The thoughts and works of a caffeine addicted artist!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Remembering The Basics
Self Portrait - Work in Progress 11x15"- Indigo Watercolour on Bockingford 200lb CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Many things have happened throughout my self portrait project but the most unusual of them all is that I tell myself every day that I will measure features against one another, stand back from my work regularly, check key aspects of distance...all of the things I ALWAYS do when working on a commission portrait . However, the moment I step into the studio and pick up a brush, pen, pencil or stick of charcoal and look into the mirror I forget ALL of those basic rules. It has been as if some kind of magnet has hung over my workspace, zapping up my thoughts and leaving my emotions alone to create an image. While this has been an amazing experience, with some unique results, I was becoming quite intrigued that my basic skills of portraiture were eluding me when I looked at my own face!
Today I was going to tackle this problem and I was going to win!
I prepared my surface by opening one of my books on the page illustrating basic facial measurements, a gentle reminder staring me smack in the face. I then pushed the mirror back a little, allowing me more distance. I did all of this 20 minutes before I collected my youngest from school, setting my mobile phone alarm to remind me. This allowed me 20 minutes working time before I would HAVE to stop and leave the studio. I returned to the studio from school, made corrections to the basic structure and left it to tidy my workspace. I returned to it again half an hour before my eldest Son came home, setting my alarm as a reminder and popping back to make corrections after putting dinner in the oven. I stopped at the sketch stage and took it inside with me to have dinner. Throughout the evening I peeked, each time with fresh eyes, each time with a clear mind.
Happy that it was indeed ME staring back at myself, I returned to the studio this evening and started to add watercolour washes in W&N Indigo.
It worked....It's me.....I won!
Now, content in the knowledge that I haven't forgotten everything I have taught myself over the past four years, I hope to find a balance: