Friday, January 16, 2009
Yesterday was my 51st birthday. I celebrated by finishing a self portrait for this months ESBQ show. I decided that I would take you through the process, well the art process anyway the process of being me is well...shall we say complicated. Here is the reference photo:
The first thing that I wanted to do was reverse the image...no particular reason just a matter of preference.
After I reversed the image I laid out just the basic outline on 140 lbs bristol paper with a #2 pencil. I drew it out very lightly so as not to leave any scars or imprints in the paper, bristol paper is has a wonderful forgiveness for plain old pencil.
Once I had the outline done I proceeded to add in the color pencil. This is just a matter of patience and careful observation. It takes awhile before you achieve the saturation you want.
When I was finished I scanned in the image in two separate scanners. (My scanner is smaller than the image) I created a new document in Photoshop and dragged both scans into it. I lined them up and gently, with eraser tool set at 40% erased part of the overlapping images to blend them into a single image. I combined the layers and ended up with my raw portrait.
I then cropped the portrait for better composition. I decided that the scan was not going to take these piece where I needed it to go. I experimented with different filters, and decided that since the theme was about severing the ties that bond me, Plastic wrap filter could best carry that out. That was a little to harsh so I ran it through the ocean ripple filter also.
I was pleased with the overall "bound" feel it gave to the portrait, but it seemed a little busy. I made a duplicate layer and then proceeded to remove areas of my face and hands to lend a visual illustration of breaking out of bondage. I then set the eraser tool set at 25% opacity to "feather" the edges.
All that was left was to now was to add the poem that I had written for this piece:
"Truth will stand it's own
And lead all who would follow
I shall stumble home...
I used the font DjangoITC TT, because it add a little movement and fond unpredictability to the space..a little like me.
All and all this was about a week long project and I think it a good and true illustration of my being. Open, creative and striving to be free! I welcome any comments and critiques you care to share.