It’s been many years since I’ve worked on a self portrait.  It was time.  I’ve decided on a limited series, in order  to experiment.  This first oil painting is pretty straight forward, but distortions abound.   It’s a manual facelift. 

Here’s the progression.  The changes in expression are awfully funny, (at least to me).  I’ve used lots of glazes via Gamblin Neo Megilp with my oil paint.

Published by elenacaravela

My world is a wonder of visual candy and foreboding shadow shapes vying every waking moment for my full attention.

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  1. Here’s a stupid question from a fellow artist: did you have to put your brush (and palette?) down before looking in the mirror at your image so physically manipulated? If not, how did you do this self-portrait? I am particularly sensitive to the pitfalls of getting one’s own likeness by staring intently (if not fiercely) into a mirror.

    1. No, that’s a good question. I worked (mostly) from a photo that I set up and asked my husband to shoot. That was the only way I could figure to get both hands free to create the “lift” The mirror came later:)

  2. Wow. It’s absolutely amazing. The colors… The expression… Very beautiful.

  3. I love that you photograph the process Elena, such lovely brown eyes 🙂 and sorry I’ve been tardy in commenting.. wasn’t able to access my reader on here for days..

  4. Wow, that’s an outstanding portrait! Really cool to see one that isn’t just a plain old hint of a smile and sitting primly. Such beautiful colors in the skin. I’d like to start acrylics or oils but can’t decide which (and don’t want to buy a setup for both!) Probably acrylics, a bit easier to work with and I think my impatience with oils drying would be a killer. On the other hand, maybe a good opportunity for some practice in patience. Hmm. 🙂

    1. Thanks much Cindy! You have such a marvelous command over your material set that I think transferring your skill to acrylic might be fun for you. The drying time IS a bit trying in oils, that’s why I work in so many different ways…I’m waiting for my oils to day;)

  5. It’s a great painting – and as drawandshoot says so full of life and spirit. I love to see the process of transformation. It’s just amazing how each layer adds more details and definition. Manual facelift? What a great idea.

  6. Beautiful work, elena! You’ve inspired me. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing portraits for a while now. Love your work!

  7. Elena, you are an immensely accomplished and sensitive artist – I am struggling to decide what you are trying to say about yourself. OK, I know you’re having fun, but what message would you hope I pick up?

    1. Oh, thank you Louis. I’m having fun, poking at the aging process. I haven’t worked on a self-portrait in over 30 yrs., so I’m thinking about mortality, and making the most of life. In this particular case, I’m playing with gravity;)

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