Self Portrait #9September 4, 2019, 07:23 PMThe Mirror Portraits
Self Portrait #9, ©Brenda Clews 2019, 14"x8", oil on canvas sheet.
August 4, 2019
Wanted to get a painting done quickly. Ha! Started with a wash composed of scrapings from a former palette that seems to have buckled the canvas sheet. The paint on the face is thick - learning to slather it on - and the different colours have different reflective qualities. It needs more work I think, but later on when it's drier, I can even out the tones and varnish will smooth out the reflectiveness. Or not. Who knows. This is a crop of a larger painting and I used it as a profile picture for a poetry event where I'm one of the featured readers.
Portrait of RodSeptember 2, 2019, 07:22 PMportrait painting
Portrait of Rod Pizarro ©Brenda Clews, 2019. 18” x 24”, oil on canvas.
He's the guy at the TV studio who decides which shot when during a game. It's super intense concentration, high-paced, not many people could do it, and so the colours around him, on his face, kind of represent that bustling high focus and all the action he's sending out over the airwaves, plus the light from the screens on his face, which are like chunks of photons.
Through it all, he's this smiling, calm guy, or that's how he appears to me, but the world he inhabits during his working life remains with him — the colours, movement, action, sports fields dancing around him in his aura.
I've drawn Rod before. He came over late November 2018 and we did a photo shoot. From those photos, I began a commissioned painting. First a throw-the-paint-down underpainting, and then a 2nd iteration of the same. Though he had commissioned the portrait to be hopefully ready by his 50th birthday at the end of February, the month came and went. It wasn't until July, when I finally had studio space to work in, that I was able to finish it over about 5 days.
He says he loves it, and what more could a portrait painter wish for! A wonderful man and very honoured to be asked to paint a portrait of him for his 50th - good news is, he's still 50!
Self-Portrait #8 (continuing to evolve as a painter)August 3, 2019, 02:18 PMThe Mirror Portraits
Self-Portrait #8, ©BrendaClews 2019, 18"x24", oil on canvas sheet.
My 8th self-portrait for the Sunday Self Portrait group on Facebook (they gave it lots of likes but not one comment). On a green underpainting, I painted the figure directly, shaping the face without a drawing. The paint is applied thickly from a left-over palette from a commission. Pulled straps down to see the bone structure - those clavicles - I never go around like this! I look a decade older but don't care. I didn't work on the eyes, nose or mouth with a fine brush like I normally do. Everything's done with thick scrubby brushes. My portrait painting is continuing to evolve and that makes me happy.
Transitioning to Grey PowerJuly 25, 2019, 01:29 PM
Yikes, did it. Cut shorter, letting the whites and greys be as they are. Asked for a Greta Garbo look... lol! When I got on a crowded streetcar, I had a new experience - a young man jumped up and offered me his seat, which I appreciated having walked about 7 km in summer heat, and sat gratefully with thanks to him. Once I get ma mop all grown out, I'll grow it longer again - this is a bit short, though nice for summer. #selfie
#7 Self Portrait Sundays (oil)July 15, 2019, 01:53 PMThe Mirror Portraits
Self Portrait ©Brenda Clews, July 14, 2019
This is my 7th self-portrait so far, and I am still getting used to my face! Was trying to work on volume in this one. Also, as ever, to accurately paint what I see in the mirror. I am frustrated with lots of things in this painting, but enough is enough. Started on Friday, finished this morning. Oil on canvas sheet, 24"x18".
Friends have called me on the 'stern' look - uh, no. Rather... the self-scrutinizing gaze in the mirror trying to get the damn face in paint, and not liking how it's going!
The plain face, no make-up, alone in the privacy of intense concentration. The self painting the self in solitary scrutiny without thought to the social face.
#6 Self Portrait Sundays (acrylic)July 15, 2019, 01:48 PMThe Mirror Portraits
Self Portraits ©Brenda Clews, July 5, 2019
Acrylic on canvas sheet, 24"x18". Still using up leftover paint on a stay-wet palette. I find acrylic a challenge since it dries so quickly and covers the layers underneath completely if you're not careful. Somewhat okay with this self portrait (DSLR in daylight), even with all the errors to my eye, and with the spooky early version (iPhone photo at night). Going to toss that old palette, yes! :}