Expressionistic Self Portrait


OCT. 24, 2017 — oil paint sticks on watercolor paper

In this project, the objective was to create a self portrait that conveyed emotions that we'd been feeling lately. The catch was that we had to try doing it with oil paint sticks and without sketching it out first.

My first attempt was sort of a mess. I'd never used the oil sticks before, and so I wasn't really sure what to do with them. After a while of smearing colors around until they were blobs of grey and there were no distinguishable features, I decided that it was time to start over. Take two went better; I began by drawing the facial features out in grey and white, and then I went in with colors and started to draw some circles over the parts that I didn't like. I ended up covering basically my whole face, which is fine, because it looks better that way. After I'd drawn out all of the circles I decided that the colors clashed too much—I'd used a bunch of reds and greens and purples, and the brightness of them made them look like I hadn't been paying any attention to color at all. So, to make them look more like they belonged together, I went over them with white oil paint, making them look more pastel and also go together batter. Once this was done, I did go back in with pen and fine tuned some things. I made the whites of the eyes more white, as well as the teeth; I added in some red lines, just as some minute details; and I added some texture and shading to the eye. Once that was done, my portrait was complete.

I was pretty neutral about this project. Going in I was nervous, since 1. I hadn't used these oil sticks before and 2. I dislike having to look at / draw myself. However, once I got past the "looking at myself in the mirror" stage, it was pretty easy. I added in some other colors and such, hoping to convey some sort of emotion, and I'm actually pretty pleased with the outcome. I think that the colors go well together and that the bright red of the creatures adds a good pop of color. If there was one thing that I'm worried about, it would be the lack of actual face showing—I don't like the way that my face looks, and so I was obviously going to try and cover it up some. However, I don't know if I covered up too much. Other than that, though, I'm happy with how this piece is.