Monday, May 19, 2008

Self-Portrait with Still-Life

Self-Portrait with Still-Life
11" x 14"
colored pencil on Fisher 400 paper

I'm trying to build up enough portraits as examples to start taking commissions. I started with my daughters and the next easy target was myself. I really don't like pictures of myself so I decided to do it with a still-life. But how to do it? I at first thought I would be holding still-life objects in my hands or something and then it dawned on me some time or another that I could do a drawing of a still-life on top of a drawing of myself. Oila!

I guess it is a Trompe l'oeil but its funny because I never thought of it that way. I just thought of it as a still-life with a picture in it.

The definition of Tromp L'oeil according to Wikipedia is: Tromp L'oeil is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three-dimensions, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting.

Now the hard part though was getting a good photo of myself. I set up my camera on its tripod and used the timer. After each shot I would look at it and reset the timer. Yes it did take me all day! The lighting would be right but I would look daft. Or the pose was good but the lighting would be off. But I got one I could live with in the end. I think after 35 that's all you can count on.

EDIT: Actually the more I think about this the more I realize this is not a tromp l'oiel. If you think about how this will be viewed in person: vertical on a wall, in a frame, under glass - the objects would fall down. It wouldn't fool anyone. If this piece was intended to lie flat for display then it could be considered a tromp l'oiel.


Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

It's beautiful Nicole!! And so creative. I love that you think outside the box. Wonderful. :)

S.G. Chipman said...

Outstanding, Nicole!

I fell for the illusion - thought it was a WIP you'd taken a snapshot of at first. :)

Deborah Ross said...

I I think it is a genius idea and you really pulled it off, because I, too, thought it was a wip. You never cease to amaze me!

kay susan said...

Tromp do-dah or not, this is excellent Nicole. What a great idea, it says more about YOU than a standard portrait could! I really think you should expand on this idea for your portfolio.

Bob Ebdon said...

Trompe l'oeuil means "tricks the eye". Does this trick the eye? Up to you. But no matter, it is a lovely portrait and as Kay Susan says, it tells us a lot about you - as any good portrait should.

Jen at Visions & Verses said...

At first glance I was horrified you'd leave pencil shavings on your work, but as I read I had to keep looking back at the picture! Totally tricked me! Ooo la la!

Casey Klahn said...

Top drawer.

Awesome self portrait.

Nita said...

This is absolutely brilliant! Whether it's hung vertically or not, it's a fabulous idea and execution.

remillond said...

S'agit-il de trompe-l'oeil ainsi que j'ai pu lire? Ou bien y a-t-il des éléments photographiques?
Merci de votre réponse

Nicole Caulfield said...

Thanks Kasie!

Thanks SG!! I thin one of those snapshots of drawings is what gave me the idea.

Thanks Deb!!

Kay that is what I was trying to do - my first love (after my family of course) had to be in my self-portrait somehow! I may figure out how to do something similar. The thing is I love working on pastelbord but I just can't get as realistic of results on it because of the large grain. It kills me I have to frame these under glass.

Thanks Bob!
Jen I have to admit - there was a pencil shaving on there which gave me the idea and then I added a couple of more. I work pretty messily!

Thanks Casey!

Thanks Nita!

Remillond - S’il vous plaît excuser cette traduction parce que je suis l'aide de Google traducteur.

Le tout est tracé. Les crayons, sharpener, tout est fait en crayon de couleur.

Merci pour l'arrêt par!


Jo Castillo said...

Nicole, this is wonderful. You never cease to amaze me. Clever girl.

Debbi said...

Nicole, I love this portrait - especially your expression and smile. It's a wonderful concept as well.


Nicole Caulfield said...

Thanks Jo!!

Thanks Debbi!!!!!

adebanji said...

great stuff!

gail said...

Nicole! I haven't seen your work in quite a while, what a treat! This is a wonderful piece. It showcases both your talent at portraits, and you imagination!

I'll have to get back to visiting WC & ST more. Glad to have found your blog.


Anonymous said...

It is difficult to understand through Google translations, but still trying.
Do you know the trompe-l'oeil of Pierre Gilou ( and those of Henri Cadiou Henri Cadiou is the founder of movement Trompe-l'oeil / Reality in 1960.

Anonymous said...

Il est difficile de faire un trompe-l’œil, sans qu’il soit justifié par sa position dans l’espace. Vous nous montrez verticalement un trompe-l’œil qui doit être placé horizontalement.

Par ailleurs, quelle que soit la qualité picturale (ici elle semble bonne, voire très bonne), il importe de forcer un peu le contraste afin de susciter le relief.