Who’s That?

Self portrait oil sketch by Helen Davison

This is a small (8″ x 6″) self portrait sketch that I completed pretty quickly at the end of the day as a way to use up some left over paint. Everything is ‘in the ball-park’ in terms of placement, but it’s really not quite me.

I purposefully sat directly under a skylight to create some dramatic shadow effects, but then I looked too much into those shadows for details that I should have left out. The light on my board wasn’t very good, and I got a bit of a shock when I took it into the light and saw the strokes that weren’t positioned well. The highlight on the nose is also the wrong shape and doesn’t convey the roundness of the tip.

I could continue to find faults, but actually, it was a little exercise that I really enjoyed. I like a lot of the brush marks, and the roughly indicated sense of depth and space shown through the reflection of the easel and panel are surprisingly effective. I also like this small scale for little portraits and the different working method that it naturally facilitates. So, if it doesn’t look like me, it’s not the be all and end all.