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…

And we wait again…

Waiting in the ER as I write this post. I will probably be here for several hours as we wait to see if the new antibiotics help my skin infection.

In preparation I have brought my sketchbook and charcoal pencils, my knitting that I restarted, and a stuffy that my son picked out.

I’m still thinking about the self-portrait from yesterday and realized that I made the mouth too wide. When I crop out the bottom part of the painting, I’m pleased with it.

The background needs some work.

I love that I was more daring with incorporating brighter and bolder colors in the face and then added some traditional skin tones. I feel confident that my next attempt will be even better than the first two. I’ve been using unsanded paper but I think I’m going to use sanded paper for this next attempt. I am working on having a light touch with my pastel application but I think I filled the tooth off the Canson Mi Tientes paper that I used yesterday.

Stay tuned – hopefully I’ll be able to share some good news and creations tomorrow!

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.

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.

Funeral cake?

Have you seen the Facebook post with the recipe for an easy cake recipe. Apparently it was something easy to make to take to a funeral ceremony.

I started feeling noshy earlier this morning and decided to make this recipe because I had all the ingredients. It’s egg free and dairy free, similar to the depression chocolate cake recipe except for a bigger cake pan. My son is severely allergic to egg and nuts and I am trying to avoid dairy and gluten, as it seems I am sensitive to them. I substitute King Arthur Cup- for- cup gluten free flour. I tasted the batter and it was delicious; o haven’t tried the cooked cake yet because I just took it out of the oven

I have also started to take steps in my self-portrait that I will be entering into the Jerry’s Arterama self-portrait competition this year.

I decided to attempt my self-portrait in soft pastels. I don’t use them often but I just love them so much. If I had a way to store them in a way to see them too I’d be so happy! Right now, they are in wooden trays that get pushed under a shelf when not in use.

First step… make it green!

I’ve read the using a green underpainting for portraits makes the skin look more natural so observe – the paper is green. The lighter color is for where my face will be and the darker area is for the dark area in the reference photo. Stay tuned as I make next steps.

Up next, set up an A4 page of lined paper in photoshop. Should be pretty easy now that I’ve done it successfully yesterday!

Painting Peonies

I am a member of the Amanda Evanston Insider’s Studio group on Facebook and one of the weekly lessons was on painting peonies in a loose, semi-abstract fashion. I have yet to complete those peonies in acrylics, but… I painted loose, semi-abstract peonies in soft pastels! I love it.

I shared this painting online and a friend of mine loved it, so I am sending it to her, but I am not done with peonies yet. I have plans to paint at least one more in soft pastels and I also will be painting a few in acrylics with soft pastel accents. Can you tell I love soft pastels?! They are just so luminous and I think they give so much dimension to the paintings.

For my acrylic attempts I am going to use a stretched canvas instead of watercolor paper. Here’s my starting point. I’m so excited to get started.

Stay tuned for updates – hopefully I’ll be able to complete something this week! {I have a lot of “in process” paintings happening right now}

Thank you for checking out my blog today 🙂