Weeks 10 – 12 Portraits Week 1

This task threw me for days. I doubted myself. I doubted that I could do it. I wouldn’t even start for the fear. Isn’t that silly? Now I think it is, but then, well, I guess I just wasn’t thinking. I was feeling and I let it get the better of me for a while.

We had to choose an image to work from in class and to do a self-portrait looking in a mirror. Here’s what I came up with:

I’ll tell you right now, glasses are a bear. I’ll remember that for the future! I don’t know who this gentleman is, I just loved the picture.

It took me a while to find a pose of myself that I was comfortable with. I’ll admit it, I’m vain.

The first step is the drawing, and then stepping away to come back and find any errors that have to be corrected before the drawing is “fixed” to the canvas. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to spray the drawing with a fixative such as Krylon Workable Fixatif. I prefer the next method. Rose showed us that you can also fix a drawing by painting over it with thinned paint and wiping some of it off. This leaves your painting tinted with an undertone, which can be very helpful if it is one of the skin tone colors. From there, you can wipe-out highlights (as long as you do it before the paint dries) and that gives you the start of your painting. Here’s an example of that on my self-portrait.

Here is the start of my other painting. Drawing is in place and I’m starting with color. I wasn’t happy with where this was going, so I went in a different direction, putting in a basic background first. That allowed me to better judge my colors. Then I started putting in some of the darks and the whole thing began to make better sense.

My next post will be about the Zorn palette, which is all I’m using to do these portraits. This is a combination of Titanium White, Ivory Black, Yellow Ocre, and Cadmium Red.