I have a mixed feeling on this self-portrait oil painting and it is edging towards the borderline of disaster (click on thumbnail to view a larger image at your own risk). Perhaps I am not used to looking at my own image, having this somewhat intense guy who somewhat looks like me with a face larger than me staring back at me … it is sort of scary. When Cynthia returned from work and discovered my new oil painting, she couldn’t stop laughing. I reckon she knows my face better than I do (duh!) and she kept on asking how come this and how come that. I have to drag her into the bathroom and post “that look” to her. To demonstrate how I got “that look”, I positioned my shoulders 45 degrees relative to the mirror, I turned my head at a 30 degrees relative to my shoulders while my eyes looked straight ahead. Still, the questions of “how come” did not subside.
While the result could be disastrous, it was my intend to create a pair of eyes that captivate attention, lips that are redder than normal for contrast, and an overall texture of ruggedness. For that, I think I have achieved what I wanted. Hopefully my next self-portrait will be better.
To paint this self-portrait image, I have to turn my tiny bathroom into a painting studio because that is the only place in my home that has a huge mirror with 3 spot lights over my head. The easel was mounted right on top of the closed toilet bowl with a jar of turpentine to wash my brushes resting on top of the bowl’s lid. The paint tubes were lined up carefully along the side of the bathtub. The smell of the oils can be overwhelming at times because there was hardly any air circulation inside.
An excerpt of our conversation after Cynthia saw the painting.
Me: So, what do you think of this self-portrait?
Cyn: Erm …
Me: (looking at Cyn with anticipation)
Cyn: Well, the painting looks intense.
Me: Shall we frame this one then?
Cyn: Hmmm … how come you are not smiling?
Me: I can’t.
Cyn: You can’t?
Me: No, I can’t keep smiling for 3 hours. Besides it looks insane to smile at the mirror while painting.
Cyn: Hmmm … perhaps we can hang it somewhere that we don’t get to see first thing in the morning?
Looking back, I don’t think I want to hang this painting in the bedroom either. Last night before I retired to bedroom, I dimmed the light, looking at that pair of eyes staring at me sort of freaked me out.
Click here for my oil painting “gallery”.