Friday, February 15, 2013

Self-Portraits 2013

Looking in the small mirror

The start - finding my lights and darks

keeping it loose and getting the pitch

Adding a touch more color and going a little lighter in the lights and darker in the darks

Refining my masses and tightening my drawing

Checking the mirror

At this point...I was tempted to stop and leave out the glasses

Checking the painting in reverse in the other mirror

Added the glasses, but had to stop because the light was fading in the studio

Close-up at the end of the day

2 days later, I returned to the studio and began the print on the scarf

Finished the print on the scarf

Checking the painting in the mirror
I think I have been people-painting starved, because I did 2 self-portraits in February. This was the second one.   I set up 2 mirrors, one to look into for the portrait, and another to check the painting.  I am working on a small gessoed panel.  As usual, I start out very loosely.  This painting was done in flat light, with the whole front plane of my face in light.  The shadows are in the under planes.

Having the large mirror to check the painting is a great help.  I try to get the right pitch in my first pass, so I work my background in quickly, constantly checking to make sure the relationship to the light works.  In a description I read about Sargent's painting, it said:  ...Till the end there had been no features or accents; simply a solid shape growing out of and into the background, which is ONE.  I like that..and strive to remember it.

Most of the painting was done in one sitting, February 12th, but I did the print on the scarf two days later.  It occurred to me, after I was done with the print, that all those years of rendering fabric with patterns or prints for fashion illustrations helped.  


toile la la said...

This is a great portraiture mini-tutorial, Karen. Your photos helpfully document the progression of the self-portrait, which is lovely.

I like that you have included the glasses - and the details of the scarf are beautiful.

Karen Winslow said...

Thank you, toile la la!!

Janny said...

Beautifu paintings and a really gorgeous self portrait!