Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Insomnia has its uses.

Well, my beloved insomnia strikes again, so I thought I'd take advantage of it and post the mini-painting I did this afternoon in the hour before I had to leave for work. I think I'm on to something. The only problem with being on to something is I want to go back and fix old paintings (or redo them entirely) so that they all "fit". There aren't enough hours in the day...

This pretty much marks the first self portrait I've painted since high school. I did one in gouache in my sketchbook about a year ago, but I don't know... I have trouble calling things in my sketchbooks paintings, even when I'm using paint to make the marks. Ok, fine, how about this; this is the first self portrait I've ever done in oil. I think. I can't remember any others, so therefore they must not exist, right? Right.

I learned a few things working on this little guy. Primarily I pretty much have a dark caucasian tone to my skin. Since I basically got away with using the "formula" I normally use for painting people (and I tend to paint a lot of caucasian people) with more of the slighty darker tone serving as a midtone. Ok, I think that's actually the only thing I learned about my features doing this painting. The nose came out redder than it is in the painting - but I did make my nose redder than it is in actuality. Why? Artistic license - that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Aside from that I learned that I need to learn to mix better greens and that painting a dude is just as easy (or difficult) as painting a dudette. (I was recently asked me if I planned on painting a man any time soon. I guess this is as close as I could come.) I do remember thinking in the early stages of the painting that "painting black people is hard!" but like I said, I'm just a dark white person, so it worked out. I intend to work on that and maybe do Matt Crane proud and finally start painting culturally... (Whatever that means.)

Last but not least I learned I need to find a better way to photograph stuff like this. I know how, actually, I'm just lazy at 3 in the morning and don't feel like setting up a tripod to get a better picture. If I get enough in the way of protest I'll see what I can do. I just look at it as incentive to invest in proper light set up. Well, it's either that or figure out how to create an overcast day on command. Now, there'd be a neat trick.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Vaughn, I feel like a proud mother whose son has surpassed her in skill (and maybe talent). I think I mentioned before that your current paintings remind me a bit of Modigliani. This one really jumped out at me as a huge leap. I feel so humbled... so humbled. Pia Mater.