So… I’m still working on the self-portrait. Maybe every time I’m like “It just needs another x sessions…” you should just add, like, twenty to that number.
There are a lot of reasons that this project has taken much longer than I anticipated, and–as always–each problem that I’ve run into has been an excellent learning experience. Most of the issues that I’ve been running into are problems with foreground/background. I’d never quite realized how difficult it is to make something look like it’s closer or farther from the viewer. As a general rule, more opaque and cool colors tend to come forward and more transparent, warmer colors tend to recede to the background. A lot of time has been spent on getting things to appear to be at their proper depth. I’m happy with most of it now, but there are still definitely places where more work needs to be done.
The other reason I’ve sort of been kicking myself is that I really didn’t use the underpainting as well as I should have. The underpainting (the first layer of the tempera on the imprimatura) ought to include the forms of all objects, complete with textures. I was using it more to highlight areas, which is more the purpose of the second layer of tempera, not the first. I could have definitely saved myself a lot of time if I had (for example) done all of the hair in the underpainting.
Anyway, it’s still not done, but it’s fairly close. Here’s an updated shot: