Creating mood and atmosphere

This will be a self portrait. I have been thinking what to do and I have decided I would like to try and express how I feel about my encroaching deafness. Two ideas I have are 1) to show the feeling of something stuck in my head stopping the sound or 2) to use a kind of mist /fog that is causing the muffling of my soundscape.  The first is my initial feelings about hearing loss and the fog is how I feel about it now. For 1) I am thinking about a snake and bright reds for a uneasy, dangerous feeling and for 2) I would use lots of pale colours for that cold, enveloped in fog effect. I need to do some sketches to explore these ideas.image2 (50)

I have decided to go with the fog idea (but I also like the snake idea and may use this some other time) but do it in red to show distress rather than blue.  To go for a more surreal, blurred  feeling.image2 (49)
I decided to use a limited pallette, and I tried mixing red cadmuim with raw sienna and titan buff for the lighter area. I also added some white and black for the darker tones. I found a earthy red translucent scarf and draped it over a mirror. This gives me a blurred, reddish view of myself. I then threw a few poses to see what would work. A quick charcoal sketch and tried out some colours to see what might work. It was difficult to pose and paint myself like this, I did it one arm at a time and then just glancing for the face, but this worked ok I think, as it is not meant to be life like in any case. I worked quickly and I also used a sponge, which gave a good effect for blending and which I will definitely be using again. Why I have not thought of this before when I want an area without obvious brush strokes? When my husband saw my work he said I looked a bit disturbed and in pieces, so I took this as a good thing(!)I am cautiously happy with the outcome, although I cannot but think of a 1980s A level art student’s work….

image1 (79)

Mutt and jeff
‘Mutt & Jeff ‘




Author: Wendy Kate

Happily sharing my life in Spain with a tall bearded man from Dorset.

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