‘Finished’ is a Relative Term…

I know that last week I posted a picture of my self-portrait, patted myself on the back, and called it complete. Well, that was all before I showed it to Martha. Instantly she found about 15 things that need to be fixed in the painting. Actually, I don’t think there was any part of the painting that she didn’t have a suggestion to improve. As luck would have it, there was an equipment malfunction that required us to start a new day-long painting in Martha’s class. Instead I spent the day working on my self-portrait…

Well, here’s the updated, not to say newly completed, version.

(click for larger version)
Self Portrait in the Manner of Don Quixote

I don’t know if I should enumerate the changes I’ve made. Actually, I’m pretty curious to know how much the differences are obvious to the average viewer. If you are completely bored, or earnestly curious, you could download the previous version and look at the two images side-by-side. This makes the changes pretty clear. If anyone actually does so, please post a comment or send me an email.

It has been my experience that it is far easier to spot problems with someone else’s work than with your own. That said, I am very fortunate to have been able to subject my portrait to the scrutiny of Martha Mayer Erlebacher. She is an extremely adept and experienced artist. I am quite saddened to learn that she is going to be moving to a part-time schedule next year at the Academy. No doubt this will allow her more time to spend on her own work, but it will be a great loss to incoming students.

All of this transpired before the Thanksgiving break. I had hoped to post pictures over the break, but alas, the pictures I took did not turn out well at all.

Today was another class with Steven Assael. We’re working on a multi-week painting. I’ll have a couple more weeks to work on this one, but it has reached a point that I’m willing to show an in-progress image.

Figure Study in Oil

– Jeremy

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Kenny

    Wow, that looks so real!!! Great work.

  2. Shaun

    I like the first version better. The whiter lighting, while lending the painting a bit more realism detracts from the almost whimsical spirit of the original painting. I liked how it appeared as though you were bathed in a yellowish light. It was as though there was an unseen foe just off the side of the paiting that we, the observer could not see, but which to you was all too real. Martha doesn’t know what she is talking about. Or maybe I don’t…

    : )

  3. april

    well, just by scrolling up & down between the 2 images, here is a list of the differences (in perfect artistic-speak) I see:

    1) more highlights on the staff and pouchy-thing at the end.
    2) cooler tones on the face, which makes the eye more prominant.
    3) more highlights on the right hand.
    4) cooler highlight tones on the shirt.

    these could be a product of the pictures, not the painting. just my observations.

  4. Leah Sparks

    This is really cool – just like the Sunday Funnies “Can you find the six differences in these Pictures”. Personally, I am between Shaun and Martha on my opinion. I like the softer lighting effects (ala Shaun) but the greater detail that the direct lighting effect gives, especially on the wrist and clothing, pulls the eye to the focal point a little better. The enhanced vibrance of the background art is not a detraction, which I like. If I had an artistic bone in my body, I would say that the ear lobe is a little too prominent and the palatte could be delineated better from the hair, either by angle or colorization. My vote is 9.8 out of ten. Great work. Love Dad

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