I have been wanting to do this for a while.
I have no idea how to paint realism, let alone draw it. But I have been experimenting over the last couple of months, and have had some degree of success sketching a self-portrait of sorts, and figured that it should inspire my first attempt at painting.
And that it did!
I studied the size of the canvas and compared it to the photo, and made little markings to cue where certain parts of my body would begin/end to maintain proper proportions.
Then I used a mechanical pencil to sketch out the lines making up my silhouette, as well as the details on my breast and belly.
I eyeballed it in that my pencil moved along the canvas as my eye followed the curves of my body. I am sure there is a more efficient way to sketch but this worked just fine for my purposes.
Then shading. I went into a very quiet head space when adding dimension to the portrait. I took breaks to stare, then would jump back in. Lots of staring breaks. Business as usual.
Then colour. Gold body. Pinky white shimmery background. Green, gold and pink heart centre. I wanted it to ooze vernal energy. Renewal. Rebirth. Sexual awakening. Abundance.
I am quite pleased with this first attempt. I usually hold a lot of loathing towards my belly (which makes me sad), but this painting celebrates a part of my body that grew and ushered life into the world, as well as another part that nourished that new life. Self-portraits have the power to affirm your self worth. That’s how it feels for me at least.