After a full month of reflecting on who you are and what you want out of life, now is the time to truly challenge yourself by creating a self portrait. Don’t worry about how others think of you or the major roles in life that define you. Now is the time to focus on YOU and fill your canvas, journal page or anything else up with the gloriously, beautiful image of you! Use this Painting Over a Photograph demonstration as a reference guide from Art Journal Courage.
I love to paint over photographs. This classic technique has been around for years. It gives you a great artsy image for your journal, and it also is great painting practice. I find it easiest to paint over photos that are close-ups, and I like my mouth to be closed. (I’m not too good at painting my teeth; they tend to end up looking a bit like Chiclets.)
Materials acrylic paint black Stabilo All pencil color-copy of a photograph (not an ink-jet print) gel medium paintbrushes Portfolio Oil Pastels or Neocolor II crayons scissors stencil water white cardstock white pen your journal your printer
Step One: Select a photo of you, print it on white cardstock, cut it out and glue it onto a journal page using a gel medium. Add any details you wish to the photo to integrate it on the page. For my sample, I created a shirt with a collar.
Step Two: Look at your photo carefully. Do you see areas that are light (highlights) and areas that are dark (shadows)? We’re going to take cues from the highlights and shadows on the photo. The cues will tell us where to put certain colors. First, take a look at the shadows. Take some Umber (or another dark color, like Night) and paint it over the dark areas.
Step Three: Pick a color for the face. (See the section on painting portraits for tips on mixing a face color.) Paint a transparent layer of the face color over the face, and as well as the highlights and shadows that you previously painted. I typically paint over everything except the eyes. Keep this layer transparent so you can still see the nuances of the photo underneath.