Thursday, 18 April 2013

Here's me and who's like me...

... is an expression we use in Northern Ireland about someone who thinks they're the bees knees, someone who's really full of themselves and it's an expression I couldn't get out of my head all this week as I worked on my latest painting.

This is why...

sky arts self portrait competition
Me, myself and I.

Now, anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that I paint animals. I rarely paint humans. I mean, I have painted people in the past and I used to do a lot of caricatures but I really just prefer to paint animals.  

As for self-portraits, well, I haven't done one of those since high school many moons ago!  It's quite weird staring at yourself for extended periods of time while you recreate your own face in acrylics. If anyone should know what I look like then it's me but there's always that fear that folk might look at it and think 'well, she must think she's prettier than she is' or 'does she really think that's what she looks like?'!! Part of me thinks I should make me as pretty as possible - like air-brushing a photo,  while another part of me thinks I need to add a few more wrinkles and dark shadows just so people don't think I've got tickets on myself!



Anyway, the reason I even painted a self-portrait is because Sky Arts TV are running a competition - Portrait Artist of the Year and in order to enter you have to submit a self-portrait.  If you get short-listed then you are invited to attend one of four heats held this summer in London, Glasgow, Dublin and Cardiff where you have to produce a portrait of three sitters, one of whom will be a public figure.  

One artist from each heat will go through to the final where they will take part in two more portrait trials.  The work will be hung in the National Portrait Gallery and the overall winner will be given a £10,000 commission to paint Author Hilary Mantel.  All of this will be televised and shown on Sky Arts later this year.

Now this is all well and good and, as you can see I decided to give it a go, however, whilst I don't for one second imagine that I will even get short-listed to the heat stage, I'm not really sure what I would do if I did because the idea of being on TV brings me out in a cold sweat, the idea of painting a real life figure in public with people watching me makes me feel physically sick and the idea of both of those things combined is enough to have me running for the hills so I better hope I don't get through to the Glasgow heat!! Still, what a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work for any artist that does get through.

Anyway,  I started out trying to do this in my usual pointillism style but it made me look like I had really bad acne scarring so I decided to just paint without any dots other than for the background!


Here's the stages it went through - quickest painting I've done so far as it only took me 5 sessions of a couple of hours each. 






I'm linking as always to Paint Party Friday, hosted as ever by Eva and Kristin

40 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE this piece of yours. And I love seeing the process, step by step - what a great transformation. You're amazing! :)

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  2. It´s a great portrait :) Fun to see the process too!

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  3. brilliant - the blue background has really finished it off. It looks like you!

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  4. Self portraits are very scary I agree, haven't done one for years. I love watchng your process, the way you paint is so full of light and clarity.

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  5. Excellent ~ very well done and it is not easy to do ~ Captured your essence very well ~ ^_^

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  6. Absolutely fabulous! I am so very impressed. You captured your own likeness very well indeed.

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  7. wow! looks just like your avatar!! good luck with the competition! I think it's awesome.

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  8. its beautiful, you are beautiful and I see no reason why this will not make the finals, I think you better become used to painting in front of people, I think you may very well win!

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  9. Wonderful portrait, especially the eyes are so beautiful! Good luck with the competition! Sounds scary awesome, hope you get a lot of recognition!

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  10. oh well done! truly outstanding work! I had a good giggle at your description of emotions while working on it...I always say I leave out a 'few' wrinkles when I do a self portrait! anyway, great job, and good luck in the competition! happy PPF!

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  11. Excellent! It is you! Good luck with the competition.

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  12. You certainly captured your likeness! Lovely.

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  13. This is beautiful. Your eyes are an amazing color and really standout. Good luck with the competition!

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  14. Oh wow, I love this! Such a cute expression on your face, it makes me smile ... Don't go running for the hills, you might have a real chance!

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  15. Fabulous! This is a great self portrait. Good luck with the competition!

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  16. I think it is super duper fabulous and you would be an absolute star... I would get my sister in law to vote for you like a million zillion times... I love the portrait... think it captures you perfectly...xx

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  17. Wonderful self portrait and before you even said it I was thinking how much the dots in the background and none int he face made for a marvelous contrast...Happy PPF and good luck in the competition. xox

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  18. Wonderful portrait, really amazing! Good luck with the entry, it sounds exiting!

    Happy PPF

    Ilona

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  19. Great piece - nice to see YOU! Valerie

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  20. Girl, I LOVE your face!! Your eyes! Soooo cuuuute! :) Sooooo Would you house husband and I?! Hahah, we want to come to Ireland soooo bad! We're hoping to do it this year.

    Oh man though, I love your face painting! You're good at people too! :)

    I just saw this clip about how a woman and an artist are together, and they cannot see each other. The woman describes herself to the best of her ability, and the artist draws just by her own description. All the while, someone else was asked to get to know said woman, and then also describes her to the artist and he draws another portrait of the woman. As it turns out, the woman described herself much less attractive than the other person describing the same woman. It was very touching. I was trying to find the link with no luck. But your post reminded me of it.

    Best of luck with the competition! I know it sounds scary but what an opportunity it is! I am so glad you're entering!

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  21. Wow! This is freaking fantastic! I love how I can still tell it's your style. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. :)

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  22. Your painting is absoluteley fantastic!
    Happy PPF and hugs
    Erika

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  23. I was completely blown away by this when I saw it on Facebook - I LOVE it!!!! I think it's all manner of awesome and I reckon you could do so well as a portrait Artist!
    And you ARE pretty!!! I knew immediately it was you the moment I saw it, so you haven't painted anything other than what you really look like - it's brilliant!!!
    I laughed all the way through your post as I'd have felt exactly the same!
    I wish you every ounce of luck that you get on the show - I'm keeping every single bit of me crossed for you!
    And thank you SO much for doing a step by step. I LOVE it when Artists share their process :0)

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  24. I like your painting, I hope you win,
    Merle.......

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  25. Ok - I'm astounded! I'm totally blown away that beautiful human portraits are ALSO in your repertoire. Wowie, Girl - you are amazing! And... Hello Beautiful You!! Nice to see you :)
    I totally hear you about the "oh my Gosh.. what if I really do get through" part of it. Well, you'll be amazing - no question! Fingers and toes crossed here for you.

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  26. wow your self portrait is stunning Nic. Wishing you all the very best for the comp..........am sure if you make it through you will cope fine. Happy PPF, Annette x

    http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

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  27. LOVE your self portrait!! And when I get to see your process I'm even more amazed at your talent Nic. Good luck with the contest!

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  28. Love seeing the progression of your portrait, fabulous! HPPF!

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  29. I love this. Your expression is so delightful, it looks like you're about to break out in peals of laughter. I think you've got a great chance for getting in the competition. Thanks for sharing the process!

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  30. Nic there are no words...this is absolutely stunning work...stunning... And you are truly beautiful...you have captured your personality...what great fun...and to think you could be the winner....I think SO!! I can't imagine painting in front of people...but if anyone can do it, I think you can!! Wow I am so impressed you actually upped your ranks... I didn't think it was possible since you do such amazing work!! I hope you win or at least get notoriety!! Thanks for sharing your process....you have inspired me!!

    I love it!! Hope to see more!
    So glad I could get through this week.....

    Hugs Giggles

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  31. Oh and you have gorgeous eyes!!

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  32. What a beautiful portrait - it looks just like your picture - btw - you are the only one who sees every wrinkle and shadow in your own face. And your eyes are gorgeous. HPPF

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  33. I love this! I think it is a gorgeous painting, and you a beautiful woman... It is perfect, don't change a thing!
    I wish you the best of luck!!!! I will cross my fingers for you to win!!

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  34. Great job, I don't know how good the likeness is but you certainly get the inner person: humour comes through, plus you are grinning at yourself deep in your brain.

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  35. Well in my book you have already won!!! This is so awesome!!! It looks exactly like you. Some self portraits don't. LOL
    Good luck and I do hope you win.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  36. What a fantastic self-portrait. And your post, as usual, made me smile and laugh. Particularly when you said your pointillism style made you look like you had bad acne.

    Love your big blue eyes! I think you're a winner already.

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  37. I love this portrait nic! Your talent is just huge! I was really interested in your process too. It (and you) is just beautiful x

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  38. Amazing self portrait! Adore those blue eyes.
    Good luck in the competition, you absolutely have a great chance to win it!!!

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  39. Any self portrait draws my eye! You did a great job!

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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