Never a total failure

I am not going to apologize for this crap :slight_smile: But no painting is a total failure. I can point out a hundred things that disappoint me but there is a couple things I like. OK, like is too maybe too strong a word, reasonably content for the time being is more like it. I used Magenta, Cyan, Lemon Yellow and White.

Tomorrow I will try it again with Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre and White…ok I might add a little Burnt Sienna.

Self Portrait, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 give or take.

I don’t do portraits, I don’t know what I am doing but it is fun and I think that is the point after all.


Well, that didn’t work. No image.


I really like that. The only thing that I can find “wrong” with it is the proportions. Otherwise I really do think that’s awesome.

This painting is successful in communicating the subject, and creating a mood. It would be nice, however, like to see more distinction between the hat and glasses. Also, a wider range of values in the shirt and the background might help enliven the painting.

Since this was an attempt to paint I admit I traced the drawing from a photo although the hat and sunglasses did get a little skewed enlarged or reduced. I can draw ok but didn’t want to put the time in to do it here. As for the blurred result that is due to my impatience which I am also attempting to correct. The second attempt is 7/8 finished and much improved and the canvas for the third attempt is in preparation. This is also an attempt to put into practices what I know mentally but don’t have muscle experience for and color mixing is at the most rudimentary level. I do ok sometime with water color but what is the fun of doing something you are ok with when you can try something you are bad at :wink:
Thanks for the kind words and very useful comments, they are appreciated and I will give them serious attention, they are very useful

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One other comment.
I got hat in 1972 when my Grandfather passed away. It was new in the box at that time as it was his Sunday hat. Being young I abused it tremendously in many ways that a hat should never be used. I found it in a box in the back of my closet a while back and decided to make an image. I personally don’t wear a hat.
So the old man is 66 and the hat is 49 years old. Both a little worse for wear :wink:

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If you want the action around here to pick up you will need to lead the way as the best way to change things is to do :wink:

While I paint, or draw many things and even clichés, I mostly do that for friends and family that ask for something. When I do a piece for me (drawing, stone or wood sculpture or furniture) however I want it to mean something to me or be something I want, even if it is crappy, not just something pretty or cool or to put on a pretense to impress anyone.

Since I am a hobby artist I have that freedom.

I have a friend that works as an artist (45 years younger than me) and when she started the job she has now she pretty much quit doing art for herself. Totally understandable but not a road I want to travel.

I also do not want to do pure realism…I would describe what I want to do as personal impressionistic-realism although that is a desire seldom achieved.

Anyway it is refreshing to me too to see more conversation than just oh, that is cool

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Here is the second attempt unfinished. Need to work on the ear, hair, shadows

, glasses, beard and background and touchup the shirt. May get to finish it this weekend…may not.


Hey good for you. I am a newby and have never done an oil or a self-portrait. The composition is strong, right? I like the angle/planes of the face and an interesting slope of the shoulders, but is there a bit too much negative space? I think you oughta reconsider this hat thing, it looks great on you.

I do wear a hat on vacation, not this one but same style and I go on vacation as much as I can :slight_smile: So it feels fairly natural to wear it.

Now if it was a formal effort at a self portrait, I believe I would definitely expand the portrait part and have less background, and likely a simple neutral blurred background at that. While I do want to see a little improvement with each iteration, they are just practice and exploration.

Likely will try those suggestions on next iteration.

I like both works of art - for different reasons. I think you have captured that the hat is sitting on your head. Glasses and hats, to me, are hard to do. The first one is maybe my first like; but, the 2nd is, as you say, 2nd attempt is unfinished. I think this one will be the most realistic one. The shirt folds and the shadows, especially under the neck certainly show that the face is over the neck and chest. The highlights are good and show a strong light source. Maybe the fence needs work, or maybe be darker (leaving the man light). so that it does not fade into the same tone (not sure that is the word). Light vs Dark. You’re doing a great job. Looking forward to you posting the finished piece.


Thanks. Going to let these set for a few months and then do another layer making corrections on both. I have them sitting by the back door. I paint outside when the weather is nice.

I paint outside, too. We have good weather at least 3 months out of the year, with few exceptions. Wonderful setting.