About this artwork

Although primarily a landscape painter, after settling in Edinburgh James Paterson drew several accomplished portrait sketches of high-profile contemporaries. This self-portrait drawing is a good example of his characteristic style as a draughtsman. He has used hatching in red and grey chalk to model the face and give it depth. Paterson strongly believed in the ‘intimate study of nature's varied features’ and in giving a real rather than an idealised representation of it. In a lecture to the Edinburgh Photographic Society he once declared that: ‘In comparison with drawing, as a means of penetrating and recording for oneself impressions … photography is of far inferior value.’

James Paterson

James Paterson