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In the Studio: Self Portrait

December 8, 2017

I wanted to do a self-portrait for a while but wasn't sure how to go about it. Instead of doing something hyper realistic with charcoal or pencil I decided to just use gouache and water colors on a large piece of paper that I taped up on the wall. I have done two other pieces in the same way and just love using a large space and a bright variety of colors. Painting on the wall allows you to free up your brush strokes and not worry too much about every little detail. In the end I'm happy to share this piece with you and hope you feel inspired to work on your own self-portrait (or two)! Read on for some notes/advice from this project!


Notes on the process:


To sketch or not to sketch i.e. planning before you paint: For fairly free, short term projects like this one I usually don't start out with sketches (it's a little intimidating I know). BUT this allows you to really improvise as you go, which is a good creative exercise. (Now, I do, of course have sources. I like to tape up a small picture next to my work space to go off of.)  I begin with very light outlines. For this piece I began with some bright yellow, a color that I can paint over easily or not depending on where I want the light to hit my subject.





 For Perfectionists: Sometimes we get caught up in trying to make things look EXACTLY how they appear, but after a while that gets a little boring (in my opinion). It also limits you, in a way, and prevents you from trying new things, making new shapes, creating new color palettes, compositions etc. 


I mentioned using light outlines of paint, this let's you refine as much as you want. The most important thing is to remind yourself that it's okay if you don't get a line just right, or maybe a part of the piece looks a little weird. From that you can learn from your mistakes but also use those accidents and turn them into your own artistic style. 



For any more questions you might have feel free to reach out to me : Happy painting!




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