Monday, April 12, 2010

self-portrait with green skin

Self-portrait with green skin, oil on paper, 40 x 48 cm

A second experiment with watercolour technique but in oil painting. Liberal quantities of turps are sprayed into the paint in an attempt to create marks the reference crepey skin. I was seeing if I get an elephant skin look and control the process enough to suggest form. Attempted to develop highlights by 'floating' them in as opposed to painting them in.

The work is still very representational. It is a long way from art informel - its form is way too tight. I will make a third attempt at suggesting an aging face, but trying more for the horror of one's body aging, of being caught in that inexorable living dissolution, heading towards the final dissolution.

The next experiment will utilise more of a tachisme technique, heavier paint and even more turps moving under their own power within a formal composition. Loosening up and abstraction will begin in earnest Semester Two when i will use this current crop of portraits as the 'models' for further paintings, breaking up their image, leaving mirrors and photos behind for a while.


  1. You could get really crazy with this look using watercolor - get loose faster, then go back to oil.

    I like this one a lot as it is.

  2. thanks Carrie ... yes, i'm sort of using watercolour technique but with oil ... as you see, it comes out differently ... but that's the exciting bit for me, seeing where it will go ... thanks for dropping by

  3. Fantastic. Really like your variety in color throughout your work in general. Very creative portfolio of self portraits.

  4. Thanks Jim. I was getting worried that my love affair with Prussian blue was getting monotonous, so i'm much encouraged by your comment.