Drawing | Do I forget how to draw?

After discovering the 9 selves, I plan to draw the 9 selves portraits on paper first, then come out with large-scale painting and garment design.

I wanna do ink drawings this time, so I found a photo of me, and draw a self-portrait with red acrylic ink on a round Indian paper.

Unfortunately, it’s horrible, which fully exposed my unskilled sketching.

To remind myself how to draw,  I started to look at some artists’ works.

The first person I went to was Gill Button, I followed her on Instagram and inspired by her black ink paintings the most. In China, we use black ink to draw landscape and plants the most, but the first time I saw her drawings in Paris, it’s the same ink but different object, she showed mysterious women faces and bodies with black ink. I can’t move my eyes from the eyes she drew on paper. It’s not about who she is drawing, but the emotion of the person. 

As what James Freeman Gallery commented on her shows “Appropriated images become invested with feelings; portraits of strong identities are tempered with the fragility of fame. Gill uses the public eye as a frame through which to channel emotional identification so that her works become less about the subject, and more a question of the emotional makeup of the image, and of how the viewer gives them meaning.”

I wanted to know how to catch emotions like her drawing, and I did this one.


Again, sigh for my face sketching skills.

Then I went to Marta Rogoyska‘s work. I saw her tapestries “Pink Horse and Fried Egg” at V&A Museum, I was attracted by the light colors and simple shapes in her artwork.


I imitated one of her artworks, to guess how she used colors, and how to transform objects into colors.IMG_8824

Then, with the same photo, I did this self-portrait. (…..😓…..) I drew green first, then purple, then blue, then white, then black, then pink, then flesh, and grey in the end.

I also went to Henri Matisse‘s cut-outs, since he is the master of colors.


Then, I tried to re-draw the little girl in red. Below is drawing from before, I used to draw lines first, when I have a shape of a girl, then I colored it.

This time, I started from painting a color of red as the dress, then 2 flesh colors as legs, then 2 flesh colors as arts, then one flesh color as the face, then black lines as eyes, a red line as lip, 2 pink circles as checks, black lines as hairs.

For each color of the shape, I recombine them, trying to see if I can create a new girl or not, but it looked like horror dismemberment.IMG_8822

I also drew my red drinking bottle, not in still, but the two ways when it breathes in and breathes out.IMG_8823

Before, every time finishing a painting, I would feel “Is it really me who draw it? Genius Mowen! ” But this time when I look at them,  the only feeling I have is,  “Is it really me who draw it? What’s wrong with you ?”


Well, need to find better ways to draw.


Royal College of Art, London


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