Hey everyone, I kind of go all in when I am trying new things and I shouldn't post my dreadful work yesterday (it is now a nice gray mixture on my palette to be used later today)
So, yesterday, I decided to try a self portrait from life. A photo would be much easier for me but I need to learn and am willing to go all in. When I draw or sketch a painting, I often turn it upside down, sideways, look at it in a mirror etc.... Since I cannot exactly stand on my head for my self portrait, I relied heavily on my proportional divider.
So, when looking in the mirror, any tiny shift in angle threw everything off - I ended up taking my paint brush and drawing a dash on the mirror for the top of my head, bottom of nose, under lip, chin and ear - that way, when I looked in the mirror, I was lined up as exact as possible. What a disastrous painting but invaluable for my learning. I'm like a sponge, am not afraid and really want to give it a go again but I need help - how do you keep your subject matter correct in the mirror - shifting posture even slightly makes a big difference. I have north light in my studio so chose to use that from the window but the mirror also reflected that back so the shade, light got mixed, especially as the day progressed. Minus doing a painting in 30 minutes, I think I need to get my initial values and keep them as in plein air.
The other thing I did was I painted on aluminum which was stupid for a self portrait - my next go this afternoon will be on linen and I'll just throw it away if I need to.
So, what I learned - my eyes are much, much smaller and painting the irises is minutia - my lips are much wider and fatter than I imagined - chasing shadows and lights on my nose throughout the day was not fun.
does anyone have any ideas for proportional divider, marking a mirror for proper angle each glance? I had to shut one eye and squint and then would put the proportional divider on the mirror - I then painted same size.
I also painted way too thick - I got dressed with a scarf and chandelier earrings and was made up from a lunch date - so, I had a "costume".
Like I said, this aluminum panel is now back to it's original luster and I have a lovely gray heap of paint on my palette to use later.
and then this, later in the day when I realized how dreadfully huge my eyes were and that my mouth wasn't wide enough - I wiped them out and it aged me considerably