I just started a self portrait, which will be my last work as a 24 year old because I turn 25 in May. I haven't made a self portrait that I've been proud of since I was 22 so I'm putting a lot of effort into this one. I'm also using a canvas which I have prepared myself, but which has warped during sizing, so it's not the best canvas that I've ever made. The canvas isn't good enough for a commission or gallery painting, so this is the best thing I can think of to use it for. I have another canvas that's also warped, which I'm going to use for another portrait.
Painting people is a separate challenge from painting animals, but I enjoy both equally. It's also very different to paint a self portrait as opposed to painting someone else; it's always very psychological to paint yourself.
I also started this self portrait because I want to keep painting as much as I can. I don't like wasting time and I feel a pressure to try as hard as I can.
TD Bank's Free Pens are Acidic
A warning to anyone who uses TD bank's free pens: they have acid in the ink and will turn brown and burn through paper. I opened up my college notebook to find pages of brown, burned through ink. I used to take my notes with TD bank's pens because they're ubiquitous and free, but I'll stick with good pens from now on. Don't write or draw anything nice with those pens. Maybe TD will read this and change their ink formula.
Your precious art is not doing you any good in your basement. It's just stacking up and up. I'm writing this to encourage every artist out there to escape the packrat mentality and share some of your art. I'm not saying to give away everything or give away your bad art; I've kept some early works that are special to me. It's always good to clean out and create new and better work.
The other plus side to this is more exposure for your art and more possible commissions. I like having a website, but seeing a work of art in the flesh is something completely different and way more powerful. This is why museums are still around and why people still buy paintings. The painting has a special aura which a photograph can't capture.
Another good idea is to make art for birthdays or as any gift. This week, I made a watercolor card for our neighbor's birthday. We could have bought a card for $5, but there's no magic in that. I'm not especially good with watercolor, but I consider it good drawing practice to make a watercolor card.
Lastly, give away your nice sketches with a commission. I always give my patrons preliminary sketches that go along with the commission..what am I going to do with it anyway?
I'm very proud to say that I have signed this portrait I use a very academic signature in the style of Bouguereau and P + A + Cot, which is an homage to them, but I gotta be honest, it's the hardest part of the painting process. I enjoy the obsessiveness.
I haven't varnished it yet, but I usually photograph it before I varnish it because of the glare. I may photograph it again after I varnish it in a few days. Another painting done and I'll be delivering it to my patrons very soon.