Variations on a Theme

Drawings in the studio

I was able to arrange the self-portraits that I’ve worked on so far in the drawing studio here at Wellesley. It was a really good experience to see all of them lined up together and to get really far back and view them from a distance. The majority of the time I’m working on my office which is a fairly small space, so doing this is good to get a new perspective on the work.

I started the first pass of etching ink on two new portraits today. I have to time things out carefully so that I always have a portrait that’s dry and ready to work on; the etching ink sometimes can take up to a week to dry, so it’s important that I jump back and forth between pieces. The two portraits I worked on today are very similar to each other, with a few slight differences. I suspect this is going to be the case the more I work on this project, since within fifty expressions there are likely to be several expressions that will read as variations on a theme. I also started mixing in just the tiniest amount of plate oil, to make the etching ink a little looser and easier to spread on the surface, so that seemed to help especially in the passages of hair.

Self-Portrait No. 6

Self-Portrait No. 5

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