Saturday, January 23, 2016

Self Portrait in Watercolor

Reflections of Mystelf ©2016
I am a member of a cooperative gallery in Colorado Springs. During our winter months when the gallery traffic is a little slower we don't have featured artists in the front windows, but do group shows instead. This year we decided to have some theme months from January to March. We chose to do self-portraits for January.

I decided to have fun and not do a conventional self portrait. I love to paint metal and glass and I new my sons baritone would make a great way to get a reflection of myself. The horn automatically flipped my reflection upside down, adding to the fun of the image.

I did not want to spend a lot of time on this painting because I had to fit it in around other paintings, classes, and the holidays. So, instead of masking a lot more of the lights in the horn, I only masked the whites and tiny highlights. You might be able to see a little masking fluid on this first image.

After masking, I started on the grays of the baritone and then jumped over to work on my self portrait. I figured if I didn't get my face right, I could start over before I got to far into the painting. One of my favorite grays to make now is ultramarine blue and italian burnt sienna.

Reflections of  Myself ©2016
I continued working around the painting. You can see some of the other reflections in the horn now. I also started the blue water bottles that were behind the baritone and reflecting in the metal.

I wanted the paint on the palette in front to be warmer and provide a contrast to the blues and greens in the back. For the palette, I used pure pigment, and put it on pretty heavy, so that it would appear solid like the paint in my real palette.

I started to add more darks (mixing ultramarine and italian burnt sienna as dark as it would go). As, the painting neared completion, I added some warm reflections in the horn and completed my hand in the lower left. I like to start my skin tones with a warm mix of cadmium red and aureolin yellow. Then I add layers of other mixes.

The last time I did a self portrait was college. I am actually pleased with the final painting.
Reflections of Myself ©2016
Reflections of Myself ©2016

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