Sunday, February 17, 2013

The fall back



When inspiration isn't high or other things are on my schedule, I have a fall back.  Its me.  Or more precise, self portraits. They help me work out solutions, experiment with mediums and techniques and there's never much complaint from the model or any fees to pay.

The comfort level comes from familiarity.  After all these years, I know my face, good and bad, well.  I have the ability to see skin tones in an instant, adjust lighting to suit my needs and tweak without protest.  Self portraiture creates a historical record of features at a specific point in time. Not that future generations or public will hold me up as a celebrity, but they may be curious about the time or person that connects in some way to themselves.

When I think of generations long gone, I would love if they had recorded themselves in words and paintings for me to see and get a glimpse into their life, whether real or imagined.


I enjoy using watercolours for portraits.  They give a soft but strong impact and work so well for skin tones and eyes. I love seeing features appear out of the white paper as if by magic. This seems to happen more with watercolour for me than oils where I block in more colour at the start.  Of course I could do the same with watercolour, but I go with the eyes first then work my way out from there. I drew this out yesterday between bouts of doing other administrative tasks and started adding some colour today, again, between tasks.


Its not really a work in progress though you will see more complete versions appear in the future, provided the muse doesn't push me into another direction before that happens.

What's your fall back subject?

10 comments:

Carolyn A Pappas said...

My fall back is definitely flowers of all kinds, although my favorite is pink roses. Then, if I'm sick of the blossoms, I will move onto the foliage.

Katherine Thomas said...

I admire you for the comfort that you feel in portraying your own face. I would find it very difficult, and not at all enjoyable. But I know it's something I need to do one of these days. Every artist does a self portrait, after all. Yours looks really good! I think my fallback subjects are portraits of kids.

Jeanette said...

Carolyn, flowers are the one thing I rarely paint and so admire people who can do them well. There is a lot of explore with them isn't there?

Katherine, familiarity plays a part in going back to our comfort zones. In learning, my concentration was drawing and human figures, so a self portrait is a natural progression and lots have been done over the years. There's a fascination with how the face is formed, as well as how different mediums give different looks to the face.

Joel Becker said...

Excellent art looking so nice !!

Jeanette said...

Thank you Joel.

Victoria said...

Such beautiful and powerful art..I love your blog. This piece is stunning..cannot wait to see it unfold. The eye is exquisite!
My fallback is always faces..
Lovely to meet a fellow Canadian!
Victoria

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

I agree that you seems very comfortable in your skin...an honesty and directness in your approach that I envy. This is a lovely self portrait. Thank you for sharing.

Sue Pownall said...

I think my fallback is my feet. Every sketchbook has at least one sketch of my feet, usually crossed at the ankles.

Ingrid Christensen said...

I love the gentle but penetrating gaze. It's what I call "the painting face", absorbed and missing nothing.

Clipping Path said...

You Guys , You are a professional artist .