Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Self Portrait

What got into me to do a self portrait, I'm not sure, since I have never done one before. I think it was stumbling across a YouTube video series by Duffy Sheridan that did the trick. I was inspired.

Now, I didn't have all the colors that he had on his pallet, or the soft bristle brushes...but, I do have oil primed linen panels that I make myself, so I'm good in that department.

I also had to mount a mirror next to my easel so I could look at myself...the hardest part of the whole deal, looking at myself, that is.

I started out with a charcoal sketch...I need to work on loosening that up in the future. But, I got a some what resemblance of myself.

From that I washed in a background color with some white, raw umber, and viridian.
Then started building up skin tone in three values that I mixed from cad. red medium, yellow ochre, burnt umber, raw sienna, ultramarine blue, white and maybe a dab of this and that...

Then it was just a matter of placing darks and lights to try and build form.

I decided to stop here for the night after working on the eyes a little. I don't feel like I have them quite right yet...they are the most important think. If I get those right, then everything else keys off of them.

For those interested, here is my work space. I have the smallest room in the house, 10'x11', with an eastern exposure window...not ideal. But, it works for now.


And, here it is, night #2 on my self portrait.

I immediately noticed my eyebrows were too high, so corrected that. Also, the width of my cheekbones was making my face look too narrow.
Along with those changes, it was just a matter of looking at myself closely in the mirror and mixing colors and placing them where they needed to be to help develop the painting farther along.

Here is how it looks right now. I think I need to reduce the size of the irises of my eyes. They look a little too big and cartoon-ish.

This may be where I call it done. I have to stop somewhere or I could go on forever.

"Self Portrait #01"
16"x12" oil on linen panel

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