Monday, January 23, 2017

Lifebook week 3 - self portrait

This weeks lesson with Misty Mawn, called the person I know best, was a self portrait in acrylics. It was a real challenge on many levels. The first step was to do a pencil sketch from a photo.

Then to do a version in acrylics using a limited palette of red, yellow, blue, white and brown - it was tricky mixing the skin tones, I usually use yelow ochre in mine, and the turned out a bit hot.

The third step was to work back into it experimentally, in bold colour, in a sense to remake yourself.

So one of the challenges of the lesson was vulnerability - to be face to face with yourself, the lines and imperfect features, and then to post that to the facebook group - I think for many of us it took a bit of courage. The other challenge was to destroy what you've made - to take that third step and work back into a finished painting, to deal with that fear of ruining it so that you can get to something (hopefully) better, richer, more interesting.

Henri Matisse The Green Line 1905

The remaking of my painting is loosely based on the Matisse portrait 'The Green Line' - though my colours are not as wild as his!!  I do love how the original self portrait isn't completely lost, and comes through as underpainting in places. I wouldn't have got to this result without the inspiration of seeing other people's portraits online which inspired me to just jump in and have a go.

I'm looking forward to what next week brings.


  1. Well done! It's interesting to see how the painting evolves and I guessed Matisse was one of your inspirations. Bravo!

    1. Thanks Carole, yes Matisse is a big hero 😊

  2. You did wonderful with this lesson and captured the painterly look so well! All three stages are fantastic and I like how you used Matisse as your inspiration!