Saturday, October 17, 2009

Self Portraits

It has been a little over a week since I last posted…my goodness how time flies.

I’m told that in the process of learning how to paint, especially if one decides to delve into portraiture, one should practice by doing a self portrait. Before really getting into painting I often wondered why would someone do a self portrait…is it ego? I have discovered that it is a great way to practice. Your model is always handy and there is no charge for the sitting. Where can you find a better deal? I’ve gone onto artists websites and found that some of them have done several…one artist mentioned doing a self portrait at least once a month. Even the Masters have done self portraits, many of them more than one. So, if the Masters have done it, then why not me? I'm sure it can only help me hone my portraiture skills.

Sometime back I decided to give it a go and this is what I came up with…

This is my first attempt. Not very good, but my family did recognize it as me.

This one I call “Melancholia.” I did it for a challenge with the painting website. The challenge was to do an expressive self portrait. I decided on this composition because I find myself in this position many times, especially when I’m studying a piece that I’m working on. Also, with the hands being such a large part of the overall composition, it gave me an opportunity to work on hands…something I’ve always had problems with. I was surprised that I did get some pretty decent feedback on it. I think its time to do another one. I could paint from photos, which I have done on many occasions and I do have some fantastic photos of people from foreign countries in their cultural dress in great poses, but I want to be able to paint from life; therefore, the self portrait.

These are both done in oil on 9x14 canvas board.

Until next time, mahalo for visiting.

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  1. hi lokelani.. thank you so much for stopping by my blog and that wasy i could find my way to yours.. love the self portrait and got a chuckle when you said about the self portrait that the model is always handy!! i relly like waht you have done and here and will stop back to see when you try another... happy painting!

  2. My wife sometimes jokingly accuses me of being vain for doing self portraits, but if you want to paint portraits then this is an important excercise to do!

    My attitude is that if you can't paint yourself in an honest and meaningful way how can you paint others?

    so you keep up with the self portraits, it really will improve your work in the long run :)

  3. I think you have done a wonderful self portrait, and you also really captured a really interesting pose with your hands on your face!!! I think doing a self portrait is very rewarding, and it also teaches you lots about your own face, lol...
    It was really lovely visiting your blog.

  4. Hey Lokelani! Everyone should do a self-portrait shouldnt they!? I like your portraits and like the way you have done the hair and the hands in the second one has a nice balance.

  5. Thank you all for visiting my blog, your encouraging comments, and for becoming followers. I am glad there is an agreement that self portraits are not necessarily a vanity thing. It gives me such an incentive to get back to painting.