I go on many Wikipedia journeys. If I want to know more about a place, or I’m working on a project, or I hear someone mention a person I’ve never heard of, well then it’s off to Wikipedia. After browsing for a bit, I’ll often click the associated hyperlinks. This causes me to jump from topic to topic, and sometimes land very far from where I started. During one of my recent explorations, I stumbled upon Egon Schiele.
I love the raw, unadulterated, self-deprecating quality of his work. He didn’t try to pretty himself up in his paintings, and instead chose to accentuate his angular skinniness. It makes me wonder how he arrived at that style. How many hours did he put in before these paintings? When did he realize he had a style? And these questions are why I enjoy studying the evolution of painters. For example, Picasso started very traditional and then founded the non-traditional cubist movement. How does this evolution happen? Is it just a process of time and exploration? And I wonder when I’ll know I’ve found my style.
Though I spent this last week looking at Schiele’s work, I didn’t exactly attempt to duplicate his style through a self-portrait. Mostly I thought about his use of line to define the boundaries of the figure.
I started with a pencil sketch before working in some pen, but I kept my line work loose. I didn’t want the pen to become a definitive and bold boundary.
Because of the harsh lighting, I applied heavy sections of white pastel, but I may have overdone it. I didn’t let the tone of the paper do most of the work. It was fun to do a playful expression though.