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Life Size Full Length Self Portrait-Parting Shot


  • edited February 2
    This is me in Spring 1965 age 8-9 years, already knowing the kind of artist I wanted to be in this life and going for it! This is rendered on grey toned drawing paper, drawing pencils and conte (black, a variety of grays, and white. I was 40" tall at that time and only 15" x 34" is being rendered from the photograph but also made markings to indicate 40" (not shown). I'm planning a life size oil painting for later. I began rendering the very darkest areas to begin with and progress from there. I finally began this exercise beginning Jan. 2017, and have some time to go on it yet, planning only an indication of a background to balance the composition. It's interesting to know myself as a child, so vivid in the here and now as a full adult, after all those years, after all those events. (again, this photo is only representative of the actual drawing). This is #1 of 3 self portraits (same fashion as above) to come later this year. 
  • You have a good eye and a command of values.
  • Above is the photo that I'm working from, measures approx. 4" x 4", and is much more faded than this. Measurement of 6 heads tall indicated on the right hand side. With such photos I frequently view them in an enhanced version on my laptop computer screen. I get beautiful 8" x 10" enlargements on the vertical and beautiful 11" x 14" on the horizontal.
  • Forgiveness -   Very brave project for you to take on.  I'm curious how you are going to attempt the skin tones and other areas in proper value.  I understand you have the freedom to mix your paint as you wish; but wonder how you are going to tackle that obstacle.   I'll be anxious to follow your progress.
  • edited February 12
    @Uncle_Steve, This is one of the challenges I have to resolve for the time that I get there. So far, I can say I still recall this moment rather vividly in my mind, and in every detail, and I have the same skin tone as always. I also recall the original vividness of the original photo. If somehow I can get a good likeness in the painting and express a strong enough feeling and presence of this being me, I would be satisfied. But I don't have a specific tech formula at this time, I also firmly believe and trust in my "intuitive knowledge", and I trust myself to figure it out, to be better prepared. This drawing process will help me get there. I recently located a copy of this photo in it's original with full rich colors, no cracks, this will help immensely.
  • edited February 15
    Beautiful drawing, @Forgiveness. I really love the simplicity in your drawings - you seem to have a knack for picking up on the essentials and not getting bogged down in detail.
  • Are you going to limit it to drawing only or transfer it onto a canvas for painting?
  • edited February 17
    @tassieguy, this is thanks to Mark C. and the Carder Method, and @Kaustav, I am preparing myself for the oil painting later, this drawing may take just a little while yet to complete. This is an exercise in getting familiar with shapes forms and values and composition, and working large again. I do this while learning about oil painting and painting. I really appreciate your interest and encouragement, the entire process is going real well. As in oil painting I began with the darkest dark first and progress from there.
  • What an interesting project.  I do hope that you will continue posting your progress, as I would really like to see it as it evolves.
  • @oilpainter1950 thank you, I will continue to post my progress as I go, just took a break for oil painting and I'm back at it again.
  • Enjoy these postings folks, Didn't upload in the order needed, as I would have preferred. These are shown out of sequence.
  • This is almost completed, just want the figure mainly, little background just enough to balance things.
  • This is life size? Remarkable. Values seem perfect and the likeness is as good if not better than the original. Good idea about the background, keep it a little subdued. Can't wait to see a painting of this.
  • edited March 7
    I love these. Your drawing is AWESOME - meticulous with beautiful value gradations that will work wonderfully in a painting. The fact that it's life size just blows me away! Well done! Can't wait to see what you do with this.
  • Beautiful drawing and a very touching picture! I can see a special style in this drawing. Love it! <3
  • That drawing is weird in a good way :)

  • @JeffAllen, this has been a struggle, working in the dark until now was not helpful, and it's all OK now!
  • edited March 9
    Thanks everyone, even though not complete just yet, later this will be an oil painting, this is real good practice and getting familiar with the matter. The painting should turn out when I get to it, much to learn for now until then. Life size like this gets my whole person engaged into it, put my whole heart into it, I like that. 
  • This drawing is just amazing!
  • @davelander thank you, I am almost finished with this. I still have just a few more details to add to the background to pull everything together, and a few more highlights in the jacket. The emphasis is on the figure, so the background will have an unfinished look that works as a composition. I expect to hang this in such a way that the figure stands 43" inches tall from the floor, for this is how tall I was then.
  • Stunning!  As I said above, your drawing is "meticulous with beautiful value gradations" and now I see what you are doing with the background I like your drawing even more. The bricks of the house and the roof of the one next door are amazing.
  • This is going to be really good! Your outlay of drawing tools is a very nice painting itself...
  • edited March 16
    @EstherH yes I see it! this would look great as a painting, nice composition, and I like the colors in it, life size would measure 18" x 24". I could possibly start a series of these, this being No.1. I will get a nicer photo of this, with light and contrast in it and brighter color that is true to life. Thank you!
  • You have a style all your own...mark of a great artist.
  • edited March 26
    @kimNZ thank you and I will be updating this again real soon, as I am almost finished with this. I believe that I can paint this in oil in the near future and have it work out quite well, and a painting of the materials I used as above.
  • Forgive me, @Forgiveness, but there is a perspective line problem that I can no longer unsee.  The bricks in the upper left, and the bar in the window are not parallel.

    The drawing is superb, and the realism of that bar stool is incredible!  Just kidding there.  Very nice work.
  • edited May 23
    If this hand painted wood carving looks a little cartoonish or surreal, this is because I originally planned it for a complete puppet, like a marionette, still in the works.
  • @PaulB Oh yes! there are mistakes, better now than later even though I still may make some later. I do my best to correct, in this case I have pushed this piece to the limit in terms of corrections. Thumbnails with the corrections made will help me here with the rest. Thank you, much appreciated!
  • @Forgiveness and @PaulB there is Nothing wrong with the drawing, the window is hinged and slightly ajar. Myself, I'm unhinged.
  • Do you plan on adding color or leave as a monochromatic piece?
  • edited May 23
    @JeffAllen I do have a much better photo recently discovered in my studio, in full color and with no deterioration that you may see in little photo above. So yes I plan a color oil painting, but have a few more things to learn as a newbie to oil painting and I plan to work out the existing problems in the meantime before painting. "The better the drawing, the better the painting."  Once the problems are all resolved I will be tracing it, then transferring to canvas. Thanks!
  • Have you thought about glazing color over the top?
  • The painting of the boy is a true replication of the photo... I hope I can do such a job too someday! 
  • edited May 24
    @JeffAllen ,Yes, I am in the process slowly learning about this glazing, I am quite impressed. I already have W&N Liquin in my studio to work with a little but not tried just yet and I am already onto my next 2 new paintings but haven't started the painting process. There maybe an opportunity to apply here to get started in one of these.
  • @Forgiveness, your drawing is amazing. Love the puppet. Why not dress it up and make a painting of it? :)
  • @tassieguy, thank you, excellent suggestion. I would have to complete the puppet in time, near future, with a painting in mind. Fantastic!
  • You do so much planning for each of your works. I would go crazy before I ever squeezed a tube. I wish I had your patience. It obviously works for you. Good luck with the color photo and glazing.
  • edited May 25
    @BOB73 Thank you so much, I appreciate your comments and you being there and for this site. In the meantime I am in the process of working out 2 new paintings at this time, one at a time. One of these has snow in it and the other is a flower(size of average dinner plate!) the one that I will be posting next, and soon. And I am building a pochade box for painting outdoors sometime this season, thanks to Kaustav! and the folks here painting flowers!
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