The time-honored tradition of artist self-portraits probably exists because, as an artist, you are your own best (and cheapest) model, and self-portraits allow the artist to experiment with new materials and techniques. As part of my artistic journey, I have done at least one self-portrait every year. Here is a recap:
2012: My first attempt ever at a self-portrait painting using acrylic on canvas board. I distinctly remember feeling extremely proud with the outcome. Your mileage might vary :)
2013: One year later, a second attempt at a self-portrait using acrylic on a paper coated with charcoal chunks and gesso to give it a very gritty texture. The composition is intentionally chosen to minimize difficulties in rendering both sides of the face symmetrically, and I chose to use black and white, to minimize the complexity of handling color:
2014: In a tribute to Norman Rockwell, I riffed off his famous painting 'Triple Self-Portrait' to create my own tongue-in-cheek version "Triple Selfie-Portrait". The first self-portrait is in the mirror, as I see myself. The second self-portrait is of my back (a rarity for a self-portrait) and is as how the world sees me. The third self-portrait would show up in the computer monitor, but the joke here is that when most people attempt to take a selfie in the mirror, the only thing they capture is the flash:
2015: And finally, my self-portrait from 2015, the first one I've done in full color using oil paints. This painting borrows heavily from the techniques of the old masters and is, quite literally, a self-portrait.