his desk. haha Then once I hung it over the fireplace in the main office. It was a running joke. I told people it was painted because I was the head ranger in charge ( i was not. there was no such thing in our park haha) 
Sign In or Register to comment.