Self portraits – the mask 2020

7 comments

I already did one self portrait for this year, thus as we had portraiture, self portraits as topic in studies, I decided to now portray myself in a mask. Since masks are used during our studies currently and I wear one in any public places I go.

We had to use large A2 sheets to do two paintings. One to do a a some what ‘natural size proportions’ and the other one then more zoomed in / close up. So I decided to do the other one mid waste and then crop the other one to face.

For the first one I wanted to portray the darkness and loneliness, yet connectivity via devices. Which at times is now our only means of communication, yet not long ago we had smartphone zombies (smombies) to gawk at. Now we need to mostly stay home safe, but can also stare our devices safely at the comfort of home.

In the second, well, I had originally and idea on stark light contrasts, sharp partial shade on face and face towards future, but then it shifted to be in general very bright and with a slight play with cool vs warm hues. So, I hope there is light in the future, however I am not facing the future yet, stuck in the present.

Both are watercolor paintings, with some detailing and textures added with colored pencils. I used in the first painting background mix also Daniel Smith Rose of Ultramarine which granulates beautifully. I love the texture and liveliness the granulation brings, while revealing other pigments in the paint subtly as well (mix of quinacridone rose and ultramarine blue). I do sometimes use also granulation medium with other colors that I mixed myself or use in different washes. Examples of above paintings:

  • yellow / cyan: Two separate washes of single colors. Yellow first layer, dried. Then painting cyan here and there and granulation medium (diluted with water) sprayed on top of later wash
  • low saturation blue/purple hues: One wash with a mix of multiple colors, one of them being a granulating paint (I let the mix of colors separate, or did not re-mix all the time when painting the background. The streaks come from later tilting of paper)
    • the Daniel Smith Rose of Ultramarine is not too clearly visible in the end result, not added much to the mix, but there was still some granulation effect

Stay safe!


7 comments on “Self portraits – the mask 2020”

  1. Both are superb but my favourite is the second one. We are becoming so used to wearing masks now that I feel naked when I am outside the house without one…kind of like wearing seatbelts in the car which are obligatory here in Canada.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is a bit of a comfort blanket, even though it is always stated that it does not protect the wearer but at least if all wore them, then those who might infect others are not spreading it either. I am quite relieved we finally got the recommendation to wear one late after Summer.

      Liked by 1 person

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