Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Three Portraits of Sarah - july 18th

Sarah Wilde and I agreed to exchange portraits for the Portrait Party. I've admired Sarah's work and am so glad that we started corresponding - I feel that I have made a new friend.
I got a photo from Sarah and started working on 3 portraits at the same time, as I know myself and my screw up factor. And...I still have millions of things to learn...

The one I like the best one is small and I really like the way it came out. (Its actually the second try - keep reading down to see the whole story) Perhaps it needs a bit more dark and light but I was pleased with this one. The eyes need some work, I'll have to learn how to soften them - and not have them pop as much.
The next one (third try) was a shock to me! What I did was to make a grid on watercolor paper and start my drawing from there using pencil, paint and pastel. It was coming along pretty good but not very exciting and I felt that it needed more contrast. Well, I overworked it SO badly that I was completely disgusted with myself. Oh my, it was so bad, like a bad cartoon. I came home from work one day and in absolute disgust with myself I plopped a ton of gel medium on the portrait and plastered it with thin tissue paper. And what was once an overworked cartoon, came out looking great! I think it looks too much like a photograph but Sarah doesn't agree with me. My husband made me peel up the corner to prove that I had done the drawing, he also thought it was a photograph. I do like working from a grid and found that it helped me with the shape of the face.
On the first try, I wanted a green background so I did a green under painting - not realizing how bad that can be. The portrait could have been good, but only if poor Sarah is a member of the Addams family - the green around her eyes makes for a great corpse picture. In the spirit of total disclosure - here is the first VERY unfinished try.... I couldn't even look at it without feeling weird - and wondering how one would go about fixing this!

I love doing this challenge - it's alot of work, and you really end up putting your ego on the line...but...something about completing it feels good....

6 comments:

ksklein said...

wow. that one really does look like a photograph.

biteyourowntail said...

Hey - it's really weird seeing portraits of me on your blog - because they are so like. Funny. I really enjoyed this swap too - yes it's a lot of work but I feel like I learnt a lot from it even if the results of my drawings weren't what I hoped for. IRT friend - thank you, me too.

Mim Stella said...

Kirsten - I agree! It was a total surprise to me. I was just about ready to throw it out when I plastered it with gel medium and tissue paper. But I guess that's part of the whole experience. Now I'm sure that if I TRIED to do this, it wouldn't work!

Jeannette said...

I like the second one.

juj said...

Wow! What a serendipitous accident. I really think you are on to something with that second one. It doesn't look like a photo to me as much as it looks like a Polaroid transfer - which is a different thing alltogether - and I really like the effect. Plus, Polaroid transfers are notoriously difficult to control, and using this technique to get that effect would give you back some command. Perhaps it wasn't what you were after for this particular challenge (even though IMO it's just lovely) but imagine the possibilities for other projects!

Linda said...

Wow -- what a great set of portraits, but I'll have to agree that the middle one is simply fantastic! What a great save!!