Self portrait #3

Why do I try to make my portraits with life like skin tones? I think they look better when they are very vivid.

Initial block in
Finished portrait

Maybe I’m really not finished… what do you think? I’m realizing I need to touch up the eyebrow on the right…

Self-portrait progress

Well, I’m still working on my self portrait. I decided for my second practice piece I would do if slightly bigger, 12 x 16 inches. I used the grid method to draw my face but I didn’t put in all the details. By details, I mean the markings to indicate the different values.

Ugh… 2nd attempt

The mouth just ruins this whole attempt. It looks scary and it’s not the right shape. I do like the amount of color I got into the painting – and I’m using unsanded paper, so there’s a limit to how much pastel I can apply – but I’m just gutted over how the mouth looks so wrong.

That being said, I am not giving up. I realize I need to make my marks to indicate each value so that I can paint it better. And I know I can do better. And I will do better! Just probably not today.

Still resting but check out my art haul

You may recall I went to Jerry’s warehouse in Greensboro a few days ago. Well, I’m happy to share with you the goodies that I bought.

I purchased a couple of the portfolio folders, 5×7 inch and 14×17 inch. I needed somewhere to put my soft pastel paintings that are 12×16 inches. I do have an 11×14 inch portfolio (which is too small) but I can’t seem to find it. I need to clean up a couple corners in my art space to see if I can find it. I also will probably pick up a 9×12 inch one the next time I go because I have a lot of 8×12 inch paper.

I also have been following Sandi Hester lately and she has inspired me to go big with sketches. I already knew I didn’t like small sketchbooks given how many are sitting around with only a few pages used. So, I picked up a couple of 11×14 inch sketchbooks. I have an even larger one I bought from Blicks and I plan on sketching with paint in all three of them. I want at least 3 so I can move on to another ones while paint is drying in the first one.

The last item in this pic is Art Graf. I have the carbon black Art Graf block but decided to pick up the primary set because I’ve think it might be fun to use in my new sketchbooks.

Oil sticks

I can’t remember if I shared that I am starting to learn about oil painting but I knew that I would want some way to make chunky marks on the top later so I got the 24 count set of mini oil sticks from Sennelier. I have only peeled of the coating on a couple sticks but I love the feel of them already. I can’t wait to dive in to oils and really get my hands dirty playing with them.

I hope to get feeling better tomorrow so that I can actually make art again. Until then, hope you have a great day!

Practice makes progress

It’s that time of year when I start to think about painting my self-portrait again. This year I’m thinking of painting it in soft pastels and I had sketched it out on some inexpensive unsanded pastel paper.

This morning I started my practice piece. It turned out ok, but I realized that I neglected to include the part of my face that was in the deep shadows. I didn’t notice it until I went in with pastel pencils to add some details. It’s ok. I’ve learned a lot and will be doing this again on a bigger sheet of paper so I can get ask the details using the pastel sticks instead of needing pencils.

Top: my finished practice piece, Botton: my portrait sets of soft pastels

My plans are to sketch on the grid again for the bigger piece but try and remember to erase the grid lines once the sketch is in place. They blended into the background in a bunch of places but not on the face itself.