Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Self-Portrait in Oils, day 3

On Friday I was told, “Noooo, not that way!” so I bought another prepared canvas and spent some time squaring it up, with a curious feeling of deja vu. Instead of drawing a delicate tonal thing that would get destroyed, what I have produced looked like this:

Detail of large painting; outlines of the colour areas on a hand

This is a hand, and part of a face, set out in areas. If you have ever seen a painting by numbers, you will understand what is going on here. I will fill in each area with a different tone or shade of paint. Some will be the same tone as over in different areas. When I am finished, it will be a very blocky painting, and I can start to put more in. The face, hands, and clothes are all treated in the same way:

Detail of large painting; outlines of the colour areas on artist's face

If you think of it as being made in glass or metal, in 3D, you can already see the moulding and how things turn and form. Importantly, I have left out most of the lines of detail. Some of them, like the line of the eyelid, have inbuilt alterations of colour. That is why the eye is so recognisable and the nose looks strange.

Of course, it does need to be turned the right way up. What I am really seeing on the canvas is:
Detail of large painting; upside-down colour areas resembling contours

This has taken me about five hours so far, and when complete will need to dry for a week while I do the next part of the process; colour matching.