September 1, 2014

One Hundred and Forty One Minute Portraits!

What a week!!  Wow, guys, this was so fun!  140 drawings felt like a zillion million sometimes but I think it was a successful adventure overall!  I can't even pick which day was my favorite because each day had its own terribly awesome favorites and they sure are fun all piled together into collections!  Here are the results!

Day One: Selfies With Pets  got the most submissions of any day. I fell in love with every single dog (sorry, cat people!) and want to snuggle with ALL of them.  In a big pile.  It was very easy for my critical voice (the one that is not allowed during One Minute Portraits!) to click on and notice how difficult it was to make tiny marker doodles remotely resemble cat and dog fur, but I just had to roll with it and let the drawing happen.  Most turned out pretty fun!  We also got this image reposted by the Not A Bully campaign, so many more dog lovers got to enjoy as well!

Day Two: Show Your Tongue was when everyone realized I really wanted to draw awkward faces and not perfectly refined, flattering selfies.  Folks were a little more shy, but we still got some great portraits, and it was fun to see which "poses" naturally occurred to people when their tongue talents were requested.

Day Three: Do You Like My Hat? got really silly really quickly!  Babies, doggies, pirates, bears, three hats at once!  Such stunning noggin models you make.

Day Four: Lip Sync Champion was an effort to get some really soulful singing faces, and y'all did not disappoint!  I wish I had a caption indicating which song everyone was singing!  This day's faces were the some of the most distorted expressions & odd angles to draw.  Good job beltin it out into those wine bottles, hair brushes, and broccoli, guys!

Day Five: Mysterious Detective was me poking you with a stick to do something a little more playful and unusual, a theme that involved more imagination than just a straightforward drawing.  Lots of the themes I considered choosing were actually things for me to superimpose in the drawing, (like when I did Shark Week!) but I ultimately decided to start with content supplied by the reference photos.  The final day was a slight departure as I played with backgrounds more to enhance the mystery...

The mystery of the One Minute Portrait has been quite thoroughly investigated, but I think there's always room to collect more evidence!  I look forward to continuing these adventures and seeing what other magic happens.

If you would like to purchase any of the drawings I did from your photos, you can use the One Minute Portrait listing in my Etsy shop to pick up the originals, or if you'd just like a digital image, I'll email you a scan if you PayPal me five bucks! (agnesbartonsabo at  Please remember to credit Betty Turbo if you repost your portraits anywhere!

I really appreciate the participation from so many people, old friends and new fans alike.  If you ever wonder if your face is interesting, I tell you now that it is!  I totally enjoyed inspecting your expressions and dimples and cowlicks and gleaning little snippets of your story from your photos.  I regularly request photos on Instagram, so if you didn't get in on the fun this time, please stay tuned for more One Minute Portrait action!  You can always request a custom portrait through my shop of course!  And if you want me to look at your face for longer than a minute, I do that too!

One final bit of business to take care of... I have a $25 credit to my shop to give away! I had fifteen devoted participants who sent photos for all five themes.  I have put their names on pieces of paper and I will now draw one from my straw hat, whilst sticking out my tongue and singing some Hall & Oates to my dog, who is leaning on my desk with the curious look of a detective trying to solve The Mystery of the Random Winner... (Get it?  See what I did there??) And Detective Roxy says the winner is... Janneal!  Here are the portraits I drew of her.  She seems like a pretty rad lady!

Oh gosh, now I want to organize all the drawings in families like this!  *Disappears for hours.*  Janneal, please email me to claim your prize!  (agnesbartonsabo at  Thank you everyone!!!  Phew, I'm going to take my hands for a spa treatment and then shop for refill ink for my Copic markers.  Start thinking about what themes you want to see One Minute Portraits of next and leave your suggestions here!  


Cynspencer said...

What an assignment, and great results.

Sophie said...

Hi Betty! I found your one minute portraits on Instagram and I think they're totally awesome! I'm trying out a similar thing myself attempting five minute portraits, eventually of random people in the street when I'm confident enough (although i did my first one by chance last night!) I'm still working out my style but just wondering if you have any top portrait drawing tips when it comes to capturing character? I love the wit of your drawings and will deffo be following your blog


agnes barton-sabo said...

Hi Sophie! Thanks for your comments! It seems like you are already trying many approaches to hone your portrait skills, which is exactly what I would have suggested. I think it's always helpful to give yourself different assignments or parameters just for the sake of developing your eye and you may find the character and style evolves on its own once you have lots and lots of samples. I did all my One Minute Portraits in pen so there was no erasing and no time for sketching proportions or other "logical" things my brain tries to do. Practicing blind contour drawings and drawing with your reference image upside down are great ways to shortcut those left brain tendencies. Draw, draw, draw some more!