Sunday, 4 May 2014

Self portrait

I particularly like painting portraits and figurative stuff on brown paper and cardboard as it contrasts really well with the pastel hues in skin tones, plus it's free and recycling. I timed this self portrait to try and concentrate on the planes of the face, rather than the features, to help with composition and to keep the piece fairly unstructured and show the brush marks, a style which i love to work in but find quite challenging.

I took half hourly breaks so I could come back to it with fresh eyes, this helps with balancing composition as your eyes aren't automatically drawn to the last place you painted like they do while you're working on it. I always quickly check my line-sight measurements when i return to a painting or drawing to make sure i've not gone too far off course while focusing in on details.

This photograph was taken about half an hour in, I'm disappointed I lost the shape of the nose sketched out here, I'll have to work harder to focus on that next time.

I'm quite lucky that the cardboard is almost exactly the same shade as my eyebrow, it's hard to paint eyebrows in acrylic as it's such a solid medium, it's literally a layer of plastic once it's on the paper and not hugely suited to transparent or opaque textures, which eyebrows are. 

You can see that next to an old self portrait I did a few years ago it's way less overworked around the eyes, I can't seem to make two eyes look in the same direction. I can see that I've made that a bit into my style since the last one, where I left it with one eye, now the face fades out into cardboard and slight structure around the chin and left side. I think I'll play with doing that all over the face, I'd like to have left some more of the cardboard colour showing through around the creases of the lids or maybe the corner of the eye to add a bit of depth.

What do you reckon? anything you think I could do to improve? Anything I could do in future to make the picture look more finished or do you think I left it at the right time? I do love a good natter and constructive criticism

Hugs and cake


  1. a very talented lady... can't wait to sit for you... smg.xxxxx

  2. Wow - you're so talented! I wish I could paint half as well.


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