Monday, January 12, 2015

Self-Portrait Redux

When I first picked up a paintbrush, one of the first projects that I embarked on was a small self-portrait.  At the time, I was working with a lot of Crafter's acrylics and cheap dollar-store materials so the colours in the original piece were very muted and bland.

The blue streak is from when one of my girls, as a toddler, tried to 'help mommy'

I have a lot of trouble with faces.  People, really. I have difficulty with eyes, mainly making them match.  My daughter gets around this problem by always having her subjects wink.  Myself, I end up with a lot of images of people looking down, so that I am mostly doing eyelids and eyelashes.  This self portrait was a challenge since I not only had TWO eyes to draw and make match, I also had to draw them open.

Oh, and teeth. Don't get me started on teeth.

Lastly, the concept of using shading to create contours on a face was, for quite some time, completely foreign to me, which made noses a problem.

In re-doing this portrait, I took a 'shave-your-head-and-start-again' approach and just painted right over the original face with several layers of flesh-tone, then trying the face-thing all over again.

This stage haunted me in my sleep

I also added some more detail to the hair.

There's still room for improvement, here.  The mouth could use work, as I went overboard on the lips and there's still some depth lacking in the bite.  Also, the shading on the face just kind of looks, in some places, like I had just had  a dirty face that day.

8x10 Acrylic on canvas

All in all, very satisfied with this fix, however.  It still doesn't look much like me, but it looks a lot more human now.

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