Portrait Series, Uncategorized

Portrait Series: My Self Portrait – 2019

Hey all,

If you would like to participate, I have an activity for you. Please look at the oil painting below for five minutes and think of all the words and emotions that come to mind as you look at it. Or don’t.

self portrait

This is my first finished painting of 2019. I don’t do self portraits as often as I should, but I was inspired to paint one after following realistic portrait painter Santos Cesar and watching his YouTube video about self portraits.

I think there was a part of me that wanted to stay away from doing self portraits because doing too many would give the idea that I’m Narcissistic, but in reality, they can serve two really good purposes: They  can help you figure out where you’re at in your technical artistic skill as well as how you perceive yourself as a person. The last time I made a self portrait, it turned out kind of awful because I was going through a lot of heavy stuff and I painted myself looking like a zombie.

Generally, I think art should be allowed to speak for itself. The painting sort of created a new and different meaning for itself than when I originally started. If you’re interested, my thought processes and interpretations are below:

It was just going to be a self portrait using candle light, I had an idea of using a rose in place of a candle.

Roses have always been symbolic for love, and that’s how I’m trying to approach my art, and people in general. There’s a lot horror that occurred in history, are happening today, and in the human psyche in general. People mistreat each other, but small acts of love, especially added up, make a great deal of difference in peoples’ lives. Love is a small light that illuminates a dark world.

When we choose to help someone in need, when we smile at someone, say something kind to someone, or when we make a small, handmade gift for somebody, we make the world just a little brighter.

The messy hair detail which I just painted today while getting over a flu looks to me like a bit of a matted mess, or like thorny branches. You can’t get rid of the snakes in the garden completely, or the thorns for that matter. When left unchecked, they can be choking and suffocating.

The expression of the subject is a soft smile, not, but a pleasant hopefulness exemplified by the bright dancing colors coming from the roses.

And this is the direction I want to take my art. Particularly with portraits. I want to use this as an opportunity to see light in people. To find small, hopeful reasons to genuinely love people and in turn do small things to express love for people, especially people who are very difficult to love.





30 Day Lip Challenge Progress

Good morning! So, a few days ago, I posted a 30 Day Art Challenge with the theme being lips. This is to improve my art, particularly lips because I felt that in my portraits, the lips haven’t always been the strongest.

I’ve been posting them on Instagram, but I’m strongly considering only posting them on my website. Most of them are just practice sketches and don’t fit the overall theme I want to portray on my page.

This is my progress so far:

Day 1: Paint a Pair of Lips

Just paint a pair of lips from imagination. This is acting as the “Before” image.

Day 2: Draw lips following a proportion guide


Day 3: Skull Teeth

Day 4: Break. No lip challenge. I still did a ton of painting on other pieces though.

Day 5: Muscles


My Reflections Thus Far

So, it’s only been five out of 30, but I’m really glad I’m incorporating breaks into this challenge. This allows for short bursts at a time rather than plugging away at a project for an extended period of time.

I’m also not super pleased with how the second and third drawings turned out. What I should have done was draw both front-facing and in profile just like how Day 5 with the muscles is. I was also more focused on trying to make them pleasing to an Instagram user more so than using this process to help me learn. For example, with Day 2, you can hardly see the proportion lines, and they were supposed to be the most important part of that particular day. I did enjoy using colored pencil though.

The reason why I did put my best effort into it was because I came home from work and I was tired and exhausted. I could fix this by really being dedicated in the morning, as that’s when I do my best work, or I should watch/listen to something uplifting and motivating before starting to draw.

Day 5 will not be showing up on my Instagram feed as I feel it vastly contrasts with the overall theme with my page.

Welp! That’s all I have for now, thanks for visiting my page!