Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Self Portrait...wonders will never cease.

8 x 10"
oil on canvas

Recently, I put out a call for skin-tone tips, and I got some really good responses. My favorite came from Bill Sharp - the infographic you see below. Sean Cheetham is one of my gods heroes - I'm totally blow away by his muted, yet perfectly modulated flesh tones.  So, I was really excited to try his palette. The idea is that you mix two main "mud" piles - a light side and a dark side, and then modify each one three or four ways. I couldn't believe how few piles of paint I was using to create such a range of expression. My normal portrait palette is, well, not this simple.


 What it looks like on my palette:
I needed a test subject, so I snapped a quick self-portrait with my phone, propped it up next to my canvas, and dove in. What do you think?

Do you like painting self-portraits? Do you always do them from a mirror, or do you prefer photo reference?
I really don't like painting self-portraits. Going back and forth between the mirror and my painting is very difficult for me, and no one ever EVER thinks I capture a likeness. I enjoyed the cell-phone method, though. I think I'll be doing these more often!


DMannion said...

I love your self-portrait, too!!!

DMannion said...

Sarah, my first comment didn't show up. So here it is again... I was researching still lifes on Google, scrolled and scrolled until I found one I liked... and thought, bet it's Sarah's and it was! Love your work.

DMannion said...

Maybe someone suggested this already, but here it is again... the Zorn palette... yellow ochre, cad red lt. (Anders Zorn used Vermillion), Ivory black, and white. That's it!

Fay Terry said...

Sarah, I just saw your self portrait on DPW and decided to visit your blog to see how you did it. Very helpful information, especially taking a phone photo. I have been wanting to try a self portrait for awhile and you've given me the courage to try. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks!

Debbie said...

I think you did an outstanding job!! Wow! And it's fun to see the palette of colors you used, the portrait looks much more complex than the color on the palette! What mix did you use for the background color? I see there is a suggestion for a background mixture to influence the shadows.

Sarah Sedwick Studio said...

Thanks for your comments, Diane and Fay! Diane, I have not tried the Zorn palette yet, but I plan to. He really did amazing things with such limited colors. Debbie - (Thanks!)I'm pretty sure the background was just the Manganese Blue + white mixture dulled with the ochre-ey brown that's next to it on the palette.

Linda Popple said...

Fantastic portrait! I enjoyed reading your post and very interested in trying out this palette. Well done!!

Sarah Sedwick Studio said...

Thank you, Linda. I'd love to see your results when you try out this palette!