Lookout – Self Portrait at 35

Title: Lookout – Self Portrait at 35
Canvas: 11“x 17”
Media: Oil on Canvas
Price: NFS
Date Completed: 4/30/2017
Critical Acclaim: “Down voting selfie” – imgur.com user carlosspicyweener
The process: http://imgur.com/a/Y46YS

This painting was exactly as hard as one would expect. I’ve learned that I need to learn how to draw. There’s only so much shading that you can do to fix major issues.

After completing this painting I read the portraits chapter in “Traditional Oil Painting” by Virgil Elliott. Even with all of Gail’s help I really wish I’d read that chapter before taking this on. A couple of his pointers that I remember weeks after reading it are that hair should never have a hard line to the background and that the likeness is so much more important than the detail. He likened this to how a friend can recognize you from a distance. They don’t need to see the details of your face to know it’s you. That’s what you have to be able to capture in a painting. I… did … not… accomplish that.

I know this painting is average at best, but I really like it. I feel like you can see the direction of the light. I feel like the shape of the hair is pretty good, and the fact that the eyes turned out looking realistic at all is a miracle.

Things I learned. Do not paint in a window with direct sunlight. You can see the results of this in the attached album. Gail helped me mix three skin tone colors to start and I painted this with lights, darks, and mediums and then blended those before adding the pinks and highlights. That made this go much more quickly.  I also learned that portraits and skin should have very blended transitions. Any time the colors were separated by hard lines the painting looked fake.

Thanks to my mom, Jackie Watkins, for suggesting the album below where everyone can see the process.

Lookout – Self Portrait at 35