Sunday, May 1, 2011


This is me. My hair is not all those lovely colors, but none the less, this is me. And this is my submission to the DPW challenge, self-portrait.

I have a lot of trouble being in front of a camera. I am not photogenic and I do not photograph well. So whenever one of these challenges comes up with the self-portrait, I suddenly hold my breath & say to myself "bummer." But really, I need to get over this a bit.

So I took out the digital camera today and I took, oh, maybe 300 shots. No, not really, maybe only 250. Seriously, I took alot of shots - most of which got deleted right away. I just didn't like what the camera was capturing.

Then I thought I would take the image into Photoshop and see if I could maybe make the color more attractive. I started to play with various filters, and then remembered the Posterize tool. Oh, did I have fun! I settled on a display that had colors throughout my hair (it is blonde). I suddenly had a reference image that I could live with, and paint from!

There is quite a bit of color in this, something I normally do not do in a single image like this. The hair has quite a list: Light Portrait Pink, Alizarin Crimson, Red Oxide, Van Dyke Red, Cad Yellow Medium, Burnt Umber, Brilliant Yellow Green, Sap Green Permanent, Olive green, & Pale Olive Green. The background is a dark Navy Blue which in the photo is showing as black. The only black in this are the touches about the eyes where the lashes are.

This was a major challenge for me and I'm happy with the outcome, although I don't want to make a career of doing portraits by any means. And yes, this does (sort of) look like me.

Acrylic on 9x12 Canvas sheet


AutumnLeaves said...

I think it is lovely, Nancie! Quite Fauvist with the many colors too! (I don't take too many good photos either so I can relate.) And I see that you look a bit like my husband's mom (younger version)!

Barbara said...

Good job Nan. I agree that portraits are most difficult and self-portraits the absolute worst. I had inferred from your dark profile picture that you looked more like somebody else I know.

Priti said...

Nancy, i like it!! Self portraits are difficult but you did a good job- For example,i can tell that you have blond hair from the painting.

Virginia Floyd said...

I commented on this, but I think Blogger lost my comment. I love this painting, Nancie. I love the colors you used in the hair. and the way you handled the values on the nose and under the chin. Great color choices. You should use this for your profile picture.

Nan Johnson said...

Thank you everyone for your comments on this - it was a difficult painting for me to do! Virginia, thank you so much for posting your comment again - I so appreciate it. Seems blogger lost many of my comments, and even a new post/painting I did as well!


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