Thursday, February 9, 2012

Self Portrait - Day 1

Today I happily spent about 4 hours working on the preliminary underpainting for my next painting - a self portrait.  This means I spent 4 hours doing a very simple, reductive grisaille using nothing but brown paint.  When I say "reductive," I basically mean that I coated the entire canvas with a layer of this transparent brown paint using a mixture of turpentine and linseed oil.  The result is a very thin coat that I am able to scrape away with a dry brush, and then later on add darker layers for the shadows.  The result is much like a reductive drawing... only with paint.  This is typically the first step to every painting I do. 
I don't particularly like doing self portraits, but I haven't done one in years, and I figured it's a good thing to add to my collection.  And perhaps it is something I can show later in an exhibition or two.  I also thought that it would be a good update for where I am now as an artist.  The last self portrait I did was many years ago when I was very much an amateur, and as you might suspect, it looked very amateurish.  Hopefully, now, this self portrait will portray me in a much more sophisticated light as a much more sophisticated artist.  And, for that matter, it will be painted using a way more sophisticated technique and method.

Self Portrait (The Artist), underpainting detail.

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