Well now, here was an exercise I wasn’t looking forward to…so I started by doing a few exercises to get used to drawing me.
Using an old photo, thinking I was trying cubism but this wasn’t it!!!
Using the same old photo – maybe bit nearer to cubism this time.
Having too much fun and procrastinating, next I tried to draw myself from a mirror, properly.
Nose too small, left eye too big, lit from above as the clocks have gone back less time to get daylight. Mouth askew, generally not great, but these lessons I will take forward to the painting.
Trying to decide on composition, I eventually plumped for the bottom right composition. I liked this as I felt the large empty space to one side drew you to the figure more. Side on view would have hurt my eyes and dead central, a little boring.I chose to work on a deep charcoal coloured paper, the depth of colour I hoped would contrast with the skin and hair and hopefully throw the figure forward.
Starting by roughly marking the position on the paper with white chalk I started to apply the paint quickly and thinly.
At this point yet again I had the same eye too big and the nose too thin. I was trying to use colour for shaping but this is a bit heavy handed.
Helpful to leave it alone a while and coming back noticed the chin too small.
Adding a scrubby background hair and jumper I started to refine the features.
Eyes too bright, chin better and balance felt easier to see once I had hair.
Toning down the eyes helped although I still ended up with the larger eye on the right(which is my left eye). Since talking to family, apparently I have got one eye slightly bigger than the other, but not this much.
I couldn’t bear staring at myself any more, so stopped here.
I did asked the other half and family’s opinion….they all said it did look like me, and it does to some extent. They all commented on it looking very sad/stern, not how they see me, I did explain that’ll happen when your staring at yourself in a mirror and concentrating! 🙂 I am pleased with the choice of position of the figure as this really does give the picture a little bit of interest and the imbalance of the space I find pleasing. The lightly scrubbed background, just makes the figure have space around it, not unlike the Gwen John portrait I was so taken with during my research on Self Portraits. I think if I had left that flat grey it wouldn’t have done the same thing. The nose and eyes gave me the most trouble, but I am now realising the benefits of oil paint as this can be almost endlessly manipulated.
Below is final image hopefully photographed better than the others and cropped.