Self Portrait

My digital composite self portrait is fairly simple.
The main element of the image is a black and white photograph by Joseph Elliot who specializes in architectural and industrial photography. Many black and white images of some of his older work can be viewed through the Print and Photography Online Catalog (Library of Congress.) However, for this piece the sky section of the photograph was cut away by hand (to better preserve the architectural details of the building as well as the telephone pole and street lights at the end of the block. The blue sky was painted in acrylics on canvas paper and the two images were combined and a Photoshop effect was added. I drew myself on a Wacom tablet in another software program and combined it with the Philly street scene digitally.

Self Portrait

The complexity of the piece is due to the personal emotional significance of the elements rather than any technical feats. I am from Philadelphia, I am a reader, and this is only the second self-portrait I’ve ever done (and the first to be seen publicly.) Also, for just under two decades I worked, almost exclusively, in pen and ink (otherwise known as black and white) before deciding I wanted to use color. And that switch, which has a huge personal importance for me, has really opened up my art practice. It was a bit like gray clouds breaking to reveal a brilliant blue sky of possibilities.

 

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