Assignment 5, Part 2: Selecting my series

Selecting portraits for my series

Here are all 7 portraits in the order that they were painted.

I have to select between 3 and 5 to create a series that shows a portrait that becomes progressively more abstract through the reduction of brush marks and simplifying of features. I also set out to produce a series that in the process of abstraction maintained the characteristics of the model. I am keen that my final series selection still displays this.

Based on these criteria I am removing no. 3 and no. 6 from the series. No 3, in terms of technique,  is not significantly different from no 2, nor is it an improvement. It is also the one least like the model. No. 6, whilst it has some great expressive brush strokes and works as a stand alone painting, also hasn’t retained the characteristics of the model. As such this means that no. 7 has to be in the series as the end point. It is a simplified, abstracted portrait that retains characteristics identifiable in the model.

No. 5 should also be in the series. I feel it is the strongest painting of the whole lot. It is undeniably the model. It displays areas of strong brushwork, in which forms and tonal areas have been simplified. The background has also been reduced. My main criticism of it is that it is not abstracted enough! There is a large leap between the process of abstraction from no. 5 to no. 7.

This leaves no’s. 1, 3 and 4. No.2 and 4 are very similar to one another. No. 4 is probably the better painting but my colour mixing makes it stand out a little. For some reason, that I didn’t notice at the time, my shadows are much warmer than all the other portraits. For this reason I am removing it. I was tempted to just remove no. 4 and leave the remaining 4 portraits as a series:

However, the leap in process from painting 5 to painting 7 is huge and as such the series may stand better if there was a similar leap between the others. For this reason I have also eliminated no 2 from the series, allowing no 1, a hyper-realistic portrait to be the starting point. I could argue that the series could start at no.2 as it is the better, more expressive painting, but I do feel some of the progression would be lost. After all, the style that no.1 is painted in is quite like much of my earlier work in the course. This series of portraits could be seen as a series of progression of me as a painter!

My final Selection for ‘Plugged in’

Please see part 3 for my evaluation.

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Assignment 5, Part 2: Selecting my series

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