Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Self Portrait Marathon #3 - The mouth is wrong!

"A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth." John Singer Sargent

This also applies to self-portraits - and here's #3 in my contribution to the self-portrait-marathon.

I think I've given up on the jigsaw idea as it's just so difficult actually finding an angle at which to draw that has decent light.

I again took off my glasses and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for having learned that this can be a good thing to do. As before I lost detail on the face and couldn't see what I was doing at all on the paper and just had to work on the basis of tonal shapes as I couldn't see individual lines. I'm really quite pleased with this in terms of the use of hatching and the relative accuracy while being very loosely done.

There is, of course something wrong with the mouth - and in the end I decided that I could live with that being on view to however many of you there are today (it was over 200 the other day!!!). Readers - you need to understand that in real life I don't really look mealy mouthed and very glum - except when I'm drawing myself! I can however rustle up a very steely glare on occasion as I discovered at an early age that I have the ability to stare without blinking! My cat Polly finds it very disconcerting when we're having a tustle over what she is and is not allowed to do.

The Self Portrait Marathon juggernaut continues to rumble on - felling trees in its path to cater for all the paper being used. It's passed the 250 portraits mark and goodness knows what the final number is going to be as there is definitely something about it getting easier the more you do - so you do more..........

The marathon was featured yesterday in an item on Painting and Sparkling Walt (that's him in the picture) provided some very interesting comments about the process so far. He's also now set up a gallery on Flickr which shows all the SPs (as we "marathon artists" ;) call them) produced to date.

Reference Links:
Self Portrait Marathon - June 8 - July 8: The Rules painting: Self Portrait Marathon
Self Portrait Marathon gallery on Crackskull Bob

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  1. Katherine,
    I have trouble sketching my own mouth too. I too have a turned down mouth and when I am concentrating on an SP, I am frowning too. The last one I did, I erased the frown and put on a smile. That is the first thing my nephew noticed. He said the mouth didn't look right. Oh well At least without glasses on, I didn't have squinting eyes. I like yours. Still trying to do the hatching. I didn't use my shading stump once on the weekly drawing this week. I am now about half hatchings but still outline. I have to hava a place to start. Jeanne

  2. I would amend that quote a bit, for me it always the nose!

    oh dear! as my expression was similar I'm afraid Wally's sp marathon is giving viewers the impression we're a terribly glum lot! I love this though, lol, what a great look you're giving us! (plus terrific study of values)


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