Self portrait challenge

20160128_121649So for a few months on and off now I’ve been working on my second ever oil painting: a self portrait derived from some old photographs that I took for my periodic table art project that never made the final cut. The main photo I based the portrait upon on was actually my tinder profile picture from which I only ever went on one date with a guy who is now my fiancé, so the photo holds quite a lot of significance for me and I liked the idea of immortalising the “moment” we met as well as changing the significance and purpose of the photo back to an artistic one from its short life as a ubiquitous proffy pic. Also I have always loved the diffused light in the photo and wanted to challenge myself to try and capture this. I knew it was going to be a tough ask but that hopefully I would learn a lot along the way.

I’ve uploaded some photos of the progress so far… it’s been difficult to say the least, particularly because I live in a tiny studio flat with very little space or natural light which has played havoc with my colour palette. So many evenings I would go to bed thinking “ye I’ve made good progress, finally getting there” only to get up the next morning and see that in natural day light it had more of a resemblance to some sort of dead mermaid with green hair and purple cheeks… so lesson learnt, try and paint in the day as much as possible or buy some natural daylight effect bulbs. I started with a very rough grisaille underpainting and added thin transparent layers of colour; I really wanted a delicate and refined finish similar to that of one of my favourite portrait artists, Mary Jane Ansell. I swing from hating it to loving it…. it just doesn’t feel finished yet and I can’t put my finger on it but I’m too scared too mess around with it too much… I think the hair just needs more work and perhaps more light contrast on the face, oh and the ear is annoying me too…. ah well I’m still learning, I can’t expect to be creating masterpieces just yet!

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