Daily Self-Portraits: Week 7

Plan for this week: Revision and reflection

Form the previous weeks there are several aspects and approaches that I would like to follow further:

  1. Color to depict mood and atmosphere
  2. Luminosity through color and tonal contrast and layering
  3. Additive and subtractive painting, textured grounds
  4. Bodily interaction

I think it would be beneficial to dedicate one week to one specific theme.

Task for this week: 1) working in dry pastel only, using dedicated more saturated color and limited palette (complementary) to convey more mood and atmosphere, more close up views.

Learnings:

  • I really liked to work in this series with limited color and to ‘discover’ certain areas of the face.
  • Conceptually there could be more to build around the idea of mirror – image – observer. The reflection of myself in a mirror – be seen by myself but also by an external observer.
  • Working in pastel is for my a way to explore marks, tone and color close to the surface. Something I started to do more in oil.

 

#49: Dry pastel on Clairefontaine PastelMat® paper (50 x 35 cm) ‘Brown – Grey’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #49: Pastel on PastelMat (50x35cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #49: Pastel on PastelMat (50x35cm)

=> Image. picture within a picture – frame within in a frame. Who sees whom?

#48: Dry pastel on Clairefontaine PastelMat® paper (50 x 35 cm) ‘White – Red’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #48: Pastel on PastelMat (50x35cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #48: Pastel on PastelMat (50x35cm)

=> working on tonal contrast in one color within different hues.

#47: Dry pastel on PastelCard (40 x 30 cm) ‘Orange – Blue’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #47: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #47: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

=> Before making this painting I was afraid that orange could turn the face into a rather artificial something. However, I am astonished and satisfied with the final result. I feel that adding hard edges with strong tonal contrasts can make a painting more powerful, more engaging and more vivid.

#46: Dry pastel on PastelCard (40 x 30 cm) ‘Yellow – Violet’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #46: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #46: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

=> This reminds me of some works by Kaye Donachie through its mystic at time blurring marks. I could envision to add some further ‘landscape’ marks to the portrait (see Kaye Donachie ‘Clouds are pushing in grey reluctance’, 2009 – click here)

#45: Dry pastel on PastelCard (40 x 30 cm) ‘Green – Red’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #45: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #45: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

=> I already worked with the complementary green-red on still life (click here) – for me at that times surprisingly successfully.  I noticed later that this could be seen as a reclining person although I painted it standing in front of a mirror with head bends backwards. I think it comes with the way I depicted the background (lower half). Through the rather non-human green flesh one could think of a sick person laying in bed.

#44: Dry pastel on PastelCard (40 x 30 cm) ‘Red – Purple’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #44: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #44: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

=> The red-purple gives the painting a sense of energy. The intentionally kept red eyes (like when one is taken a picture with camera and flash) are making the image quite intense. It also adds a moment of surprise.

#43: Dry pastel on PastelCard (40 x 30 cm) ‘Blue – Orange’

Stefan513593 - daily self-portrait #43: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

Stefan513593 – daily self-portrait #43: Pastel on PastelCard (40x30cm)

=> the blue reminds me of Avatar. Does this painting convey a sense of melancholy (see me research on blue in painting – click here)

  2 comments for “Daily Self-Portraits: Week 7

  1. September 19, 2016 at 7:38 am

    These are the best yet Stefan, the pastels are a good tool for you. Very expressive 🙂

    • Stefan
      September 19, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Thank you Alison for your kind words 🙂 Working with more scrutiny and exploring deeper one material makes me quite confident. I am wondering whether I can use dry pastels together with other media? With oil pastels and oil sticks I still face big challenges. Dry pastels is so intimate – something I like with drawing. Have to see how I continue.

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