Around the time watercolor artist-turned-mixed-media-artist Myrna Wacknov began painting experimental portraits, she hit upon a way to streamline the effort that has since provided an endless opportunity for inventive exploration: self-portraiture.
“I was teaching a workshop in advanced portraiture, and one of the lessons was about the face and hands,” she says. “The previous lesson was on self-portraiture, so a natural extension was for me to take some reference photos of myself with my hands in different poses. I then put all of these variations on a half-sheet of watercolor paper,” she says. The resulting painting, Reflections on Turning 65 (below), not only won major awards, but also spawned an entire year’s worth of self-portraits that have become Wacknov’s signature calling card. “Now I often turn to my own face as a convenience,” she says. “I can take as many photos as I want, and I can control the lighting and pose until I get something interesting.”
To see more of Wacknov’s self-portraiture in both watercolor and mixed media, including a series using an underlying grid, see the August 2015 issue of Watercolor Artist—available as both a print issue and a .pdf download. The issue can also be found on newsstands June 16.
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