Art: Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

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Thread: Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

  1. #1
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    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

    Hey, I just discovered this subsection of the forum.
    I usually lurk in the finished work section. So I thought I'd post some self portraits I did over the last year and a half, the oldest first and the newest last. I know the first two look more polished than the rest, due in some part because I was working on them in the summer vacation, so I had lots of time to polish things. I'll be mostly putting up stuff that's somewhat worth posting.

    I'm really interested in any opinions or critique.

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    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent
    My first two self-portraits, November 2004.


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    14th November.


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    My first painted selfportrait. Ooh, this is bad. Hard to stomache.


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    Still in my glasses wearing days. I still wear glasses, but nowadays I do mostly self portrait when I have my contacts in, because glasses cover up a big part of your face.



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    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent
    I think the face isn't that good, so I tried to repaint the face recently and I royally F*cked it up making it even worse. But I'm pretty happy with the rest of the painting. I think it was the longest Sp I ever did. Also the first one where I tried to work at that size.


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    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent
    Last one of the summer vacation.






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    These are okay, but not really memorable.



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    Now we're getting to the self portraits that were more recently done. Happy with it at the time, but afterwards I noticed some glaring flaws, like the angle of the nose and one of my eyes being annoyingly 'droopy'.



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    This was done as a reaction to the self portrait above. I worked so long on that one and after awhile I just messed it up, so I decided to do a quicker one (although it eventually took longer as usual). This was the result.


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    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; September 4th, 2008 at 05:27 PM.
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  3. #2
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    New one. 2 canvas boards, originally 80x120 cm, but I cropped off the left part because it was just dead space. And yeah, the shoulders are too broad.

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    Close up
    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; December 23rd, 2007 at 04:24 PM.
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  4. #3
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    This was just supposed to be a rough pencil outline to paint from, but it turned out a bit more elaborate. I was doubting wether I should paint it, because I liked how it looked and I was afraid I was going to ruin it, but I didn't want fear to stop me from doing something. So, I'm busy painting it now.

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    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; December 23rd, 2007 at 04:24 PM.
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    Nice work serpent boy. No need to lurk any longer.

    Love your colour use.

    However, in the last 2 you do seem to be flattening the face somewhat. I'm not sure if that's a side effect of the input technique. But the last couple seem squewed... a little ... I think...

    Rob

    Brutal crits for today,
    regrets for tomorrow
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    Nice works
    I really like the blue-ish tint one.

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    Those are very good, I really like em! Incredible dedication too!

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    @ RobHughes: Thanks, I actually consider myself pretty weak in color, but it's a lot easier when you have your surrounding to interpret colors from.

    I'm not sure if I understand your comment about the flattening of the faces though, because the last two don't really seem flatter in the faces to me than the rest of the portraits.


    @ Candra: Thank you, I tried to do something more vivid with color than I would usually do.


    @ v0rbiss: I really appreciate you saying that, since I'm generally a lazy person, unless I'm passionate about something.

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; March 9th, 2007 at 07:09 PM.
    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    Well done. I like these traditionals more than most of the digitals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazart
    Well done. I like these traditionals more than most of the digitals.
    I wouldn't mind doing some digital work, I kind of like the idea of taking a few steps back when neccesarily. But I already spend too much time behind the computer as it is.



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    The paintover.


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    And here's the finished result. Well, it wasn't really finished at that point actually, in later versions I corrected some things like the floating eye and added more detail to the hand and such but I managed to really painted the life out of it, so this is the pre-disaster version although it has faults like an iffy head/body-ratio, neck problems, etc. I also turned it to b/w because I didn't really like the colors anymore.

    I've already lingered way too long on this one, and the only result has been that it's become more and more convoluted so I'm probably going to start a new self-portrait today and stop with this one.

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; December 23rd, 2007 at 04:24 PM.
    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    WoW! My favourite is the one in post 2, I really think you got the skintones nice. Keep on drawing anybody can see you've developed a lot since the first post!

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    Three of us looked at your work today. Two of us are painters, and the third is a character designer.You've grown so much and have a real feeling for paint. What else are you painting? Are you familiar with "Hawthorne on Painting?" It's published by Dover and is a treasure. In another age there is no doubt that you would have been a fine artist all the way. Hats off from all of us.

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    Some excellent pictures. There is a real sense of development through your works from the first to the last, as if your experience is paying off.

    Nice painterly touches and good use of colour and texture.

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    @ Sarcophagus: Thanks! I think that was my first serious painted sp.


    @Maxine Schacker:
    That's incredibly kind of you to say. I'm pretty sure that's the most affirmation I've ever received.
    I think people that know me in real life would probably say I'm all about realism, but the strongest urge I have I would say, would be personal expression. I have faith in the strength and authenticity of my fine art-related ideas and feelings, but I feel I don't nearly possess the technical ability to pull them off yet.


    To answer your questions:
    - I started out painting from photo's, and I've done still lives and life paintings, but the majority of them aren't particularly interesting, because the foto-pieces were more about resemblance than actually being creative. And in the life paintings I still hadn't figured out what I was exactly looking for in painting.

    My skills with creating purely from the imagination have become very weak and underdevelopped and I am in general a very slow and difficult artist. So I've been focusing mostly on selfportraits lately, because they combine several elements I'm interested in. And I consider it a bit of compromise for me between reference and imagination, and staying creatively active.


    - I've never heard of the book, I checked it out at amazon and it carries a very fair price tag, and people seem to be praising it even if it doesn't have any pictures. I'll see if I can order it. I'm pretty hungry for information.



    @The Klee: Thank you. I left out a lot of self-portraits, so the process has been more gradual than you see here, but it's really gratifying sometimes when you realise you made an artistic jump from one SP to the following one. But I do have to keep trying hard, because I do notice I immediately fall back considerably in quality if I don't put up a serious effort.

    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    There is so much to be learned just from learning to "see" as an artist. There is no way that the work you do using your own senses won't be "creative." I think it takes along time and lots of knowledge to work completely from imagination, and its not the path for every artist. I don't think there is one way, do you? I've gotten sidetracked- which I never thought would happen to me- by Max the Mutt, but am hoping to get back into my own work soon. Your work is inspiring because of its integrity. It doesn't matter if everything isn't perfect- it's alive. Looking at some of your paintings made me want to paint again, and I thank you for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker
    There is so much to be learned just from learning to "see" as an artist. There is no way that the work you do using your own senses won't be "creative." I think it takes along time and lots of knowledge to work completely from imagination, and its not the path for every artist. I don't think there is one way, do you?
    Oh, absolutely. I wasn't trying to imply that it wasn't creative, because it requires interpretation and making artistic choices. But having the ability to draw well from imagination would give me more ways, because I'd be less restricted by reference.


    I basically make three distinctions.
    -Photo-referenced work
    - Life-referenced
    - From the mind.

    I'd like all three to work together for me, with the emphasis on the latter two. Because there's generally more aliveness in life-reference and drawing/painting from the mind would allow me a greater degree of control and freedom to do the things that I want.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker
    I've gotten sidetracked- which I never thought would happen to me- by Max the Mutt, but am hoping to get back into my own work soon. Your work is inspiring because of its integrity. It doesn't matter if everything isn't perfect- it's alive. Looking at some of your paintings made me want to paint again, and I thank you for that.
    Thanks to you also, your comments mean a lot to me.

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; April 3rd, 2007 at 08:49 AM.
    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    30 A
    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent





    30 B
    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent



    I cut up this selfportrait in two pieces (in ps), because it doesn't look right as a whole picture, maybe because of lack of focus or proprtion. In real life it doesn't seem to have this problem though, bit odd.
    Sort of similar in pose like my former portrait, but I tried to switch it up in rendering style and atmosphere.
    I used pencils to draw all the individual hairs everywhere, usually it stands out too much from the acrylics, but this time it worked out pretty well, it makes the painting look much softer.

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; December 23rd, 2007 at 04:24 PM.
    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    wow these are great! I especially like the self portrait of you painting.

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    I didn't realize you were painting in acrylic! Have you ever tried oils? Have you done any still life or landscape? Have you read Hawthorne On Painting? It's a Dover book, small and inexpensive, but fantastic. I'm addicted to oil paint, although I have done acrylic tonal under painting for pastel portraits of jazz musicians ,and it worked very well. If you can't use oils indoors because you sleep in the same room you paint in, try them out of doors!Some of the effects you want may be easier to achieve with oils.

    Last edited by Maxine Schacker; April 25th, 2007 at 10:13 PM.
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    http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/309/facesn9.jpg is really fantastic, great job all round man. love the improvement

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    @ TrottierJS: Thanks, that portrait is the longest one I've ever worked on. I feel the time spend did paid off in some ways, in other ways it didn't.

    @ asoir: I think I made a serie in a few days, but this was the only one who turned out satisfactory (despite flaws). I was going for that statue-esque look. The rendering style is some remnant influence of Jim Lee, I used to be a big fan. I have an itch right now to do some more pen portraits with the same kind of rendering.



    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker View Post
    I didn't realize you were painting in acrylic!
    I'm curious, why exactly?


    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker
    Have you ever tried oils?
    I've bought a cheap set once and I tried it once, but I abandoned the oils half way through and switched to acrylics because I realised I would run out of oil paint before I could finish it (the tubes were really small). I also had trouble with the fumes, I know they're toxic so I left open a window, but it still gave me a headache. Oils also seem to be much thicker than acrylics, which bothered me. I'm not adverse to using oils, but I haven't been able to really get into it. I have heard that oils take longer to dry though, that might do wonders for color blending. And working outside would solve the fume problem.



    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker
    Have you done any still life or landscape? Have you read Hawthorne On Painting? It's a Dover book, small and inexpensive, but fantastic.
    - I went to the bookstore to try to order it, but they said they couldn't find it. I have seen some second hand copies listed on amazon.com, though.

    - I usually find myself uninspired by landscapes in real life or even by other people's paintings of it. I'm also very bad at them, since I hardly ever do environments and most of my painting strength comes from (semi) close-ups. I like to work in details so I need things to be at a decent scale to be effective with it. I'm working on a full body+face+surrounding selfportrait right now and it forced me to scale things down from life-size, and painting relatively small and intricate things like the hands and the face has proven to be very frustrating and difficult.

    I've done some landscapes when I was in France near Murs last year, but they're poor. Landscapes combine several elements that really expose my weaknesses.


    - I like doing still lives though. I enjoy suggesting textures and I feel really inspired by metal reflecting color from the surroundings. I recently discovered an older speedpaint I did awhile ago , I cropped off 4/5 of the painting because the rest made the painting unfocused.

    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    I can tell that you love reflections by the way you've painted them. Still life can be interesting if you paint objects that have some meaning to you. They can be a kind of portrait. I've painted a breakfast scene with no people...just the table and dishes, silverware, eggs and a cup of tea with the steam coming off the top. I've also painted toys. I once did a commission- an ancient teddy bear and one or two other ancient stuffed toys. I really loved doing it. Worn things have so much personality and history.

    If you send me your address (private message or email), I'd be happy to mail you a copy of Hawthorne. You say that landscapes show your weaknesses. What do you perceive your weaknesses to be? Do you draw? Do you work from the life model? Have you studied the hand? Bridgman (George) has a great section on drawing hands (Bridgman's Complete Guide To Drawing From Life). I find the never ending quest for knowledge exciting. I've been temporarily excited and/or pleased by the outcome of a painting, but later I can always see what I wish I'd done differently or better. I think that's ok. Long ago I shared a studio with someone who had also been my teacher. He painted at night and I painted during the day. Once he left me a note stating that, "it's the disparity between what we do and what we want to do that drives us on." The never ending struggle ...but we do also have to take pleasure in what we're doing, what we've been able to accomplish. My god,I have to get back to painting soon! Max the Mutt just keeps growing and I do care about it, but I'm hungry to get back to work...and I will very soon. Thank you for this exchange of thoughts. Seeing the integrity of your effort is inspiring.

    If I had the computer savvy and the time I'd try to post some of my work for you to see. That's also on my list of things to do. In the meantime, If you have any questions about methods or materials, let me know and I'll try to answer them. Also, I really would be happy to mail you a copy of Hawthone. It would be my pleasure.

    Last edited by Maxine Schacker; April 25th, 2007 at 10:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidgardSerpent View Post
    New one. 2 canvas boards, originally 80x120 cm, but I cropped off the left part because it was just dead space. And yeah, the shoulders are too broad.

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    Close up
    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent
    I love this painting.

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    you are amazing. ^_^
    i love your use of palette color choice!
    btw, you're handsome as well..

    wow, i don't like working with acrylics, big fan of oils though.. you make such good use of acrylics! i should start using acrylics more. XD

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    LOVE the pic of you painting yourself in front of the red blinds. I get a real sense of space.

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    Will Amazon deliver to you? I saw Hawthorne at a very low price ($4 US, I think) advertised there! If you can't get it, the offer still stands: I'd be happy to send you a copy.

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    @ dazzleanddestro :
    I want to take some more serious attempts at oil paints in the future, but we'll see. I'm not so sure about my color pallette. I feel like I fall back too often on the same color schemes, like ocre yellow+vermillion red for skin and blue for background or clothes.



    @ JessicaNoel :
    I think I should've blurred the background more, the edges on the house in the background are very sharp, but thanks.


    @ Maxine Schacker:
    I'll send a pm tommorrow, I'm in a hurry right now. Sorry for leaving you hanging for so long.

    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    Fantastic progress. Doing them with traditional media like oil paint or acrylics requires extra patience so it will be very profitable journey.
    Keep exploring

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    Midgard Serpent, how are you? Are you still painting? Did you find Hawthorne? I've started a thread on painting and color. Take a look and let me know what you think. I'm very excited about the painting courses I've designed for the new concept art diploma at Max the Mutt, and even more about my own work! I have new brushes, which is always exciting.

    You mention wanting to try a different palette. I suggest using primary colors, at least one warm and one cool of each, plus ochre. The colors we start students with are: ultrmarine blue, prussian (or pthalo) blue, cobalt blue and cereulean blue, cad red light, medium and dark, alizarin crimson, cad yellow light and medium(be sure the medium is warm- some brands make it too cool), yellow ochre, and white. Titanium white is a good white but can make color look chalky. Since you paint in acrylic, and I haven't touched acrylic in years, I'm sure you know more about mediums etc. than I do.Here's to productive studio time and lots of painting for all of us who care about it...and many thanks to so many of you younger people on concept art for renewing my faith in the future.

    PS I've had a good rest and am feeling energetic and inspired.

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    Guys, I'm just going to put up some work in progress of my latest self-portrait right now, I'll respond to your comments tomorrow because I have to go offline soon.


    31 A+B
    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

    31 C+D
    Selfportraits by MidgardSerpent

    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; December 23rd, 2007 at 04:25 PM.
    My Self-Portraits

    "Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
    Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."

    ~ John Sloan Gist of Art
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    Hi Midgard! I keep telling people to look at this thread. I haven't said anything about this painting because you have found your own way of working - and it's working, so lets just see how the painting progresses. How do you get the photos of your work onto the thread? Anyone reading this who can tell me how - thanks in advance.

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