I’ve been playing with my left-over paints again, and I just had to see what I could do with that self-portrait image I shared yesterday. Could I paint a very simplified version of my face? I mean, seriously… not just being silly about it, but actually trying to recreate a somewhat recognizable version of my own face using only a few colors?
The idea became too tempting to resist, so I grabbed a little 5 x 7 canvas panel and began putting paint here and there, trying to get the lights and shadows in the right places. The painting that resulted — which may or may not be finished — does bear a resemblance, I think.
I’m calling this my first real self-portrait because the few others I’ve done were anything but serious attempts. With this one, I especially wanted to pay attention to the lights and shadows, to gain an understanding how different values can be applied to create the illusion of a real human face. And, if nothing else, I do look human.
I cam away from this little painting with a smile on my face — not only in the painting but in reality, too. It could actually have been a lot worse, so while it might not qualify for a work of art, I’m happy with the painting.
What I loved most of all was the opportunity to work with very tiny brushes. So much of my impressionistic work uses large splotches of colors. This little self-portrait required a few finer lines, and I enjoyed it. This morning’s quick self-portrait gives me hope that I can learn a few finer painting techniques, that I can understand how to use lights and shadows to create forms, and that I can broaden my artistic horizons beyond simple landscapes.
I might attempt adding a few more of those lights and shadows. I might add a bit of a background color. Or not. I like the painting as it is. Not great, but seriously, folks, it could have been a lot worse!