February 28, 2011

Self-Portrait in -gasp- oil paint!

This is me.

I am taking a portrait painting class this semester, and we have to use oil paint. I have never used oil paint before, so although I can draw faces alright, I'm stuggling with learning to mix colors and get the paint texture right.

Our homework assignment for next week is to paint a self-portrait, which means I will be staring at this photo of myself for hours on end. Today I set up a studio in our kitchen, which gets lots of beautiful natural light.

I'm too cheap to buy an easel, so I taped an empty Kleenex box to a chair and placed the canvas on that. Please ignore the pile of plastic bags in the background - I'm taking those to be recycled soon, I promise. Here's a fancy animated GIF of the painting in progress.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

After about 3.5 hours of work, the painting is definitely in its "ugly" stage. Seeing my face in this condition can be alarming, but after nearly a decade of going through my own ugly stage, I've learned to persevere. With a few more hours of work, this too shall pass.

At least I hope so. I really want this painting to turn out well, although I have no idea what I'm going to do with it after it's finished.


  1. Kelley, that's amazing! I am always in awe of people with this kind of artistic talent... I still find it somewhat eerie to see something so lifelike peering out of a half-finished portrait - because the last frame of your gif really just looks like a photo that someone played with in photoshop, and I mean that in a good way!

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

  2. Kelley, your portrait is going to be beautiful! With your talent, it does not matter what medium you use. ♥

  3. Thanks, Victoria! I will definitely post the finished product in a few days.

    Thank you, Cindy. I wish it was true that I could pick up any medium and naturally make beautiful art with it, but unfortunately that isn't quite the case. :)

  4. Give it to me! I'll put it up in the Mancave, and foosballers from near and far will admire it.

  5. An when the foosballers make admiring comments, I'll say proudly, "That's my daughter". And they'll say, "Really? That's her?" And I'll say, "Not really. It's just a painting of her."


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