Self-Portrait No. 7

I worked on the details of my redo of No. 7 this afternoon. This is the first redo that I’ve worked on in any depth; the rest of them have etching ink on them but that’s it for now. I get anxious about these redos, because I have a fear that the second time through will be worse than the first time through. If that does become the case, I would have to scrap the image entirely and do something completely new. Redos are definitely new territory for me; in the past I’ve simply moved on when something wasn’t quite working, but I’m determined this time around to feel strongly about all fifty portraits.

The temptation now is to keep looking at the original drawing to “make sure” that the redo is better. I kept comparing the original drawing in my head as I worked this new one. I’m trying hard not to do this, as it’s really distracting, but it’s hard not to. I can thankfully say that the redo today is already better than the original drawing. I think it’s more dimensional, higher in contrast, and has a greater range of greys than before.

Another part of me wants to validate that I’ve progressed and developed through these redos. Many of the redos I’m doing were executed early on in the project, when I had a concrete sense of technique and approach, so it’s interesting to see what I’m doing differently the second time through.

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