Self-Portrait With Self-Portrait (Oil Bar Painting Day 1)
This is a self-portrait in progress, as it looked after the first painting session, which was January 29th (Tuesday). I am painting the picture on the wall, which will be the self-portrait, too, hence the title. I am working from the self-portrait photo I posted here yesterday. I took a print-out of the photo with me to the studio. I sketched the image directly on the canvas with a gray oil bar, and then began to block in the color. I was surprised at how quickly I got a general likeness, but then I have been looking at this face for lo these many years. But I am not fooled! I have done enough portraits to know that the real challenge maintaining the likeness as I continue to paint. I plan to post the results of each painting session, whether or not the work is going well. So it feels like I am working without a net here. This is my first portrait with oil bars, and a self-portrait is the best way to learn (so that if things don't go well, I am the only victim!) Early comments on this image have been that the skin is too yellow (which is because this is underpainting and I always start with yellow) and that the mouth is wrong. (Of course it is. I think it was John Singer Sargent who said that a portrait is a painting in which there is something wrong about the mouth.) So I will start with the mouth next time. To be continued. . . .