Thursday, 19 April 2012

A Tribute to Lucian Freud

I painted this self-portrait last year upon hearing the news about the death of Lucian Freud.  I was a big fan of his, especially as he was a figurative painter who was working successfully through a period where abstract art was dominating the world.  I painted this without doing a comprehensive review of his work, mostly because I didn't want to end up copying his style too much. I remembered the self-portrait of himself wearing boots and standing naked with some brushes and a palette and the general feeling my memories gave me were of paintings in electric light, maybe a bit gloomy or disturbing in some way.

I decided to paint myself in a similar pose, not naked as I'm not quite ready for that, and lit with a combination of an electric light above my head and daylight coming from my kitchen behind me, and to my left the living room.  I am in fact painting this in the bathroom mirror, not big enough to get my whole body in.  I remembered Freud's paintings as seeming quite yellow and in retrospect I can see that on the contrary a lot of his portraits contain very fleshy skin tones, I however followed the impression his paintings had left on me and painted my skin tones with yellows, greens and the occasional pink and violets.  As with most painting I left it unfinished, it took over a week (nothing compared to Freud's six months or more) and I was already getting bored of it.  In the bottom left of the painting you can see how I have left a pack of mineral water bottles unfinished and my trousers are just suggested with a flat wash of black.

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