I was not happy with the attempts at a convincing self-portrait I produced earlier in the course. Yesterday, I decided to have another go in my sketchbook and unfortunately, I didn’t take photos from the start as I wasn’t anticipating anything good to come of it! Again, I decided to work in soft pastels as I am most comfortable with this medium when it comes to painting the face and yes, soft pastels are a form of paint! Anyhow, this is the end result.
I have a tendency to stare intently into the camera and curl up my mouth somehow whenever I take a selfie – I don’t do the botox pout. I asked friends and family if this was a true likeness and if it captured my personality- everyone said most definitely, yes. My daughter said it was much better than the other ones where I looked all girly and thweet (sic) ! Therefore, I have decided, based on consensus of my peers, that this is the best version i’ve done so far in the self-portrait department.
I have been experimenting with a few other versions of self-portraits in my sketchbook. Taking a hint of inspiration from Gerhard Richter, I tried blurring a pencil/charcoal sketch to see what effect that might have. I just wet the paper with a spritz of water and then lightly brushed across it with a fan brush and an eye make-up remover pad. It is interesting to see how the blurring of the lines degrades the original drawing but it is still recognisable. It’s like I quickly turned towards the viewer – the blurry lines suggest motion.
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/sep/22/gerhard-richter-tate-retrospective-panorama – article focussing on the ‘blurring’ style.
https://artbios.net/21-en.html (detailed biography of Gerhard Richter discussing the many paintings where he used the blurring technique)