Self portrait from a selfie.

Taking a selfie is bad enough, but trying to draw yourself from it while trying to hold a sketchpad and a tablet computer in one hand and an old felt pen in the other is quite difficult. I did try and use pointillism to do the shading but I think it didn’t really work well. Somehow the eyes in the drawing are looking at me, when in the photo they look up and to the right. The other thing with selfies is you see yourself the right way round, where when you look in a mirror everything is back to front, in mirror image.

I had been trying to take a photo of my reflection in a mirror but the tablet keep getting in the way. The only decent way to take it was by holding the computer tablet to one side but I ended up with the toilet in the background because my decent sized mirror is in the bathroom!

Anyway I don’t generally do selfies and its been a few years since I did a self portrait, but this was a bit of an experiment.  I like painting people and drawing them. Soon the life drawing class I go to will be starting up again. Then I can get in some proper practice.

Till then I’m going to try and do a few more quick portraits, this took about 15 minutes.

 

Portraits

 

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing people’s images when I paint and draw both traditionally and digitally. I also enjoy painting animals, and again I need to be accurate in representing them.

There are lots of books and videos to aid drawing and painting techniques. But the biggest thing that helps me is practice. Like anything else the more you do the better you get.

That said, having the book you are drawing in or canvas you at painting on placed at an upright position, either vertical or slightly sloping, helps with the resulting picture. If you draw on a horizontal surface thee picture can end up elongated or distorted. Similarly if you have a canvas in front of you too low down you can end up with a picture where the head may be to big, and thevlegd too small. It’s all a matter of positioning so you see the image equally.

I don’t tend to draw out first, I’m really terrible for starting with the eyes then working my way out! I guess I think the eyes hold the character. If you look at a face eyes are not always level. Because a face is symmetrical does not mean it completely matches on either side. Edgar Allen Poe was photographed, and when you take the two halves and multiply them into two new faces it could be two different men you are looking at…

Anyway it’s too early in the morning to be doing this…

X

P.S. the paintings here are distorted a bit because of the angles they were taken at. I have tried to straighten them up digitally but they are still a bit “off” I will try and get more photos if I can, but some belong to a relative who lives a fair distance away .

Exhibition time

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It’s that time of year when I have a small exhibition of work at Etruria. An area of Stoke on Trent in the Staffordshire.  This year it came round fast.  I didn’t really know it was going to happen till a couple of days ago. I think I was feeling a bit down and so I hadn’t organised things very well.

The building it is in is an old warehouse next to the Trent and Mersey, and Cauldon canals. It’s a very old building, with an old canoe up in the rafters, and half a model canal boat up high at one end I the room. It also has some of the largest long legged spiders I have ever seen….but thankfully once I had set up they went into hiding.

Anyway its happened, its up. I’m selling cards and necklaces as well as paintings. I am not really good at doing that. I can be polite, helpful, and enjoy explaining the work I have done, but I don’t like selling, putting a price on things.

I’ve spoken to a few artists recently and they feel the same way. They want to be creative, because they are creative, not because they want to run a business. …

Anyway I think people enjoyed what they saw at the exhibition, I had some good feedback.

What  want to do now is start working on new art!

Finished painting?

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I’m calling this finished…for the moment, its a question of how much detail I can add….

I enjoyed painting him, but there is such a lot of fur, of different shades, tones and colours, that its hard to get it right. I hope his owner will like him.

I met a lady yesterday who happened to come in to the warehouse at Etruria where we are holding an exhibition and hands on workshops at the weekend at Etruria Industrial Museum – (see my previous blog). She showed me photos of her son’s work, it was stunning! He does paintings of horses, and the attention to detail reminded me of the work of George Stubbs, whose equine paintings are remarkable. We both agreed that Stubbs painting of the horse Whistlejacket is one of our favourite paintings.

So this little fellow will be off to his home soon. I enjoy painting pet portraits, its a challenge to get an accurate image the owner will approve of. There is something about portraits of people and animals that appeals to me.

Twins?

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One of the things about being a painter is being asked to do copies of your work. This was the case with these paintings. The original was painted by looking at the photo on my mobile phone. The second was copied from the first.

Question, can you tell which is the original? When I asked my husband he recognised the first one straight away ( although he had seen both of them being painted so that was not difficult).

It’s actually quite hard to copy a painting, especially as I do it free hand without drawing it out first. I think I didn’t make a bad job of it and I hope its new owner will like it.

Why this painting? Because I like both the colours and the challenge of painting her hat/snood? Trying to get the colours and details right. I hope you like it too….

Digital portraits

These are  portraits I did at sketchfu between 2007 and 2008 I think.

I loved the Lord if the Rings films, and tried to draw Galadriel and Frodo. I also have a drawing somewhere of Gandalf but cant find it.

The two others are House and Mulder. I drew them from images online. I think they all came out quite well considering it was quite a simple website.

If I am able to find more I will post them too.

Copying a painting

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I’m try in to do a copy of a painting I did recently because it was up in a little exhibition and someone saw it and wanted a copy. My only problem is that I didn’t have a canvas the right size so I’m reusing one I’d started painting . Hence the marks showing through on the copy. But acrylic paint is opaque and they won’t be visible when I finish.

What I do need to do is make sure the face is accurate. I’ve made a start but the nose is wrong and I haven’t recreated the slight smile. Also I think the chin is wrong.

I don’t measure the distances, I judge by eye. I will be making adjustments to shapes, sizes, colours and tones all the way through doing this.

One thing I do like is the colour contrast in theis pictures.  Blue and orange/ochre always spark off each other.

Right, better carry on…..

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Getting better, need to adjust skin tones…