Selfportrait by Patti Vaz Dias

I was absolutely (over)excited again, with this month’s project. The first stages went brill. and I really managed to get the colors I was looking for. Then I left it a bit and decided to do a glaze to get more one-ness in the skin tone, and it went a bit downhill from there, but not too far. I’m pleased and amazed by what one can achieve with three colors and white; but.. afterwards I m gonna sneakily use a couple more colors to get a better result on the final skin tones.

The photo was difficult though and does not reflect the painting a 100 percent.

From the Painting Guide:Okay, so I’m partial to expressive portraits I know, but I think this is gorgeous! It’s incredibly moody and got a powerful sense of personality staring out at me. I would so not add any other colors for a more real skin tone, it’ll change the feeling. Rather do another one with more real skin colors, then put then side by side and compare how you feel about them. This one with its blue overtone is very distinctive, it’s not just another self-portrait, it’s one with soul. I think you could very well end up preferring it to a ‘real’ skin-tone one.

Things to Consider When Looking at This Painting:
Lost Edges:Look at how the face and hair merge into one another, a totally  soft edge. Yet you don’t need hard edges or defined detail to ‘read’ what’s going on in this section of the painting. Your brain interprets it instinctively, it knows from experience what’ll be here, it doesn’t need to see it to make sense of it.
Eyes:In this painting the eyes and bottom eye-lids don’t curve around the face quite enough for me. They feel a little flat, whereas the rest of the face has a lovely sense of it curving away in space. Not only are our eyeballs spheres, but eye sockets curve quite a bit around our faces, they’re not flat on the front. To convince yourself, put a finger on the front of your eye and another on the outer corner and you’ll feel how they’re not in a line with one another.

I’ve done a couple of a portrait sculpture classes working with clay to build up and cut away a face. I found it really helpful for getting a feeling for just how a face curves rather than being a flat surface features are stuck onto. Clay has the distinct advantage over carving that you can always stick a bit back on!

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