My final project was focused on something that I have struggled with since I began working in two-dimentional art. While working with bold colors to create interesting schemes has never been much of an issue for me, choosing and implementing colors that are close to reality has challenged me throughout my artistic work.
Often, the nuances of skin tones and varience of color within a greater plane escape me. When I look at a person, I see flesh color: not the hints of green and yellow that make up skin. Hair is brown or red or blonde. I have to look especially closely to see the red in black hair, or the green in blonde.
So, my final project was based on uaing colors that are representative of real life. I decided to use myself as a subject and paint a self portrait using hues that are as similar to reality as possible.
From the beginning I was challenged with having to draw a face, and have that face be my own. Capturing the essence of people is another thing I need to work on quite a bit, and my own face is a confusing subject for me. I sketched out a fair likeness before moving on to mixing colors.
In an effort to avoid layering too much light paint over dark, I began with the lightest parts of my face. White made up the shiny parts, followed by a mixture mostly of white with trace amounts of red and green. The original hue was too pink, so I added a bit of yellow to bring it down a bit, which worked well.
the darker skin tones were more of a challenge, because the photo I was working with was oversaturated, showing a lot of reds that were difficult to replicate. I think I went a little too brown with those.
my jacket was fairly straightforward. It was black, but the lighter parts worked quite well made up of blue.
I think the hair was easiest for me. I mixed the brown out of red and green, added yellow for the lighter parts, and layered it successfully. I avoided trying to texture it too much, since the focus was on color and I disn’t want to overwork the piece.
I think the main thing I need to work on in using realistic color is finding more confidence. I add skin tones slowly, and often end up working too light because I am worried I’ll make something too dark and lose the whole piece.
I am still pretty happy with this piece, though. I think it helped me develop my skills substancially. I would be able to pursue another project with much more confidence than this one, and perhaps be able to use color more effectively to give my work volume. Being able to recognize differences in color will also help me work in black and white, as it will give me another point of reference within each subject.