Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quick Self Portrait Can be Scary

Free Outside ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x10 Watercolor on Arches
Last week I wanted to paint something quick so I made a print of my photograph and hurriedly sketched this self portrait on a small block of Arches watercolor paper. Seeing these photos together helps me to see how squishy I drew my head, my eye isn't looking in the same direction, and it's too wide open. Scary.

On the trail at the museum visit
Drawing while sitting isn't a smart thing to do. I end up with weird perspective. Would have been better if I stood up so I could see what I was doing. I made my head too long and the angle is wrong, but hey, it's the process! This painting is an elongated me. The product was not the goal, it was to just work.

Since I figured out that my year of 100 paintings is coming to a close next week or so, I've been trying to paint more twenty minutes pieces. Each of my affirmation cards for the Blast Off class count as a painting, right? Add this one and I was up to #53. Still, not getting near 100. Why not just go ahead and paint anything? I might do this again on larger paper to get the proportions right. Hope I don't scare myself.

It's okay to take liberties in art. Does it really matter if the likeness is exact? Don't think it is. The way Picasso painted his subjects nobody could really look like any of his abstract figures. So I can make believe this is a kind of abstract. Yeah, that sounds good.

Process people! Move it. Paint. Work. Try. Try it again.


  1. beautiful job, just perfect!

  2. I think you made a pretty good job of it.

  3. When I first saw the portrait, before I read your words, I thought fab portrait, your hair just sings! Who knows what you could achieve with more practice? I think portraits, like sunflowers, could be made for you!

  4. Nice work, Dora! Painting people is really difficult, the most difficult is a self portrait!

  5. Thanks for the encouraging comments girls! Portraits are easy when the proportions are right. I used to paint myself a lot in the past when there was nothing else to paint from. "My self" was always available! Haha


The Latest Work With Permission

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