Immediately in second year and a small project has begun. We have been asked to draw, paint, sketch and produce a photorealistic self portrait on a small round piece of canvas board. This self portrait has to show something that no one knows about us in the art department, and took a video with a small explanation of what this was. After looking through many photos from since I was a child and my fears and thoughts no one knew, I decided upon my fear of failure. We then left these at eye level around the second year studio.

Something many people don’t know about me is that I am afraid of failure and afraid of dropping below expectations, especially my own. This happened to me in my GCSE’s – my school, I believe my family and friends, and I, expected majority A and A* grades. I ended up getting three A*’s, two A’s and the rest B’s after getting many papers remarked. I was incredibly disappointed with my overall grades. From here, I knew I could never fail myself like that again, so much so, it has become a large fear of mine, and hence why I push myself again and again and again. Since my GCSE’s, and especially my Art GCSE, I have not been disappointed by the rewards and results, even though it will always be something very much at the forefront of my mind.
I chose to paint this piece as I have never painted a portrait before. I also feel more comfortable using pencil so this was very much stepping outside of my comfort zone. I was shocked and surprised at how difficult it was to create the correct skin tones and expression using a paint brush rather than a pencil. Although I am proud of the final painting, there is still a small part of me that believes I have failed painting my own portrait.


Above: An assortment of photographs of me showing different moods, facial expressions and compositions in the photographs. These helped me to paint my self portrait.

Above: testers on whether I was comfortable painting or drawing my portrait. I decided to paint it as I had never painted a realistic portrait before and I wanted to set myself the challenge. I was inspired by the hyperrealistic paintings of Joongwon Charles Jeong and the perfection of the imperfections.

Above: comparing my face half way through the painting process and the palette I ended up with. I was shocked about how many different tones and shades that had to be used in order to recreate the photograph as a painting.

Above: final painting displayed in the corridor of the second year space. I decided to use two pieces of wood to display the piece on the wall. Although this makes the painting stick out from the wall, it ensures that no nails, string or bluetac can be seen, keeping the mechanism discrete. I also put it in a part of the corridor that not many people go down as although I am proud of the piece, I still have the feeling that I have failed painting my own portrait.
Update: Tuesday, 10 October
The corridor started to get used as a storage space, and this made my piece look like it was just hung up to show it, just as I would have done in school. It transformed the space into something that looked very unprofessional and dirty. The piece was then moved to form an exhibition.


One response to “Self-Portrait”

  1. […] story behind the painting. For more information on the self-portrait project, please visit Self-Portrait and Don’t Look At Me […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *