I am going to be honest. I would never have attempted this challenge on my own. I struggle with creating faces and human forms of any kind. When I read the words "self portrait" I felt paralyzed. This month has truly pushed me to, at the very least, TRY these techniques. I do not feel that I am any "better" or any more "comfortable" with faces but I am feeling happy that I put in good effort each week. And while I did not start from scratch for this self portrait (um...that was NOT happening) it was a simple way for me to begin the uncomfortable process of trying to paint myself.
1. I used this free website to convert a photo of myself into a simple line drawing.
2. I cut my line drawing out and adhered onto a page in my art journal.
3. I created a two tone colored background, journaling in the wet paint.
4. I began adding messy paint strokes to the hair & skin, mixing lots of colors as I went.
5. I used both acrylic and watercolor paints to add color to my face.
6. I layered acrylic paint, blending while wet, to create my blouse.
7. I used oil pastels to create my necklace.
8. I used stabilo pencils to create more details around my eyes, nose & mouth.
9. I let some of the lines of my drawing bleed through the paint to define my face.
10. I used a white gel pen to light my eyes & a white china marker for my teeth.
11. I added some more paper and paint layers around my page for fun.
WHAT I DISCOVERED AS I WORKED
1. Using a large image with little or no detail helped.
2. Using messy strokes to apply the paint helped create a "painterly" style of art work. I have little or no experience in shading the human face and this helped disguise my lack of skill.
3. Using "almost lifelike" paint colors for skin and hair kept the stress out of making it perfect.
4. Letting the paint go outside of the lines made my portrait more "artsy" looking.
5. This is one of those times that the actual painting is better than the photograph. I think it has lots to do with angle and light more than anything.
6. I thought this would be easy, almost like filling in a coloring book page. It was a little more difficult than that, but a great springboard for learning to paint a face.
7. I would use this technique again to practice painting the human form.
*I am thinking of printing several versions of faces and bodies in this line drawing format and adhering them in their own special journal for practice.*