Why make a self portrait? Is it vanity? Or just a matter of convenience?
I've painted and drawn a fair few self portraits, many of them recent. Several have been used as on-line avatars (profile pictures). But usually they were created because either there wasn't much else to draw or I was trying something out - a new media, a new method, a new concept (the smiling self portrait, anyone?). And then there is practice. Portraits are quite different to landscapes. Not least because people move - and here, using yourself as a model is hugely advantageous, because it's relatively easy to return to a position.
And self-portraits are not always flattering. It depends on where the mirror happens to be (or where you manage to place it so that it doesn't fall over). They are usually on the glum side, too. This, of course, is because you need to concentrate. And not move much. Smiles are curiously fleeting, and trying to maintain one almost inevitably results in aching cheeks and a rather stilted expression. Still, it's worth a try.
So the answer, for me, lies heavily on the side of convenience
A few of my many faces can be seen below.
They're in rough chronological order. Many of them are quick sketches. I'm not even sure that they all look like me; some are decidedly wonky. But they were a learning process. The last one - the most recent - is one I'm particularly proud of. Even if I didn't manage a smile in it.
Maybe I'll try a smile in the next one.
EDIT: Not, strictly, the "next one", but there is a smile in the latest avatar portrait, blogged here.