Monday, 4 February 2013

Day3/4 : Who am I?

OK, So I missed day 3. My excuse is that the flu got the better of me, but really I just got too busy doing other stuff and ran out of steam to write coherently at night. So I will write for yesterday today.

On the 21st of this month, I will be submitting a self portrait painting to the Royal Portrait Society's Annual exhibition. I am finding the task particularly difficult as I don't really find my face that interesting. It is kind of round with eyes that are a little small and a mouth that is thin and uneven. My hair is like straw and my complexion pale. I do not see myself as beautiful or interesting. This may seem harsh, but it is my view of myself.

So with the challenge of a self portrait, I set off thinking about what I wanted to portray without scaring the children. I decided on something simple to get me started. A front on face and shoulders with my hair in the pigtails I wear for cycling to the studio.

trying to look normal (image reversed to show what I see)
 I started by trying a painting directly while holding a mirror above the canvas with my left hand. The photo above was taken for reference but not used int he painting. When you paint this way, you get really into examining the subject, but since that subject is your own face, you can forget to not look like some crazed, starey monster.

Underpainting: Day 1
This is the first day's attempt at painting alla prima (from life). I was pleased with the vibrant quality of the marks but I'd made my eyes a touch too piggy and lop sided. The painting is done over another painting so I get all those lovely textures showing through.

Self Portrait: Day 2
After another day at this I realised that I was best limiting the time I spent on this due to the changing light and opted for the later afternoon with overhead lights to add colour. I think the portrait is looking a little kinder, but I still have the eyes of a mad woman.
I am in danger of overworking this so day 3 will be the make or break for this painting. I plan to do some gentle glazes of colour to lift the flatness, then alter the parts that are not quite right.

To be continued...

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