Size: 24 x 36
Oil and canvas
While standing in between two paintings at the Art Institvte of Chicago, I became aware of the contrast between my 2018 small black woman self, in front of huge, important paintings by white men from the 1500s. A lot of these 1500 white men used self-portraits to track their artistic abilities and physical appearances over the years, So I decided to do the same.
Step 1 : The Reference Photo
A selfie in front of aforementioned paintings:
Step 2: Wash
Light green wash over the canvas. My skin is brown and the background paintings are gold/yellow. Brown, yellow and green occur together naturally so it worked.
Step 3: The Sketch
Two sketches- first on a smaller piece of canvas to test the color work and the second on the actual canvas
Step 4: Second wash & Highlight
I put on a second wash for the skin (pink to match underlying skin tone) and added white to the nose, chin and cheeks -typical high spots.
Step 5: Fill in background details
The paintings behind me are really vague in the reference photo, so I filled them in with my imagination
Step 6: Details & Finishing up!