Friday, September 18, 2009

W.I.P. Self-Portrait - Step 3 - Salvage

I almost lost all hope. But with a little perseverance and tweaking I managed to rescue this latest self-portrait from certain doom!

In step 2, I mentioned the blue watercolor wash muddied up the skin tone, turning it a moldy color. Well, I went over the face and hands with a yellowish-peach gouache which helped neutralize all of that green....much like concealer! Its opaque qualities helped cover a multitude of sins.

Thank God for gouache!!

Determined to have cool tones on the skin as originally planned, I went ahead and added blueish-purple gouache for the cast shadows.

I still would love for there to be more blue on the face but at this point I'm not touching it any further. Too much changing around could be catastrophic!

Lastly, the excess green on the hair was carefully removed with a damp tissue and replaced with yellows and browns to make it appear like a natural color again.

It may look strange to you now but once I add all of the blacks on the face everything will make sense. Now all that's left is to ink the head and hands and lay down the finishing details.

The next time you see this self-portrait it WILL be the completed painting!


Unknown said...

Wow.... this looks powerful already. I can hardly wait until you feel it's finished.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate it! I hope you like the finished piece just as much!


Anonymous said...

It is truly mesmerizing..truly beautiful, the longer I stare the more detail apears..


Nathan West said...

Cheers for leaving a comment at my blog. Great blog you have here,ooo, cant wait to see the finalize piece. Churs

Anonymous said...

Well, best not to have too much blue on the skin, otherwise you'll look hypoxic. o.O

Pilgrim said...

No, Dean, stick w/the crayons! ProĆ¼z Pilgrim.

naturgesetz said...

You are right that, to a non-artist at least, it still looks a bit strange. But no doubt the remaining work will make a transformation which Sheila can see coming, even though I'm too ignorant of artistic techniques to be able to anticipate it.

So I'm prepared to be amazed at how that ink and the finishing details will complete it. Looking forward to seeing it!

And I'm glad you're able to resume painting.

stanw said...

Wow, I love to see a work of art in progress! This looks better Dean, feel the relief coming through your words. You're sure not a quitter and I LIKE that.

Pilgrim said...

Dear Dean, sorry to say, but now it looks like an angry harlequin. Propz Pilgrim

Kathleen Coy said...

Yay, I'm glad you didn't scrap this Dean! It began as such a powerful drawing and is evolving into an even more powerful painting. I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

You are so talented, I love your painting so far! And I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle, Dean...I don't know what to say, just that I'm sending you some virtual hugs.

Dean Grey said...





I appreciate it and thanks for stopping by!



Hypoxic? I had to look that up!

I do think the blues adds a moodiness to the painting but I understand your concern.



It looks a bit strange to me too but that's part of the challenge....trying to make it work!

I don't have too much free time to paint at the moment but am trying to finish this self-portrait with the time I DO have.



In terms of my artwork I'm not a quitter. In terms of life, well, that's another story.....



At this stage it definitely appears a bit clownish. I'm hoping it'll make sense to you once you see the finished piece!



It's definitely evolving but I'm not sure into what yet!



Thanks for the virtual hugs!


I appreciate everyone's opinion on this latest self-portrait!


Carolina said...

Looking good already, it's telling a story...

Dean Grey said...


Thank you, that's exactly what I'm trying to do....tell a story with this painting.

Hopefully the tale comes through in the finished piece!


artbyakiko said...

Hi Dean! I love your self-portrait! It is very powerful. The skin tones and shadow colors go perfectly with the emotions. What do these green leaves represent? Life? Hope? I just love how you use symbolism in your artwork. I'll be back to see the final state.

The pale observer said...

What a great portrait! Excellent use of colour - sometimes mistakes we make are not mistakes at all! In the end - it will be perfect (it is already really!)

Great blog - glad I found it. Will be back!

Holli in Ghana

Dean Grey said...


The ivy leaves in this self-portrait represent my love of plants and nature.


Holli (The pale observer)!

So in this case, it turned out to be a happy mistake, right?

Glad you stopped by my blog!


Thanks to the both of you!


The pale observer said...

Hi Dean an excellent 'mistake' - I happen to believe most mistakes are just new opportunities waiting to be discovered! :)

Now that we've formally 'met', you are also welcome to visit me on my little corner of the net - where I blog about life in Ghana...

Meeko Fabulous said...

Hi Dean! Your talent shines through as always. Hell . . . I thought you were already done! LOL :) Hope you're doing well friend. :)

Dean Grey said...

The pale observer!

I like the way you view things, Holli!



Thanks for the kind words but no, this self-portrait is far from done.


I appreciate hearing from you two!


martha miller said...


Dean Grey said...