Okay, okay. Before you call me a narcissist, let me explain why I paint so many self portraits.
1. The model is FREE.
2. I can paint at any time without having to schedule it.
3. It allows for some crazy experimentation.
4. It allows for more practice working with a model that doesn't hold still.
There are many more reasons, but those a few of the main ones.
Today I did a quick self portrait in about an hour and a half. The inspiration was, ironically, that I had no inspiration, but still felt like I should paint for a little while, at least. Recently, I put up some beautiful vintage-looking curtains in my studio. They block out direct sunlight without overly darkening the room, and the colors are lovely. I've been thinking about setting up a model in front of the curtains for a figure painting with dramatic design and silhouette, but first I thought it best to experiment with the colors and values, using the model I always have at my disposal. I'm not concerned that the finished painting looks like a mugshot; I think the idea comes across, and the values look really cool. Now I'm excited to hire a model and see how this particular lighting will look with a figure!
Backlit Study with Vintage Curtains - 10x8 - oil on Raymar panel
The picture below is just a detail shot of a painting still in the works. Here again, I was experimenting with back-lighting, this time using my computer screen as the backdrop. I'm fascinated by the glow that happens along the edges of areas with extreme contrast.
The painting below is tiny - just 6x6". I did this one a while ago but never shared it with the public. I was playing with brushwork, color intensity, and "reacting" quickly to what I saw. I like the spontaneity of it and should probably do some more studies like it.