Self-portrait woes

I am notoriously bad at self-portraits. I’m just not good at making faces look like the person they are supposed to be. I’ve learned to look at my various attempts as “interpretations” of myself, such as this one from when I was 16 and a smoker:

I deliberately kept it vague so it was more of a representation of me. Then there was the honest attempt I made when I was in an art class at 23:

Which I like even less. You can see I tried, but I was so focused on getting the individual features right that the whole face turned out distorted.

But of course, it’s time to try again. This is my latest attempt, although at 27 I made myself look 40. That’s ok. Sometimes I feel 40 but without the advantage that another 13 years of experiences would bring me.

I had an art teacher once tell me I should steer away from color paintings until I had a better understanding of how to use them. I still don’t understand, and I often have anxiety once the colors start hitting the page. But I like the way this one turned out, at least up close.

Does it look like me? I guess you’ll never know. But the answer is no, not really.