It’s been a while since I did a self-portrait – April, if I remember rightly, in pastels. If you’re interested, my series of 7 pastel self-portraits (the good, the bad, and definitely the ugly, see day 2!) start here. Today it once again felt like a self-portrait day; I had the time and the inclination. Self-portraits are always really difficult, I think. There’s the whole business of sitting in front of a mirror, contemplating one’s flaws, and trying not to change position while attempting to get it down on paper. If, in the end, it actually looks like a credible person, I think you’ve done ok. And so much the better if it actually ends up looking something like you!
This one is a bit of a mixed bag. I think it looks sort of like me, although with all the fine wrinkles and bags airbrushed out. My excuse is that the portrait is quite small (9x6ins) and there wasn’t room for a lot of fine detail…also, I didn’t put my glasses on to look! I painted the face first, then the hair, and then added the jumper and cardigan after a pause for consideration and a deep breath (for fear of ruining it). Adding the strong colour meant I had to go back in and deepen the shades in the hair, which helped with the depth around the face somewhat, although the skin is still lacking sufficient deep tones.
Things I like: the blue of my jumper, and the way it bleeds out; my left eye, where the light is reflected; the light on the septum.
Things I’d change: more shadow tones on the face (if only I could decide what colour they should be!) as I look a bit over-exposed; the neck painting – too lumpy; the chin, which looks misshapen.
However, all things considered, my first ‘life’ watercolour portrait didn’t go so badly. I haven’t shown it to anyone who knows me, so I don’t have a third party view on whether it’s a ‘likeness’. I’m guessing that there are bits that look like me, and bits that don’t. I think I can live with that.