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Self Portrait 8x10 linen En Plein Air

My first try at a self portrait outside - it was great fun.  I am exhausted!  I don't know that I can go back and do much as I won't look the same any other day and obviously, I was working from a mirror so have no reference photo.   If anything sticks out that I need to pay attention to, I would appreciate input.

I am excited that I get to go back to the exhibit that inspired this painting - I am also going to see the Munch exhibit so Lord only knows what I will paint after that!     Thank you for your time.

PaulBSummer[Deleted User]dencalanweshaBOB73IrishcajunFlattytassieguyKschabenRenoirkaustavM


  • The flowers on the hat are fantastic!  I like all the indistinct edges, this is very good.  Your signature color palette is there again, I think I could pick out your work from others based on this.
  • I agree with @PaulB about your signature color palette.  It reflects our emotions and true personality.  Van Gogh's signature palette came from watching his mother knit skeins of colorful yarn into fabric as he sat on the floor nearby watching and fiddling with the multi-colored yarn.  I like to see this kind of unified psyche where the artist is at one with their art.   
  • I do love my warm colors!  Ok.  So, now for the experiment - yesterday I was outside painting on my porch all day  - today, I will paint my self-portrait with the same hat with a steady light in my studio.  We'll see how it goes!  I'm anticipating more cool colors because of that light.  Thank you for your time.
  • Excellent - I too love the hat, that in itself is a masterpiece..
  • I agree about the flowers being very well done. I think the eye on the left (as we look at the picture) and the nose could do with being more defined as you have done with other parts of the painting.

    I like your painting style, keep going! :)
  • All dressed up and nowhere to go. 

    Well, this was an epic failure with my little experiment of painting en plein air and then trying the same pose in the studio.  The light is either way too drastic or mediocre and my hat is not nearly as alive and vibrant as when I painted outside yesterday.  my reflection in the mirror with the various studio lightings is rather boring.  I'm not going to waste my time painting something that doesn't appeal to me - if I don't like my mirror reflection, I surely will find a painting of it boring.  I may go back outside and refine what I did yesterday but it is cloudy today so I'll probably screw it all up.  

    I even curled my hair today - my husband said "where are you going?" and I said "to spend the day with myself"    hahahaha

  • Wonderful, luscious colors. Love the hat! Rich brush strokes. I know it's plein air but I 'd love to see a scooch more detail in the eyes.
  • I love the juicy paint and the lively brushwork, @Julianna. The flowers on the hat are wonderful.
  • I really like your painting. Specially the eyes! 
  • I had fun fiddling around with this today -   I need to tweak some things but want to keep it lose so that is the dilemma - it's amazing how a different day causes a different vibe on the canvas.  
    A mirror is a struggle and tilting ones head on top of it is silly.  My neck hurts.  I think I like the original better but it is gone now.  I am learning a ton and really enjoying the process.  Feedback is much appreciated.
  • edited September 2017
    I get what you mean by the different vibe. I think the eyes and nose are much better in the 2nd one.
    I think you might need some dark value inside the brim of the hat to make it sit properly
  • I like the eye and nose much better now. I think the orange background is fighting you for the centre of attention! ;)
  • Great job! I agree with @Richard_P re the background and I might prefer your placement a little more to the right, but I really love the looseness of your brush strokes and you sure did capture a lovely light in your eyes.
  • This is a fun experiment!  Different day, different look.  I'll post my progress later today but let's just say, painting a portrait outside is challenging as I lose lights and shadows - so when working on my nose for instance, the subtle tones are constantly changing so by the time I get to my chin, it doesn't match anymore.  Clearly, I am not a portrait artist but I am not afraid to fail and I am learning a great deal.   My inspiration was the Degas/Impressionist exhibit in SF and the milliner trade - it was fascinating.  So, I need to keep my focus on my initial concept.  Feature the hat.

    Another thing I may have done wrong was I put the mirror about 15 feet away from me so I would not get bogged down in details and just try to get the essence so when I try to add details, it screws it up.  I don't see details in the mirror that far away.  Will get photos later today - thank you for indulging me!  I am learning an immense amount right now.
  • @Julianna if you're learning a lot, having fun, and aren't afraid to fail, you're doing the right thing.  Keep doing that.
  • Ditto Paul. Keep Doing that, @Julianna,This one is a portrait, the first was Hat with a face under it. I'm not sure if I agree the background is too orange. It makes for a "hot" painting.
  • edited September 2017
    Very inspiring! I have the same idea for myself, self portrait "plein air". Thanks for the heads up on the challenges I may be facing when I come around to this. Great approach and attitude! Been reading painting lessons from Sargent, it was not unusual for him to redo a portrait a number of times before he finally got it right. Hope this helps. Wonderful work!
  • I love reading your posts @Julianna.  I've never tried painting my portrait using a mirror.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be.  So, I'm not one to give feedback except to say I love that you tried it and learning loads.
  • This is it, it's fantastic, you've stepped up a level.  Everything about this one is great.  Don't touch it, and enter it into the portrait challenge.  Excellent work @Julianna!
  • @Julianna Fantastic!  I just love how much character this .  That is spot on complete! 
  • Oh now that really works well. The way you have one eye visible and the other mostly hidden by the hat brim is a touch of genius! It really adds to the painting and leaves the viewer with a lot of questions about the expression and the pose.

    Well done!
  • Fantastic, @Julianna. Very painterly. I wouldn't do any more to this.
  • Well done, Hollywood meets Van Gogh.
  • edited October 2017
    I saw this painting and it reminded me of your work @Julianna :)

  • That's what I call OD-ing on yellow! But the effect in the foreground  flowers is wonderful.
  • @Richard_P    now, that looks like it was FUN to paint!!!  I'm telling you, Geneva yellow straight up is my new BFF - it is perfect for my many mustard field paintings.  I actually came online today to share with you something I just read about Bouguereau and copying one of his works.  It was fascinating!  I'll share the link in your thread about copying masters suggestions.  If I had attempted the above painting, I would probably be obnoxious and add a lot more purple/light lilac to really make that yellow sing.  :)  I found out this weekend that both of my mustard paintings using Geneva won 2nd place in an art show - one was my first DMP in the general Adv Amat division and the other was a scene from the county that I tried to do plein air and then struggled with so was surprised it took 2nd in that category but it did show well framed and hung in the exhibit.  I just love painting mustard!  :)  The judges seemed to like it too.  I love this forum!  Thank you for thinking of me.
  • Congratulations!  that’s very impressive, well done.  Now paint more please.
  • Congratulations, @Julianna. Entering competitions is fun and it's such a shot in the arm when you do well.
  • Congratulations @Julianna. I've been getting lots of shots butt nothing to do with contests.
  • @tassieguy @PaulB   thank you kindly.  It makes me vulnerable and sensitive and is nerve racking but I know it is good for me.  I did get a phone call from someone who saw my work and wanted to let me know how much he admired it so that was thrilling and kind of him to reach out and it was a huge shot in the arm.  One thing that surprised me was I think the best painting I have ever done in my life, my favorite ever, is a David Leffel copy of a tangerine (one of his videos) - it is just so lovely and romantic and soft edges - it won nothing (well, an honorable mention but nothing like I thought) - I noticed that the judges did not care for soft edge paintings in any division - they liked crisp, hard edges and many of the paintings looked flat in my opinion.  Paul, I have so many paintings going on at the moment - I am a crazy woman.  I don't want to bore the thread with my fantastically crazy and sometimes horrible experiments.  I spent about 8 hours yesterday trying to finish a rose painting that I loved, that fell, had to get more roses from my garden which made me lose my subject, I scraped it and tried to start again with the newer roses and realized what a colossal disaster it all was so I scraped it again and feel like setting it on fire - that canvas has bad juju.  I'm in a bad spell at the moment and producing crap.  I look forward to the return of my lucky brush - wherever that may be.  
  • Cheer up @Julianna! We all have days like that, but your work is great and I can't wait to see what you conjure up next! :)
  • edited October 2017
    Fantastic! Congratulations in your winnings. It's good to be kind to yourself and not expect too much, your lucky brush will come back! Looking forward.
  • Julianna said:
    Paul, I have so many paintings going on at the moment - I am a crazy woman.  I don't want to bore the thread with my fantastically crazy and sometimes horrible experiments.
    I have more than a dozen partial paintings sitting around I think, and I'm not sure if I'm going to complete them.  Some of them are just subjects I lost interest in, some were on really crappy canvas, some were too simple to bother with, some were way too hard to tackle properly.

    In one of Mark's still life videos he tells us he repainted the background a few times because he wasn't happy with it.  He could have edited that out, but he didn't and it's a good lesson for us all.
    Julianna said:
    I'm in a bad spell at the moment and producing crap.  I look forward to the return of my lucky brush - wherever that may be.  
    If you're alternating between 2nd Prize in a show and crap, that sounds like a pretty good batting average.  You may talk about scraping and some good cleansing fire, but we're seeing the nieces, the still life with bottle and radishes, the warm palette develop, the mustard fields, and it's all great.  The portrait above was an interesting journey to watch too.  It took a winding path, but it came out brilliantly.
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