Who is This? (post kidney transplant)

who-is-this-post-kidney-transplant

After my transplant I was looking in the mirror at the apartment we were staying in close the hospital.

We needed to be close very close to the hospital just in case rejection happened and I needed to get there within minutes.

I stared into the mirror, drained, forlorn and wondered aloud “Who is this?”.

This was not me. Not who I wanted to be. In and out of hospitals for years, taking a ton of medication daily, unable to do what I want due to my illness, fragile…

I captured the moment to remember where I was at this point. Physically as well as psychologically. And use this knowledge every day for the rest of my life to do better.

Sessions

Who is this: Finished?

I finished up the extra items in front of the mirror and currently I can’t see anything that I want to change but I haven’t sat with the painting for a bit.

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Who is this: The Other Stuff

I worked on the frame of the mirror today and part of the sink counter top, easy stuff on a Christmas morning.

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Who is this: Figure Done?

I’m almost certain that this session is the last that I will work on the figure, but you never know I may see something I don’t like.

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Who is this: More Hand

I worked more on the right hand today. It is at this point that I’m beginning to get into the very small details of the hand.

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Who is this: Paint to the Hand

Can you tell that I’m running out of possible titles for this painting? I worked on the hand this session.

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Who is this: Wrist and Hand

I finished the arm and worked my way down to start on the right hand. As I’ve said before hands are super complex and will take some time.

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Who is this: No Power

Luckily we have a generator but the island got a huge wind storm and our power is out.

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Who is this: Starting the Other Arm

I have finished the shirt and I don’t think I will go back to it. Now I’m beginning on the right arm starting at the top and moving down.

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Who is this: More Shirt

Today I worked on the shirt a bit more.

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Who is this: Getting Better

The shirt is looking much better after I’ve focused on it these past two sessions. Maybe one more session and I will be happy to leave it alone.

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Who is this: Back to the Shirt

I moved back to the shirt today because it wasn’t looking solid.

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Who is this: Mirrored

This is going to seem obvious to most of you but I just realized that a mirror image is not like looking at another person.

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Who is this: Not Extreme Enough

My incision is not extreme enough to really impress anyone. Of course this was a major surgery, but it’s not gory enough to be shocking…

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Who is this: Abdomen

A flat expanse of skin with a lot of subtle transitions in value and color. I’m working hard to see the small changes and inject some interest in the texture.

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Who is this: Hand Done?

I think I’m finished with the right hand, I’m not totally sure as I will review the photos in this post and have a lot of time looking at it while working on the rest of the painting.

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Who is this: Tiny Brush

I’m working with a tiny brush for the really small details such as the lines made by the folds of the skin.

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Who is this: Fingernails

Fingernails are one of the hardest things to paint and make them look authentic. Without careful study and focus on the drawing they can look odd.

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Who is this: Hand

I moved to working on the hand for my right arm. I didn’t finish the arm completely I just felt like working on the hand.

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Who is this: Slow

I’m working very very slowly…

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Who is this: Arm and Shadows

I’m not liking the arm I’m working on. I’m not sure what the issue is and it make take a few sessions to work out.

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Who is this: Healthy Veins

I have healthy veins, at least that is what I was told a lot after a year of moving through the health system.

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Who is this: Right Arm

I decided to move away from the shirt and work on the arms first, besides I need to do the shirt over the arms anyways.

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Who is this: Barely Any Change

I barely changed anything this session, I worked on the shirt for the session but you can hardly see any change.

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Who is this: Shades of Blue

I’m using various shades of blue for this shirt, from straight ultramarine to a grayish purple and to keep the texture blending is bad.

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Who is this: More Shirt

I spent this session working on the shirt more, I think I will probably spend the next 4 or 5 sessions just getting it right.

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Who is this: Subtle Folds

I’m working on the shirt now and there are all kinds of subtle folds that just need a slight value change to express.

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Who is this: Head Done

I haven’t sent the last 10 or so posts to subscribers or social media because I’m working so slowly, but today I’m done with the head.

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Who is this: Head Almost Done

I did a bit more work on the top of the shirt and the edges of my hair. I think one more session and the head will be done.

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Who is this: The Shirt

I’ve moved on to the shirt but I’m not done with my portrait yet, I just need to do the shirt under the hair before I finish the hair.

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Who is this: Neck

For this session I worked on my neck. I’m very close to finishing the head of this self portrait. But there is still a long road ahead.

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Who is this: Hair

I have a lot of hair and so far I like the look best when I get in there and draw individual hairs.

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Who is this: Taking Breaks

Today I timed myself similar to how the models are timed at life drawing in an effort to lengthen my session.

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Who is this: Head Shape

Today I changed the shape of my head a lot after discovering some drawing issues.

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Who is this: Longevity

I’ve been working on this painting now for 52 separate sessions and I’m happy to say that I’m still motivated to continue.

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Who is this: Mouth

I’m in the process of repainting my mouth, the drawing was way off but I still have a lot to adjust before I’m happy with it.

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Who is this: Moving On

I’m moving on to other parts of my portrait now. It is all about refining the features and drawing now.

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Who is this: Nose Fixes

I made some more drawing fixes to my nose but as I look at it again I’m not sure it is correct and will spend at least another session on it.

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Who is this: A New Nose

I’m repainting my nose, the drawing is off a bit and I’m fixing it.

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Who is this: Eyes Done?

I think I have finished the eyes, I’m never 100% sure because I still have a lot left to do in this painting and I may go back and make changes.

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Who is this: Good Eye

I’ve finally painted one eye to my satisfaction. I’ve worked on this left eye for many sessions but only today did I get it right.

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Who is this: Big Changes

I’m unhappy with the left eye it looks incorrect. In this session I painted over most of the eye and changed up the drawing significantly. I may have to do it again.

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Who is this: Small Changes

I moved over the entire top half of the portrait today making small changes. I should have focused my effort at the beginning.

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Who is this: The Very Top

Today I focused my efforts and I worked on the very top of my head, just the forehead and a bit of hair.

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Who is this: Confused

I started today’s session confused on what to do, even though I’m working very slowly on this I’m still having trouble starting on something…

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Who is this: Patience

I’m not liking how the portrait is coming along so I keep going over what I did on the previous session. I need more patience as it will take time.

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Who is this: More Portrait

I’m working slowly and carefully around the eyes of the portrait still. I keep making slight adjustments because I’m not happy with it currently.

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Who is this: Eyes

The most important part of this painting is the eyes and as such, I’m spending a lot of time getting them correct.

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Who is this: Back to the Figure

I’m back to working on the figure and I’m starting from the top down.

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Who is this: Background Change Again

So I changed the background again, it was too busy with the texture.

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Who is this: Sink

I worked on  refining the sink today, I basically want to get everything behind the figure done.

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Who is this: More Door

Today I worked on the door a bit, trying to get the lines straight but not too sharp.

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Who is this: A Door for Depth

I didn’t like the background it was too nebulous and didn’t define the space well, so I’m adding a door.

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Who is this: Comfy Pants

I painted the details of my comfy pants today. I love these pants, I wear them often.

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Who is this: Little Color Wheel

I keep a little tiny very simple color wheel on my palette just to help me remember.

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Who is this: Sink

For this session I worked on the sink and faucet.

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Who is this: Soap

Believe it or not everything in this painting is put there intentionally.

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Who is this: Slow and Steady

Yes this painting is taking a long time to complete, and I’m Okay with that for now.

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Who is this: Distracting Texture

I like the color change for the counter, but now the texture is distracting.

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Who is this: Distracting Colors

I added in some of the other elements in this painting and I’m finding them distracting.

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Who is this: Paint Over Edges

When painting its important to paint over edges not just up to an edge.

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Who is this: Depth Through Color

The background was to bright and wanted it to recede more so I changed its color.

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Who is this: Background Changes

I’m not liking the background color and I feel it is detracting away from the figure so for this session I’m beginning to tone it down.

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Who is this: Mirror

Today I had an easy day of painting as I blocked out the frame for the mirror.

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Who is this: Another Hand

I’m not sure this hand turned out better than the last one.

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Who is this: Hand

Today I painted one of the hands and it proved to be very complex.

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Who is this: Second Arm

I don’t feel like I pushed the colors enough on this session.

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Who is this: Torso

I had fun working on the torso today.

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Who is this: Arm

For this session I worked on the arm and a bit of the torso.

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Who is this: Background

After a long day and a super hard hike, I’m taking it easy and just working on the background.

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Who is this: More Blue Shirt

Working more on the shirt blockin today, easy stuff, not too much to talk about.

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Who is this: Blue Shirt

Not much happening now I’m working on the shirt I’m wearing and I don’t expect to put much detail in it.

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Who is this: Judgement

It’s difficult to reserve judgement on your artwork until your far enough along for it to warrant it.

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Who is this: Taking it Easy

Today I took it easy, I knew that I wasn’t very focused so I worked on the background a bit.

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Who is this: Tremors

New challenges arise when dealing with medication and painting.

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Who is this: Crazy Colors

I’m using some crazy colors on this self portrait, some are just right out of the tube.

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Who is this: More Head Blockin

This is how I like painting, I get right to the point even with the blockin.

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Who is this: Starting With Oil

I started with oil today and the colors are going to start out very saturated.

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Who is this: Ready for Paint?

After refining a lot of the drawing around this painting I think it may be ready for paint.

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Who is this: More Hands

As I continue to refine the drawing of my hands they keep getting smaller, yet more accurate.

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Who is this: Hands

I spent my art time this morning refining the hands and I will spend at least one more session on refinement.

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Who is this: Torso and Hands

I spent this session refining what I drew the last time I worked on this painting.

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Who is this: Very Vertical

I’ve drawn out the placement for my whole body and the composition is very vertical.

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Who is this: Looking Better

I refined the drawing and added some shading which helped a lot.

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Who is this: Second Session

I drew the portrait part of my painting today and it is looking a bit wonky.

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New Painting “Who is This?”

My new paintings always start out much differently than any of my other drawings, it’s because I have a plan.

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Details

  • Work: 1505
  • Size: 17" x 30"
  • Medium: Oil on Paper
  • Sessions: 84
  • Start date: 9/25/2018
  • End date: 12/26/2018