Acrylic, self-portrait painting

“The mind of the painter must resemble a mirror, which always takes the color of the object it reflects and is completely occupied by the images of as many objects as are in front of it.”   – Leonardo da Vinci

The painting that I wish to blog about today, is a self-portrait that I made. It is a painting which is very close to my heart and took me to a retrospective and an introspective journey. This painting to me is all about the vibrancy of colors and how one day I was reminded of this by having attended a very special festival here is my honest attempt at taking you to the journey that I went on, from the motivation to the approach and finally arriving at the beautiful outcome.

Motivation and getting a BIG IDEA!

So the story heads back to the time of the colorful festivities of Holi. I was ecstatic to have finally gotten the confirmation of being able to attend the Stanford Holi. Now, for those of you unaware of this event, it is one of the most, vibrant and festive events that one could attend in San Francisco, USA.

It gives you the real and rustic feeling of the Indian Festival that Holi truly is. And this one time, we were very lucky to have gotten a chance to attend it. All said and done, it was truly a magical experience and I feel super lucky to have been a part of it. What made this event very special was the use of Organic Edible Colors. It made me how fun and healthy could be intertwined. All this, along with the fact that I had a lot of friends attending as well, the experience only got better. I was so happy after I returned from this event. I would personally suggest attending this one event if you ever come to stumble upon a chance.

While the event stood up to and went beyond what I had expected, the idea for this painting was highly unexpected too. I just came back from the event and I realized that I should freeze the happiness that was instilled in me by having attended it. And what more beautiful way than to channelize this vibrant and happy feeling onto a canvas?

So, with this really crude thought and high on energy, I brought out my biggest set of acrylic colors and a huge canvas. And so I began working on my very special “Holi Self Portrait”.

The Approach :

For this, I used a style that is as special to me as the idea was. I have always rejoiced to do a Knife Painting. I used a huge set of acrylic colors that let me play around with more hues. I also did not mix and make new colors as I had huge array already available. The tricky part was remembering that Acrylic colors dry up quickly. I used a spatula to scrape and paint.

While painting with the spatula, I moved by painting the Background first. After that, I moved towards the face and eventually ended the painting by working on the details on the hair. While painting, I worked my way around by painting the darker hues and then moving towards the lighter ones.

The frame I made around the painting was made of mica powder. This border helped me give depth to the entire painting. I used a glue gun for the application of Mica. The Most unique thing about mica flakes is that it comes in different shades and very popular mineral in the makeup industry. It has shine but the material doesn’t look flashy. In my opinion its “Subtle Bling”

The painting took 3 days to finish and was an amazing experience in itself.

Specifications :

Base Used – Canvas

Technique – Knife/Spatula painting

Canvas Size – 30 by 48

Painting Style – Contemporary (Mix Media)

Materials used – Acrylic Color, Mica

Challenges / Opportunities :

One of the basic challenges that I came across was the use of Acrylic colors. They dry up quickly and that makes working on a bigger canvas automatically difficult. However, I took upon this challenge heads on with my huge set of acrylic colors which minimized my time. This was done as I did not have to prepare new shades and hues. I just went on and on before letting it dry up.

The painting was finished with a Mica Border o the sunglasses to accentuate the painting with subtle Bling. I used it in the powdered form.  It had to be tediously applied all along the edges and thus took practice, a steady hand and time.

This painting will always be special to my heart. Whenever I look at it, I am transported back to the happy times that Stanford Holi was. There is a Glimpse of the event that had inspired me.

Final Painting

Also had created a video of the event. Get the glimpse of fun video.

This is how it looks in my home decor –

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Monika Singh
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