“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.
“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..
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.
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.
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.