Slow Selfie – A Self Portrait in Oils
This week I have been finishing a Self Portrait I started a few weeks ago.
Inspired by my friend Henrietta at art school who was painting herself in motion I wanted to give it a go myself but with my own twist.
The idea was to create a portrait that would be a representation of what you might observe if you sat for a portrait. The artist with brushes in hand and poised to make a mark on the canvas.
There are a number of different ways you can attempt a self portrait. I have chosen what is known as the ‘sight-size’ method whereby I place myself alongside the canvas, as I would if I was painting a model. The difference being is that I am now the painter and the painted, so each time I make a mark I must resume the previous position and check that mark before moving on to the next.
It is a slow process, but one which enables you to make a quick assessment of your painting by looking in the mirror and seeing your painting alongside your reflection. With patience, this constant comparison and study over the sittings will enable you to paint a distinguished naturalistic portrait with a good sense of life.
The method itself is rather simple, but as I found, if you have quite a painterly style, the actual skill of painting with brush strokes overlapping and blending paint becomes much more of a challenge when you need to resume position in-between each stroke.
I have chosen a selection of photos by my friend Tracey Williams who came to watch me work, and you can see more of her wonderful photography on her homepage: www.traceywilliamsphotography.co.uk
you will be able to see my finished self portrait in the ‘gallery’. Coming soon