Part 3: Exercise 3.4 – changing three images


Choose three of the prints you made in Exercises 3.2 and 3.3. Work into these prints with extra paint to change the image. You could choose to pursue greater definition, a closer likeness or a more dramatic contrast. Think about how you could apply the paint to achieve these effects.

Make notes as you work through the exercises, noting down the different effects you’ve been able to achieve by removing more/less paint, adding extra paint, etc.

Three selected prints

The prints chosen for adding extra paint to make changes to the image were:

Exercise 3.3 – trial print 1
Exercise 3.2 – “What have I done…”
Exercise 3.2 – “Kinda weary”

I chose these three as I wasn’t all that happy with how they had turned out and hoped that by adding paint appropriately I could achieve a better result.

The changed images

Trial print 1 reworked

I was inspired by Chuck Close’s big self portrait in making these changes. I mapped out diagonals on the image using a light-brown ink pen and then overpainted these with phthalo blue (on the outside of the head) and cerulean blue (within the head area). Adding spots of colour (burnt sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre, brilliant red, orange, and titanium white – all mixed with Liquin) within the diagonals I then attempted to capture the pointillist / digitised pixel effect achieved by Chuck Close. My reworked image is a pretty crude attempt to change the original trial print. However, I do quite like the light blue aura surrounding my self portrait and when looked at from a distance the image does begin to coalesce into a more recognisable, if somewhat abstract, representation.

“What have I done…” reworked

This is my favourite of the three altered images. I turned the image to landscape mode and overpainted the white background using left-over paint from Trial print 1 reworked. The paint was applied using a palette knife and I added payne’s grey to the bottom half of the background. Palette knife applied payne’s grey then picked out the highlights of the self portrait, leaving the original light green shining through. There is something quite spooky about the finished result. In my imagination the disembodied head and hand appears floating in space, appearing from the centre of a vortex in space? The application of the paint this time reminds me a bit of Cecily Brown’s gestural mark making.

“Kinda weary” – reworked

Reworking this image was a bit more challenging. I didn’t particularly like the original print as I thought it was  kind of messy. I chose to block off the ‘window’ to the self portrait using ivory black and Liquin mixture to frame the image. Keeping with ivory black and Liquin mix I then picked out the lines of the face and blended the hand and hair into the black frame. The overpainting was finished with bright red for the lips and for some added edginess in the background purple.

My final take on this exercise is that I feel that I have improved the original images in a manner that challenged my thinking about the process of making changes and resulted in three quite satisfying reworked self portraits.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
31 January 2017