Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Self-Portrait in Oils, day 8

Friday was the first day of work in my studio. As such, it was a day of more-than-usual procrastination. In the morning I put things off by doing paperwork and admin, but eventually I had to admit that I was paying for space and I should use it. I bade farewell to my internet friends, some of whom noticed me leaving, and lurched officeward on my bike.

My new ‘office’ is a space about three by three metres, with one stretch of wall space, and no shelving. In it I have 15 canvases some wet, two assembled easels, a desk, a chair, and assorted bulky, awkward items and bags. I also have to be able to stand and to some degree move around in it. My desk is four feet long. (If you are wondering, I measured up the space with a tape, and the desk by eye, hence the different units.) The easels take up floor space depending on what is on them; bigger paintings need a bigger area free.

So I spent a couple of hours moving things around so that I had an adequate painting area. My oil paints are now all in a drawer, and the drawing things that I currently use are in another. This uses up all of the available storage space, and everything else is now on the floor, on plastic. The floor itself is 99% concrete and 1% motor oil.

Having got myself an area for painting, I went back to the smaller of my two completed self-portraits, the one that actually looks like me. I wanted to test the colours of my skin and T-shirt against the towel that will appear in the finished portrait. What I eventually had was this:
self-portrait on turquoise backgroundAs you can see, the background colour clashes slightly with the face, bringing up the warmer tones, and making it seem brick-red, instead of blushed. I will need to be very careful with this later on. While I had the paint out, I also made the eyes a little larger, so that they extended lower and my cheekbones were lowered as well. It now looks more like me and less piggy-eyed.

Then, I went home and played RPGs and drank too much tea. The colour combinations will have to percolate a while before they are ready, and I have a few days.