Thursday, January 15, 2015

30/30 Challenge - Self Portrait Study Day 15

Day 15 means we have reached the half way point for this challenge!

The original 'selfie', as we most all know, is the self portrait done by many masters in the art world, past and present. I've done a few self portraits in monochrome over the years, but this is the first attempt at a full color effort.

In the post for day 4, I mentioned that I would be using a not so successful monochrome image (not shown) for a follow up effort in color. It needed several corrections in the drawing, and then I proceeded.

Self Portrait
Oil on 9 x 12 Linen Sheet
My thoughts when 'taking this on' was to use a light that would make the features obvious. I wanted to get the proportions correct of course, as well as the value relationships. I didn't stress much about the color choices other than try to get the relationships correct - warm/cool, and paint the shapes of color...

Materials were oil primed canvas sheet, and filbert bristle brushes, and one small round synthetic. Used my usual color palette.

Pretty much an alla prima approach with mostly just direct strokes, looking for reflected light, darkest darks, places where the light was strongest, etc. Very little work done in the shadow side of the face.

OMGosh!!! Let me add here that this might be the first time I have looked so closely at my own face! The almost expressionless look with all the creases showed concentration, but this exercise was challenging me to keep my sense of humor. I will tell you, it is the most difficult painting I have ever done... why you may ask? Well, quite frankly I think getting the 'ego' out of the way was the real challenge. ;o)

However, even with the struggle, I will be doing more of them now that I've gotten over the first hurdle!

Thank you for reading...


  1. I love the strong colors giving this portrait charactère!

  2. This in an awesome portrait. Lovely colors and great gaze