The Commuter Challenge

3 January 2013

The January 2013 Challenge

by CC @ 13:42

Make a self-portrait. The medium must be (or at least incorporate) something traditionally considered an art material and/or process usually associated with young children – crayons, or fingerpaints, or play-doh, or macaroni art, etc.

The Results

Brian Raiter


Alice Hardyman

Laura Hardyman

Ryan Finholm

Brian Timares


  1. It’s always great to see a wide variety of styles in a single month. This one is really nice that way. Ryan’s entry in particular is striking.

    My first entry was done entirely in black crayon. It’s actually a combination of three separate drawings, sort of like how color printers work. I took a color photo, and used HSL (hue-saturation-lightness) to decompose it into three grayscale images. These were the images I rendered, in crayon, on three pieces of paper. I then scanned them all in and composed them into a single image. Most of the colors got a little shifted around the color-wheel from the process, but all in all it came out about as well as I was hoping for. One bad mistake I made was to mark out a grid in regular pencil before drawing. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and erase pencil marks from a crayon drawing, the way I’m used to doing with ink. So I had to go through the scanned images and erase the pencil marks digitally — a tedious manual process that took almost as long as the original drawings. Had I had more foresight, I would have made the grid marks in colored pencil; then I could have just deleted them all in a single step. Next time.

    (My second entry is a simple felt-pen drawing, mainly because Alice was using the crayons at the time to make her entry.)

    by Brian — 31 January 2013 @ 23:19

  2. Wow! I am impressed!You are a creative and talented bunch!

    by judi bartholomew — 10 February 2013 @ 19:38

  3. This is my first self-portrait since well before puberty, and the first one that didn’t look like a crude XKCD ripoff. We were traveling and staying at a B&B, and I stood in front of the mirror with the light to the right.

    I sketched with pencil first, never getting the left eye right (which is on the left). After that I used a set of surprisingly nice Ikea water colors we picked up in the little kids section. My wife (who knows art) said the brush was a good one.

    This was a good challenge for someone who is artistically challenged; and the first of (hopefully!) at least 6 for the year, as I made a New Year’s Resolution to do at least half the challenges. FWIW, the The February 2011 Challenge was the only one I’d done before, but I certainly felt guilty each time a challenge went by without my making a try at it. Since my commute is 11 paces I’ll have to carve out time somewhere else to complete them.

    by Brian Timares — 10 February 2013 @ 20:19