Today I worked on a third pass of one previous self-portrait and the second pass of a new one.  The new self-portrait, as seen below is emotionally very different from the other self-portraits that I’ve worked on. Rather than focusing on an action, this portrait conveys the aftermath of the event. One element that is important to me with these self-portraits is communicating an intense, powerful adrenaline rush alongside a wounded and fragile vulnerability. This new self-portrait emphasizes the moment after the body has exhausted its physical limitations.

Self-Portrait Study

I keep picking at the self-portrait below, but I think it’s finally finished.

I knew this was inevitable, but it’s still challenging when it happens:  I’m finding myself frustrated by the limitations of my photographic references.  My background in sculpture has made me hyper aware of three-dimensional form, which is what really gets lost in a photograph.  I’m finding this to be especially true in the shadow areas, where the form becomes very flat and unreadable in a photograph. I’m trying mostly to rely on my knowledge of human anatomy to construct the form based on the muscle and bone forms, which helps in filling in some gaps.  Another option I have is to have Marianna hold a pose for me so I can photograph each portion of the face which would provide much more detailed photographs. However, I know that I’ve gotten the best images from her when she’s in the midst of acting through an entire sequence, and I worry that having her pose wouldn’t capture the moments of expression.  I think in the end it will be a mix of all of these references to get the results that I want.

Self-Portrait Study

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