Congressional Art Competition 2021

Megan Kleinheinz

This was my first self-portrait that I have done, and I chose one of my favorite pictures of myself as my subject. I thought that this picture was a great subject for my graphite medium because of the many values throughout the entire piece, especially in the hair, but most importantly, I thought that my eyes told a story. To me, this is essentially what made me choose the picture and what made it stand out from the others. Consequently, I focused a lot of effort into portraying my eyes exactly as I saw them in my reference photo, and am really happy with how they turned out. I learned a lot about how to best portray emotion while working on this piece, and in my future pieces, I will have an even better perspective. I struggled with the highlighted pieces of hair framing my face, but discovered that I could cut off a sharp edge of an eraser and use it to get very thin, wispy highlights for hair. I was unsure of how this would work, but it turned out amazing and it is definitely a technique that I will continue to use in the future. Overall, this piece is very meaningful for me because with a self- portrait, I am able to see how I view myself- all of my good features as well as my flaws. It was very eye opening to do this and to portray myself through an outside lens, something I look forward to working through again soon.