Thursday, June 3, 2010

Self-Portraits 4, 5, and 6

Whew! I've been doing some crazy things the last few days. Most of it has been a complete fiasco. Like the canvas that I glued tissue paper onto and then tried to do a portrait in acrylic. Only, I've very limited selection of acrylics and they didn't work the way I expected. Not only did the skin tone turn out a hideous orangy color, like someone spending too long at the tanning beds, but the tissue began to dissolve and break apart as I added layers of paint to hide the mistakes. It WAS a failure-- an utter failure. But that's one way I know I won't fail again. And it was fun to do something I've never tried before.

Not letting that get me down, I had something else I wanted to try. I've seen people draw and paint in books and I always thought it looked cool. So, I tore out the last pages of some book I had just read, you know the part where they introduce you to the first three chapters of some other book they want you to buy? I started splashing around and having fun. But, it was harder than I thought it would be. I misjudged how much the paint would lighten when it dried. I didn't get a good likeness. I tried again on another page...still didn't get a good likeness. So, I quit for the day, knowing that I had at least been experimental.


Oops...lips too red. Oops...face to red.

Oops. Oops. Oops. That was my yesterday.

So, I woke up today determined to do something a little better to get my confidence back. It started off as an exercise in tones, but I quickly realized my photo was taken with a flash camera and had washed out most of the tones. Though it's light, I kept going. I made a few mistakes along the way. Like when I got a little green mixed in with my black and then painted the lenses. Oh, that was a happy accident. Then I decided I would paint just my eyes blue. But the pupils weren't yet dry and it turned into more of a gray. I like it enough. I did have fun with this one. There were other things I had intended to explore in this one that I didn't get to, but hey, it's only #6 of 100!

You may wonder why I put that one at the top of the post, when I talk about it down here at the bottom. Well, it's like this: Would you be able to look at your blog with these horrible drawings being the first thing you see? No way! Not me! If I'm going to post my uglies, I'll do it with dignity thank you very much!

25 comments:

  1. ha ha I'm with you Raena - the good pics at the top. The only time I didn't was when I had a disastrous EDiM day and had no choice.

    I think it's great you are experimenting and the top portrait is really nice, especially with the touch of green, so subtle.

    I look forward to the next ones.

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  2. Lol - yes, that's what I do - the best at the top.

    Sounds like you've been having a great time - I really like that top one - your sense of play really comes through. and i also like how you've dealt with your hand in no 4 - it has a nice graphic look to it - in fact both these have the beginnings of a nice graphic style.

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  3. You have definitely found "your style" here! I'm really impressed with the likeness ... and so few lines !! The first one is excellent but I also like the idea of drawing and painting on book pages !

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  4. Umm...these are Fabulous! Raena, really, this must be the perfect example of an artist who has ONE thing in mind, and her drawings/paintings don't end up quite like it, but from another's eyes...they are fantastic! The first one is, to be sure, really wonderfully done! But the next two are right on its heels: no matter your thoughts on the skin and lip tones, they are VERY believable!!!! No need to try to match your own skin tone exactly. I love the look of them done on the typed pages...must have a go at that as well. I wonder if you would like gessoing the page lightly before painting??? You would still see the words show through but it might give you a more stable page to work on. I don't know how watercolor would react, but you could try your acrylics after gessoing...just a thought. Loving seeing your self portraits!! Very cool!

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  5. I am very impress by your portraits, it is going to be a fabulous series.The top one is very good but I also like the others.

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  6. Wonderful! I even like the uglies.

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  7. This is brilliant - you have such a great face too, lucky thing.

    Thanks for sharing your trials too - it's so comforting to know that others suffer angst too!

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  8. All three are great! You have such a wonderful whimsical face! I am looking forward to the next 94!

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  9. Very nice! I like them all!

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  10. I think its all that Oops's that makes it so neat, I just love all the different styles you have with one and same topic and nothing looks like the next one. I think they are wonderful, the top one is my favourite though.

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  11. I think these are fantastic! If you are already turning out such great portraits, I wonder what #100 will look like (ooops, don't mean to turn on the pressure). I #5 is very fun and love the top one.

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  12. Love what you're doing and I too am excited to see #100 as your beginnings are SPECTACULAR!
    I can't believe the muddy patch mess that ensued when I tried acrylic on a gessoed surface of old sheet music. Yuck! Oh well. Learn. Learn...and love it.

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  13. You know, even the ones you hate are pretty fabulous in my opinion. I'm glad you didn't let things get you down because you really are a good artist. I love your work.

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  14. Shucks Raena- I think all of these are fabulous!! And I really like how you are experimenting, trying all this stuff- it's the artist in you- and she's screaming very loud... "Let me out!!!" My other thought is that color is so subjective- I like all the colors. I'm looking forward to this entire series. At this rate- you'll be done too soon- you may have to extend it so I can see more!!!! :-)))

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  15. Any one of these could have taken the top spot.

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  16. Love to hear about your experiements. Myrna Waknov has some of her painting over tissue paper on her blog. You might check her out. She probably would give you some hints on working with tissue paper and watercolors. I know she does use gesso on watercolor paper, and she also draws and paints on things like old phone books.
    I wish she would come here to do a workshop, but she is way over on the west coast. I think she would come, but it would cost quite a bit for her to fly, have lodging, etc.
    I did ask her about coming last year. Had too many things going on to do anything more than that, since then.
    I think the tissue paper might make faster wrinkles than having to draw them all! I don't think I have that much patience anymore-and have way too many wrinkles, myself! :)

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  17. Love all the experimentation, Raena. Now that I've seen the "real you", I know how accurate these are in likeness. You've really got a gift for drawing.

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  18. These self portraits are great!
    Experiments can be a learning experience and occasionally something wonderful happens.
    Joan Gillman Smith

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  19. I think it is great that you are trying so many different things! And you are so overstating the horribleness of the two sketches. They are quite good IMHO. I see some Myrna on #4. I have an entire encyclopedia set in my trunk which was going to be thrown out, but I wanted to pick out good pages for drawing/painting on (which I have never done either) and have put it off.

    Anyway, you are so right that the value portrait is excellent. Love that smile (like you have a wonderful secret). I also love the touches of blue. Thanks also for the detailed description of what you are doing - it is all very interesting.

    Finally, I have invited you to the Spirit of the Gulf challenge (see my latest post).

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  20. I finally posted the self-portrait sketches I did that were inspired by your standing self-portraits (which I linked to).

    I love the way you are able to simplify your line and express the shapes and volume so well. The one of Ujwala especially has great form and volume. I actually like all of these (and wouldn't mind seeing the bottom ones at the top at all), and really enjoyed the ones on text. Did you glue those pages into your journal?

    Now you've inspired me all over again. I'm going to go look for a page of text to glue into mine to experiment with.

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  21. Great Self Portraits Raena - love #6! This is going to be fun!

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  22. I had to laugh when I read your post. I actually love what you have done - particularly the ones you drew in a book! What a nifty idea!

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  23. Hi Raena.. You draw such lovely portraits of yourself!! I love the top one!

    Thanks to you I joined Julia Kay's Portrait Party too... Nice to be able to 'meet' you through your snaps! Though I am afraid of sketching your portrait (don't ask me why though!!)

    Waiting for more self portraits by you! (actually it is such a nice idea!)

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  24. I like them all. The two on the book pages look more graphic but they are still good. Really. Set them aside and look at them in a few weeks and see what you think then!

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