Self-portrait, 36 x 36, ©2007 Deidre Adams
As mentioned in an earlier post, the self-portrait is a very common assignment for art school studio classes. This is one that I did in Painting II last fall. The direction called for making a “psychological” self-portrait. Despite my tendency to agonize over these things and want to read in more than is really there, I do think this came out pretty good and so I use it as a kind of signature image here on the blog and in other places when needed.
If you’re not super-comfortable with your appearance, it can be rather disconcerting to have to stare at your own face for long periods of time. It does help to do it from a photo rather than a mirror, because after awhile it just becomes shapes and values that you are trying to reproduce in a painting, and you can stop obsessing about the strangeness of it. I was working from a printed version of the image below, which I created by montaging a photo I took with a self-timer together with a photo of the side of a train car & a pencil drawing of a quilting pattern from my sketchbook.
You can see that I didn’t get the eyes & eyebrows quite right, but I was very absorbed in thinking about the colors and having fun with the brushwork, and I was not too concerned with making a perfect copy.
This self-portrait shows a big improvement over the one I did in Painting I, which I’m only showing here (left) very tiny because it is so Lame (yes, with a capital “L”).