EDM 21: Draw something old, antique or vintage

This started with the challenge, trying to examine how getting old was registering on my face. Simultaneously, I decided to use some Chinagraph marker pencils on some colored paper — don’t know why. The combination of a concerted attempt at realism rendered with garish, creamy grease pencils was a blast.

I don’t know how much the drawing actually looks like me — it actually looks more like my great-uncle who isn’t actually even related to me my birth. Oh, and my father, of course, who, despite the fact that I’ve only seen him four or five times over the past half century, insists on appearing in the mirror whenever I shave.

Anyway, it was interesting to see how the folds and pockets of my jaws are coming along, and my nascent jowls are really very flattering.  I had my hair cut today so I appear really rather bald but Picasso was bald and Pollack was bald and I’m glad to see that Sinead O’Connor is still bald too.. By the way, why are “bleak”, “dour” and grim” synonyms for “bald, Mr. Roget (who had a comb-over, BTW)?


A couple of people have commented on the elongated rendering of my noggin and I have reviewed the situation and sussed out the cause. I have fallen afoul of a blunder which plagues many of the world’s great artists: Flat On the Table Syndrome ( FOTTS).

The distance from my eye to the top and bottom of my reflection is the same when my mirror is vertical. But if my book lies flat on the table, the distance from the top of the page is quite different from that to the bottom.

If I overlook that difference, I will distort the image because in its supine position it will seem wider than it really is.


Fortunately there are at least two cures for FOTTS that do not require telethons, 5Ks,  or government funding. One is to factor in the distortion and try to overcome it through sheer brain power. This can lead to even more distortion if one does not calculate properly. Secondly, one can just stand one’s book up — through the whole process or even just intermittently — and make sure one is not inducting hydroencephalopathic skull compression in the drawing.


18 thoughts on “EDM 21: Draw something old, antique or vintage”

  1. I love it. I can see a likeness, although the face seems a bit long and narrow (now not saying your face is short and fat here, before you jump to any assumptions!), just the proportions seem a little different. I love the firey halo around your head. Looks like it belongs in a comic book, maybe a new supervillian? EraserMan, who rubs out reality and draws in an alternative world/dimension! Goodness I need to get out more LOL I am loving these daily drawings you are sharing.


  2. Well, no one could call this a flattering portrait. But it reminds me of the first self portrait I ever did. The professor said “There’s a whole lot of anger bottled up in this person!”, contrary to my actual sweet, gentle nature! ;o) But you know we are aware of what you really look like and all I see here is some distress at what the aging process does to our self image. Buck up, buddy, you have a long way to go to catch up with me and that old lady who stands in front of me when I try to look in the mirror!


  3. Hi, Danny,
    The china markers really give a great definite color !
    Hmmmm! Each day we get one day older! All of us, including newborn babies! Every time I look in the mirror I think my mother and grandmother seem to be walking around in my shoes lately! LOL! Those are not wrinkles, those are earned texture! Cheerio, Elsie


  4. Well, thank you for facial elongation explanation. I couldn’t figure out why my own self-portraits have such a long, oval shape, contrary to the roundish reality of my face. So baffling! Now I know and will compensate the next time I try – which might be today.


  5. FOTTS! I’ve been drawing for years and I have never thought about it. I will have to try tipping my book up and see if that makes a difference in my drawings too.


  6. Love the pic I think it looks like you. I would of known who it was if I saw the pic somewhere else. Don’t be so hard on yourself.


  7. You are not an antique….you have to be at least 75 years old to be thus designated. I qualify, but you are still a kid… Let you get by this time, but you have a long way yet to go..


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