Monday, June 10, 2013

Self Portrait Process Reel

What with graduating, vacationing, moving, and job hunting I've been off my artistic game the past two weeks.  I decided to jump back into it with a good old fashioned self-portrait. It's been a REALLY long time since I've done anything fine art-sy, and I forgot how much I love portrait painting! I decided to make a step-by-step, in case anyone is interested in my process. Also, big thank you to Tobin Keller for providing the awesome pro photo skillz that I used as reference. This is only the second digital portrait I've ever done, and I must say, it's soooo much easier than oils. This took about 5 hours as opposed to the 12+ hours we used to do in class. And such easy clean up! :)
 Ah the sketch phase, or I as I like to call it, the zombie eye stage. The biggest issue for me here getting my likeness down, along with the correct proportions. This stage took about an hour.
 Here I started blocking in the shadow shapes. It helped me adjust the proportions a little more accurately, but still not quite there. I'm looking both old-ladyish, and mannish. No bueno.

In this stage I began adding local color and rendering a bit. Still wasn't happy with the likeness though, after bajillions of adjustments. As artists do, I begin to despair, and briefly consider scrapping the whole thing, before soldiering on bravely to the finals stages (cue the triumphant trumpets).
More tweaking, more rendering, more fine detail, and voila! Me. Not perfect, but at least it looks like me, right? 
Things I learned from this painting.
1. Step AWAY from the computer screen, and no portrait gets hurt. 
2. I need to do something about those bags under my eyes irl.
3. The air brush is not my friend.
4. NO ZOOMING UNTIL THE VERY FINAL DETAILS. I need to hire someone to slap me every time I hit Command +.  

That's all folks! Enjoy.

©Tracie Timmer 2013, All Rights Reserved. 


  1. Ha, love the post. I think the portrait turned out great--it totally looks like you. Keep those creative juices flowin'!