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Self Portrait


I've just finished (?) my self portrait. I add the question marks because there are still a few minor things I need to do, but in the grand scheme of things it's done.

It took just under 35 hours, which, compared to the Flamingo picture (72 hours) goes to show that although the drying time is longer, oils are definitely a quicker medium for me at least.


I chose to do a tondo (round) picture as it's something I've wanted to do for a while, and it has it's pros and cons.

Pro - it makes it ideal for online profile pictures!

Con - The only 2 frames I've found that MIGHT fit it are about £100. I think knowing that is making me want to work on it some more, to get my moneys-worth!


I enjoyed the process even though I had to look at my face for an extended period (at least I wasn't staring back!) I really enjoyed doing the patterning of the William Morris wallpaper, and I don't even mind that some bits are a bit off and not symmetrical. I used a mahl stick for the first time doing this painting and now I find it indispensable!


I currently have 4 paintings on the go (commissions) and then I have 3 prepped once the 4 are finished. One is a still life (SHOCK)!!

I think I just wanted to get a still life in oils out of my system, I might enjoy it! I took the photos myself and I really wanted to paint a silver pot I had, I just find myself challenging things to paint!

The photos didn't turn out too badly considering photography is not my forte.




One has a clearer pot, and the other has clearer fruit, so I'll use both as reference. I used a small soft light box and a desk lamp just off to the side. I also used a tripod for steadiness and no flash.

I'm actually looking forward to starting it although I'll probably regret it at some point!


I'm drawn to the reflection of the fruit, hoping to create my own Van Eyck!


I've been reading (and listening) to a couple of books on portraiture which I recommend. "A Face to the World: On Self Portraits" by Laura Cumming, which is on my kindle and "Faces of Britain: A History of the Nation Through Its Portraits" by Simon Schama which is my audible listening while I paint. I love history in general, not just the history of art, and these two tick all the right boxes.

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