Monday, 2 March 2009

Face To Face

I've been working on a self-portrait in the studio over the last couple of weeks.

One of the hardest things with painting is deciding at what point I should bring the painting to a conclusion. That is, Knowing When To Stop.

When painting from life one has to be selective about what is going to feature in the painting. For instance, will it be the glow of the skin, the tone which can define structure, the contours and lyrical lines of the subject - or any number of things. And in all this you have to capture the essence of the sitter.

On this occasion I've had the added complication of working from a mirror - with a tall canvas that means I've been craning my neck to strain to reach the top of the canvas. It is not easy to paint my face from the angle of looking up, whilst my painted face appears to look down from above. Its tricky trying to keep the angle of the head the same each time too.

Here is an idea of the progression I made over 24 hours. The photographs show details of a full-length portrait which is nearly lifesize. The first photograph shown was taken at the end of my session today, the lower one yesterday.

1 comment:

Chris Rudge Renewable Power said...

looks great Harriet. It has to be down to you to know when the painting is finished..No one else can tell you!