I put the final touches on this self portrait a few hours ago. This is one of those paintings where I look at it and kind of don't know how I did it. It almost feels like I go on autopilot and just channel directions while I'm working. I think maybe I'm so concentrated that I almost enter a trance while I'm working. It was just me, the mirror and the painting.
So I'm proud to say this painting is done. It's so tough to say when a painting is done. I personally feel like it's one of the most difficult decisions in all of art making. I wish I had some wisdom to share about finishing a painting, but I don't. It's tough because I never want to over-work a piece, but I do want to effectively capture the spirit of whatever I'm trying to paint.
I've been getting better recently because I've been concentrating really hard while I work. I think getting better at painting really means getting better at seeing. Seeing both the details and the larger picture and having the skill to effectively translate that to the canvas. Another thing that was difficult about this painting which I didn't really realize when I set up was that my face was in shadow. I didn't realize this until my friend Asem pointed it out and I'm glad that I didn't think about it because maybe I would have psyched myself out about it.
I'm including a picture of a self portrait that I did when I was 19, so 10 years ago. It's crazy to see the change, but I still recognize my style which I never want to lose. I think I'm going to do a portrait of my Dad next so I'll share that whenever I start it.