9/30: Self-portrait, oil on canvas panel, approx. 8x6 in.
Lest this blog become just a series of tiny 20-minute sketches, I thought I’d better do something more involved. This time I wanted to do a more finished self-portrait. I can’t guarantee that it won’t end up an embarrassing mess, so here is what it looks like now. I think it is the beginning of a decent portrait, at least beginning to look like me – keeping in mind the fundamental structural concepts such as forming the sockets before eyeballs, I tried to address some crucial things before stopping: eyes going in the right direction (sounds simple enough), the corners of the mouth, and (in my case) looking like a member of the Taliban. Well, it’s on its way.
This is only an hour and a half of work so far and I tried to stay rough. The palette is typical for me nowadays: white, yellow, ochre, red, alizarin, transp. oxide red, burnt umber, cerulean, ultramarine, black. I should keep cad. red light off my palette and use it only in special cases (it’s not like I can't use the other colors to make everything way too hot); same with my old friend burnt sienna, as the oxide red pretty much replaces it. I might add terre verte or a similar green, if mainly as a way to remember to use greens more, but it still leaves the total number above 10, when painters like Nerdrum can work with 3 or 4.... I may well end up doing more of a dabby type of Nerdrumesque modeling here, thinking that I possibly relate to his style more than I thought. We'll see how it goes.