Monday, January 19, 2009

Self-portrait (WIP)

As I mentioned before, I'm working on a self-portrait. I've wanted to do one each year, but turns out I really didn't like that idea after all. I also haven't really liked many of the self-portraits I have done, so that also probably plays into why it no longer sounds appealing. Who wants to look at themselves that much anyway? I feel better about the approach on this one. It's fairly simple, small, and yet communicates what I want it to.

This photo was taken right after the initial wash in of color. This lets me establish solid boundaries and also gives me a better idea of where I'll be going color wise. It also serves as a base for making layers above it more rich. This is one of the funner and more gratifying stages since it's accomplished in 1-2 sittings and it moves much faster than the underlying drawing did.

The next stage here is closer to the color I eventually want, but it's still more of a supportive layer at this point. Things are exaggerated and uneven. Areas such as around the eyebrows and other hair areas will be scumbled into to make them look more natural. Yet another William Bouguereau inspired technique (for example, his portrait of Gabrielle Cot.) In this stage, I'm also trying to give myself an idea of the background, which will be pretty simple.

This painting also marked the beginning of the use of a new oil painting medium after toying around with some other recipes that came close to what I wanted, but needed much tweaking. The medium I've concocted is basically half stand oil and half safflower oil with a drier added. It's lovely to work with. It's smooth and fluid and gives me much better control over the paint. I'll post the details of this medium in a subsequent post.

I'll try and post more WIP photos of this painting later as well.


At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Curtis Jenkins said...

Mr. White;

Greetings, sir. I had a moment (which is VERY rare for me nowadays) and decided I would check out your web presence. Very impressive. I hope you're doing well. I'll send you a note in email soon.

- Curtis Jenkins


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