• Olly Jordan

Chapter 86 - Self Portrait - The Artist Behind The Artwork - 2020

OLLY JORDAN - Self Portrait - 56x38cm acrylic painting on 425gsm Bockington Watercolour Paper

I decided that it was about time that I joined my own portfolio of work, it could be good to use later on down the line on Creative CV's or other forms of branding. This was mainly as a way to experiment with how I would work with people who are not celebs if I were commissioned to paint a 'normal person'. The majority of my portfolio is based on TV/Film, these actors and photo references that I use for those photos are all from photographers who know what they are doing and consider things like lighting and hair/makeup styling. I know that many 'normal people' who aren't in the public eye may not have access to the photography studios or lighting that are used in the celeb world for photos and so therefore, 'normal people' would have a different quality of photo than I used to working with.

Photo references can make or break a piece of artwork, as I have discussed many times on this blog on posts like Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge and Sophie the pet portrait commission, so I used my own camera to take a photo reference of myself. Using just a flash on the camera, I got a good level of contrast of highlights and shadows that would work nicely on a portrait. The main thing I realised that I need in a photo reference is natural lighting or a white light, having a yellow light for example would really change the colours of everything on the portrait and it just wouldn't work for my style of work. I probably should have used the camera on my phone to see if that is a good enough quality to work from, as I know that many 'normal people' looking for commissions would just use their phone as they don't have a proper camera, maybe I can try that for another project.

I am happy with the end result however, I won't analyse this too much because it feels weird to assess a painting of the likeness of myself, but I think the skin tones, hair and likeness has turned out nicely. Friends of mine got excited to see the painting when they saw it appear on their instagram feed as they recognised that it was a painting of me, so I guess that is a good thing and I have done a good job. I gave myself a pink background as that is the same shade of pink used in my branding, so I thought that my portrait would be a good extension of my branding, seeing as my art career is a big part of my life.

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