Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Friday, 18 January 2008
I also had a revelation about Jackson Pollock the other evening, but I'll talk about that another time.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Monday, 14 January 2008
I want the face to be active, as though it's changing through emotions as you look at it, not frozen in time. I want to capture a whole event, rather than just a second's snap shot. I also want it to be emerging from the canvas, as though the canvas is too small for it, and the energy portrayed is trying to get out. Could I paint it with the eyes closed, and yet still capture the dynamics of the emotions?
Sunday, 13 January 2008
My eyes are too big, my mouth is too high, my ear is too small and my left cheek is too low. Apart from that, it's awful. And I've decided that this isn't a flattering pose at all, emphasizing my double chin. On the basis that I'm not even five feet tall, no-one usually gets to see me from below either. Because I'm so short, I lift my chin when viewing the world, otherwise I'm peering though my eyebrows. As I'm doing the same automatically when looking in the mirror, I see myself as all chin and neck. Okay, I'm going to smudge this out, and then work over it, looking at my face from a slightly different angle. Then I'm going to scoop out my brain and put it in the freezer to see if that will help my headache.
Saturday, 12 January 2008
I think I've done as much as I want to on this. I'm not happy with the effect of the forehead where I tried to correct the shadow. Maybe I should have just left it as it was. Not to worry. Boy, I look miserable. But I'm not really.
Okay, the next self portrait I do will be of a 'happy' me.
I may go back and make the eyes as dark as the jumper. I'm happy with the hair and the ear, and the soft shape of the jumper matches my puffy face (Post-Christmas Bloat would be an apt title for this).
I like the general pose I've used here, and I think the proportions are fine, so I may use this as a basis for a much bigger drawing. This is A3 size, so I may make a start on an A1-sized drawing next.
Now I've stopped to make a cup of coffee and publish this post. When I go back in a minute I think I'll take some more measurements and mark them out in the palest grey before I continue.
At the same time I'm listening to Brahm's German Requiem, as I'm visiting my older sister in Manchester next weekend to take part in a singing day with her choir, St George's Singers. It's quite a solemn piece of music,; it's a Requiem after all. What I mean is that it's not very dynamic. Some Requiems have dramatic crescendos, but this one seems a bit flat. Quite different to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana which we did last year. Hang on, can I hear raised female voices coming from the kitchen? Maybe it's hotted up a bit. I'll post more later today, I'm sure.
Friday, 11 January 2008
A self portrait is a drawing or painting I do whilst looking at myself in the mirror . But some of them don't look like me, either because I got the proportions wrong, or because I was concentrating on emphasising something which distorts what I see in the mirror. The purpose of the self portraits I'm doing at the moment is not to create an accurate and life-like likeness of my face. Here's a photo of my face. But the photo isn't 'me' either; it's a recreation of the light which reflected off my face that particular day, influenced by the photographic and printing (or computer & VDU) facilities it's reproduced on. But it's still not 'me'. Come round and meet me, and look at my face, but when I'm dead you can look at my face, and it's won't be 'me'. I could be involved in a car crash, and have extensive plastic surgery, changing my face...... You get the idea.
Therefore, to say that a particular self portrait on paper or canvas is wrong because it doesn't look like me is meaningless.
Let me repeat myself - the self portraits I'm doing are drawings or paintings done whilst looking at myself in the mirror. The resulting drawing I do may bear little resemblence to my actual face, but ask yourself, does it matter?
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Although I recognise that the last one I did yesterday would look good on my wall, I'm happiest with the fifth one.
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
This one was great fun to do. I started on the nose, and worked across to my right eye (which you can see on the right, because it was drawn using a mirror, as was yesterday's). Then my right arm got tired, so I switched the charcoal to my left hand and WOW. Instead of my right hand making ''practised' marks, and working on automatic, I had to constantly look at what my left hand was drawing, and re-work the lines. All of sudden I was working harder, looking harder, and it was working well. So, my next task is to draw more with my left hand, and see what emerges. I had no idea that my right hand had it's own memory, and was being lazy all this time. What a revelation.
I made time to draw this today. I need to make time for my art. More about that later.
This is not a flattering portrait, but I'm keeping it, and showing it to you. It was interesting separating my face into tones, and keeping the brown paper colour, only touching up where I had to with a reddy-brown pastel where I'd gone too wrong. I chose a dark blue for the darks, as the black was just too dark.
Then, because I was frowning as I concentrated, I noticed my wrinkled forehead, so decided to add that. As I said, it's not a flattering portrait; my hair is thin, my skin bloated and wrinkled. But I'm trying to get beyond only showing the beauty, the 'nice', and instead want to include the imperfections. I hope to strike a balance eventually, but for now I'm swinging to the extreme. Watch this space, if you have the stomach for it.