Well, well, self-portraits, the classic painting practice. The painter was just itching to paint himself, how vain can he be?
I realised that I wanted to do a self portrait, because in my early days of painting, it was all I could remember – how I really honed my self portrait skills and in oils too! Alas, those old portraits have all but vanished, I was too lazy to pick them up from my school before they got trashed. I know.. I know.. hey at least I am making up for it now!
The most important thing for me at this point was to understand value, how does value really change the look of the painting? What does true value actually add to the painting? So that’s why I have painted in black and white, you’re forced to think in these terms. I also did this relatively quickly so it was doubly satisfying – not that anyone should be proud of the fact that you achieve things quicker.
In a strange irony, I painted it quickly and roughly, purposely displaying the brush strokes proudly, however it is also one of my favourites. I have learned a great deal about leaving brush work as it is and letting the paint take form and not worrying so much about detail.
The brain loves to fill in gaps, so you need only suggest things subtly and it will do the rest. It’s what makes the ‘Creation of Adam’ painting even more powerful.
It’s one of the best things I love about painting. It probably will be a rare appearance, I likely won’t do any more portraits as land and city-scapes are more interesting to me.
Lots more to learn, lots more to improve.. step by step.. the skill will compound. Speak soon!