Saturday, May 05, 2012

May Self portrait

I don't know why I decided to do a self portrait this morning, it just seemed to fall into place.  Its been awhile since I did one and time has a way of improving technique - and altering the subject matter too. Creating the planes of a face is always interesting and trying to match colours to shapes even more so to make a 2 dimensional image breathe life.  Self portraits are such good learning experiences

So here is the portrait as it currently sits.  There is still lots of work to do on it to refine it further.  The mouth is making me crazy, it just won't do what I want it to do, but I'll keep modelling it until it submits.   The whole piece a is pretty high key right now and I want to increase the shadow as the lighting for this is fairly strong, with that bright light coming from the right.

Its worth tweaking it til I get to where I want it to be, but not over tweaking so that it still has that 'painterly' look to it and isn't too stiff or contrived.

This is on a 10" x 10" panel in oils.

Tomorrow the local art group that I am involved with will hold a one day exhibition and sale of small works. For some strange reason I'm not running around like a mad thing tonight finishing up loose ends and all stressed.  That probably means that I've forgotten something major!

The exhibition will be held at Admiralty House, 365 Old Placentia Road, Mount Pearl and will be open to the public from 11am to 5pm.  Lots of original work, super affordable prices, and nothing larger than 8 x 10.  Do drop by if you want to escape the fog and cool breezes, I'd love to say hello and share some of my work with you.


Christiane Kingsley said...

Good luck with the show tomorrow. I love the self-portrait: the eyes are beautiful!

Gary L. Everest said...

Good Evening Jeanette,
It's great! Of course, this is right in my wheelhouse, as they say, but I really do like it. I plan on studying it to learn all I can about your technique.
Best of luck for the sale, but I know your work will go like hot cakes.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Lovely self portrait. It looks perfect from here and I'd leave it be ... I like how you've created the hair, the eyes are mesmerizing. Are you sure you want to keep working on it? The colors are perfect and the light looks soft. I love it Jeanette. And you did this much in one morning???

RH Carpenter said...

You're right - the mouth is not quite right (or just not in tune with the rest of the features). I would be so inclined to work on the mouth a bit (soften it a bit) and call it done - this is lovely and I like the softness of it!

vivien said...

excellent!!!! and only needs a very small amount of tweaking I think

Jean Spitzer said...

Beautiful. The great thing about a self portrait for me is that I don't have to concern myself with my subject's reaction.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Christiane, I'm playing catch up now after the show. They always take their toll, or I'm just getting old! :)

Hi Gary, well coming from a portrait painter such as you, I take it as a compliment. Thanks. I'll tweak it to my satisfaction then move on to a new piece.

Nancy, yes I did this in a morning. I did the drawing the night before so that was my head start.

I like it but know there are areas that aren't right and me being me will rearrange things. I can never seem to leave well enough alone if I see something that's not quite right.

Rhonda. I hate painting mouths, almost as much as I hate painting flowers. I find that I either get it right off the bat or spend forever trying to make it look right. The latter in this case. But I'll get there.

Thanks Vivien, yes it has good qualities but the likeness isn't quite there and some things need to come into alignment. Its difficult to just stop when a lot of things are good but several things don't work. Of course, then I run the risk of screwing up the whole thing.

So true Jean! No one will complain and I can always paint over it.

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Jeanette,
Me, again. The other day I forgot to say something, so here goes...
My favorite thing about this wonderful portrait, is the power in your eyes. That head-on, no games look. I feel like you're looking right through this computer screen and into my heart, mind and soul (as if I actually have such a thing!)
It happens to be my favorite type of pose, regardless of the sitter, but it's particularly effective in self-portraits, in my humble opinion.
Of course, those of us who do self-portraits know and understand it is the look of intense concentration, as opposed to a Mephistopheles-ian stare. I've had more than a few viewers ask me what I was "so angry about" or why I look "so serious". I just laugh and make something up, figuring they'll never get it anyway.
So, great work and I even like the mouth!
Have a pleasant evening.

Jeanette said...

Gary, eyes make or break a portrait, its very true. I guess this pose is pretty traditional and I usually don't like traditional but its difficult to be much more in a self portrait, isn't it?

It is a look of concentration and seeing the unseen. In life too I have been told that I unnerve people by my gaze at them. I don't do so consciously, I think I'm likely analyzing them for portrait quality or painting them in my head.

This portrait is at an end. I overtinkered and screwed it up. It is now on a turps and paint soaked paper towel and tonight's blog post painting replaces it.

And that's ok. I captured a moment in time and now its gone. There will be other moments to capture and I'll try again.

Thanks for your insight, its valued.

Sue Pownall said...

Sorry - behind on visiting.

This is a lovely portrait already. The (Your) eyes are stunning.

Hedera said...

Despite your struggles, the eyes were wonderful Jeanette - full of depth and personality :)

Hedera said...

Despite your struggle, the eyes were wonderful Jeanette - full of depth and personality :)