Painting: Self-Portrait (Cartoon Happiness)

One of the biggest misconceptions I had about painting before I started doing it was that it was a completely two dimensional affair. While it is strictly true that the canvas board itself is flat, what I came to understand was that you could really build up a lot of texture within a painting.

John Lacey Self-Portrait "Cartoon Happiness" Painting

The opposite approach to the Cruficixon painting (which I posted last week) with it’s very thinly applied watered-down (at times transparent) acrylic is to paint thickly with undiluted paint, as is demonstrated above. Though the more layers you create the harder it is to paint fine detail (one of the reasons this is so cartoon-esque), especially if you adopt the “paint one layer, wait for it to dry, add a second layer” approach like I did. This most certainly isn’t Alla Prima.

I’m painting myself here again in part because I like the idea of using myself as a symbol within my own work. But there’s also a much more practical motivation here – and it isn’t that I’m completely self-obsessed. If you haven’t figured it out by the images posted here I am a complete amateur. I’ve wanted to create images of people who I care about and in some instances I have done that but mostly they haven’t come out very well, and painting myself carries a whole less guilt if executed badly.

1 comment… add one
  • I like the colors and the way the background swirls. Keep up the self-portraits! This is interesting and alive. I love looking at Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits for example. Never get tired of them.

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