Our midterm project for my painting class was to paint a self portrait which incorporated multiple medias, as well as multiple styles. It had to tell something about ourselves, and let me tell you this: I angsted over it for so long. I couldn't figure out how to express myself, since, as I discovered, I am quite a contradiction. As my one friend said "you are bubbly but then you are angry". Well, apparently I am like this with everything. Happy one minute depressed another. Oh well. So this was a bit of an adventure in the self discovery department. I thought someone (not sure if there are a lot of someones) might find my process in doing this project interesting, since I love seeing other people's processes, so I decided to take pictures at the end of each "step". Hopefully you enjoy this documentation (littered with horribly taken digital photos) because it was fun to do.
Based off that absolutely horrid picture of myself I drew my face in my usual cartoony style. I never realized how stylized my work is until I drew this. It was a little odd. Anyhoo, this is the pencil version.
I then inked the part of the image that I wanted to use. I think this is a neat contrast of my pencil work with my inking work. I might have to do some actual pieces like this in the future...
After transferring a sketchy version of my cartoon face onto the canvas by means of tracing paper, I began to work on my background. Since we had to have outside influences, such as other artists or artistic movements, I decided that I wanted my background to look like the work of Moira Dryer, whose art I fell in love with. I was really happy with the figures which seem to come out at you, so I ended up cutting out a chunk of the painting that I had been planning on doing so that I could keep them as they were.
Once the background had dried I set about painting half of my face. I am really happy with how realistic it turned out, since usually my skin tones are rather lacking, as anyone who has looked at my art would know. Bah. I am very happy with the pink though and I am thinking I might have to carry this pinkness into my pencil crayon images.
After all that painting I decided it was time for a pick-me-up while I worked on the next step. I found said pick-me-up in a bottle of pear cider. Yummy.
Next up was to colour the inked version of my face. I had to use pink for the skin tone so that it would correspond with the painted side. As I mentioned then, I am really liking using pink for the shadows.
With Matte Gel (which is an awesome awesome product, ever versatile for prepping canvases and for gluing things to other things) I glued the inked and coloured version of my face onto my canvas. I am very surprised that it actually turned out since I was sure that the painted eye would be off center of the glued on one. Luckily I had no such problems. I then used a Sharpy pen to draw my glasses onto the painted side of my face.
Unfortunately I did not get to take a picture of this step since my dad had taken the camera to work. I had wanted to put clay on this piece right from the beginning. It was my master plan. My prof warned me that it might ruin what I had up to this point, but if I wanted to try then I should. So I did. I realized that if I were to just put slip (saturated clay) onto the painting it would crack and crumble off, as well, the colour would completely take away from the image. Somehow I got the idea that I should try to mix the slip together with acrylic paint. It was really fun to make, and I intrigued everyone in the studio as I did it. I made three different shades of "blonde" then used my fingers to smear it where I wanted it, using a blow-dryer to dry the area before applying a new layer. It turned out way better than I expected. When it was completely dry I put Matte Gel over top to make sure that it would remain sealed onto the painting, since I have no idea how this clay/paint mixture will age.
And here is the final product, a piece I am very proud of, and have an absolutely dreadful image of. The way I see it is that all the different medias show my contradictory sides and that the figures coming out of the background can represent my paranoia and neuroticism. I think I learnt a lot about my self and my psyche while working on this thing, which I think was what my prof was trying to do. Hopefully you find it as intriguing as I do.