For my self portrait project I decided to use new materials I am not used to using. I painted the hair and clothing with gouache paint and colored the skin with pastels. It was a challenge trying to shade and add detail while learning how to use these new tools. I did this because I believe the harsh colors of my hair and skin add to the quality of the image more than they would if they were monochromatic. The hair was especially difficult to get even blending yet trying to show the texture of more individual strands.
I decided to draw myself in this pose to reflect my personality. I have my hand shielding my face to represent my social anxiety. I’d rather look away or hide than interact with someone that I fear. I left my facial expression more intense due to the fact that I will do anything to better myself even if it breaks through my social barrier. The intense lights also represent how much brighter my life could be if I just let down my guards and stepped out of the shadows, which represent my mental illness.
In this piece I was inspired by impressionist painters who left their brush strokes in their paintings for the audience to see. you can still see strokes of paint in the hair and clothing on my piece, making it so that the closer you approach the less realistic the painting appears. I also decided to incorporate value into my painting to create a harsh difference between the lights and shadows on my face and hair. I incorporated color into almost every aspect of this piece even within the shadows. I added a blue tint to the shadows on my face and hand to try and create a more realistic representation.