The (sigh) self portrait

April 20, 2012

Steve Bowden instructed me to do a self-portrait some time ago.

I’ve been dabbling away at it for quite a while, not quite enthusiastically much of the time.  I mean, I don’t really want a portrait of myself at age 58.

Last night, Steve said that I was “allowed” to stop.

It’s been a good/challenging exercise, however, so…point taken.

In initially establishing the facial proportions by holding up the brush handle at arm’s length to ascertain distances, one sees multiple brush handles and can never quite get the height/width of the eyes, since you are at that point holding the brush in front of them and can’t see them at all! Hmmm.

Looking into a mirror, then stepping away from it towards the painting (set back a few feet from the easel holding the mirror), was interesting. Not possible to immediately compare the effect of a brush stroke with the subject.  Must step back into view of mirror, away from canvas. Painting the eyes was the most tricky aspect. Again, a matter of attempting to commit small variations in tone and exact placement of little identifying marks to memory before painting them. All the while, maintaining a “natural” facial expression.

There are mixed opinions as to whether or not I succeeded.

Next assignment: now “Mself” has to sit around, in view, for a month.  At the end of that time I make any  changes that particularly “niggle”.


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