Graded Doesn’t Mean Done

“Art is never finished, only abandoned…”

Leonardo da Vinci

Hello again!  Something was bothering me as Finals Week wrapped up… for my Painting II class we were assigned a self-portrait.  I handed something in but too much wasn’t right about it.  Plenty was objectively wrong with it as a painting of a human being, but it also failed as a self-portrait as it looked nothing like me.  Nothing says I can’t fix something after the fact for my own benefit!

Even though classes are over now for the semester and grades have been posted, the problem still remains that I have a self-portrait I don’t care for very much…  Beyond the assignment and the deadline (and motivated almost purely out of frustration) I would really like to make this painting good (and it keeps me painting!)

Below are some shots of my progress starting with the painting I handed in for my final grade.  I enjoy having little epiphanies along the way but a problem I’m running into is the tendency to overcorrect; most notably in the hairline and nose (don’t judge me hah!)  The ebb and flow is rewarding and even though I still see quite a few things I plan to tackle in my last progress shot, I’m finding the process relaxing.

Tumnus Moran Self-Portrait Take 1

“Final” Painting- I wasn’t really offended by my work but understood when I was handing it in it didn’t look very much like me.  The shapes that I had come up with from my initial drawing were fairly generic and weren’t good observations of my own features.  An already illustrative vibe and a denial in the vastness of my own forehead led to the hairline getting wildly out of control… And in a vain attempt to “fix” my nose, I painted it too low and changed the shape of my face… oops..

Tumnus Moran Self-Portrait Take 2

Round 2- At this point I’ve overcorrected my nose and under-corrected my hairline. I’m also starting to confuse my light source… but at least now I’m working with something that looks a little bit more like me.  I’ll get to the hair and clothing far later in this process.

Tumnus Moran Self-Portrait Take 3

Round 3- I’m still fighting with this painting…  My nose is getting better (and still needs work) but now I’ve engaged in a battle with my left eye which I feel I’m losing.  I know at this point I’ve overcompensated with how much skin I’ve painted back into my hairline but I hope as I work to make the hair more grounded in reality that this area will come together.

Plan for Next Time– I need to focus on the eyes.  I know something’s not right shape-wise and I know they’re too bright.  In general, I’m looking forward to warming up the painting.  When I’m as confident as I can be with the facial features of the figure, I’m excited to get to fixing the hair and costuming.

Tumnus Moran Self-Portrait Take 1Tumnus Moran Self-Portrait Take 3

🔊What’s Playing
This week I made a lot of progress while listening to, “Watch it Crash,” on an album called Streetlight Lullabies.  Though I have not explored it very much, the album looks like a collection of acoustic covers of songs by a band called Streetlight Manifesto.  The guitar on the track is beautiful and easy to get lost in.

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