A study in contemplation – my wife says this looks like a grumpy old man – and perhaps it is!
For this I chose a picture in a contemplative – analysing – pose, one that I often adopt when thinking through a diagnostic problem. In making the previous series of self-portraits the base photo went through a several gross distortions, and so I decided to make this more representative. I also wanted to try something from some oil paintings that I have seen and enjoyed. How much could I subtract from the base image but retain both the mood and a portrait that was identifiable?
The initial picture was quite static so movement was introduced in two ways; first by slightly misaligning the three coloured components (spatial imprecision).The eye tries to pull the skewed sections together to form a complete picture (illusory conjunction). With each glance our visual system completes the picture in a slightly different way and this gives a significant movement. It is only when we look closely and slowly that we can see the misalignment. Secondly the face was warped in the middle to create a curve, because curved and diagonal lines emphasise movement, in this case toward the left.
I was also interested in playing contrasting colours off against each other as I did in a previous picture, using the classic orange/blue combination. I moved from a deep red/orange against a deep cerulean blue and a very light creamy orange against a lighter “dirty” blue like a well used pair of jeans. To my surprise this imparted a depth to the image that wasn’t expected. I have been taught that he shadow of a colour always contains some of the complementary colour, and this is obvious in my image where the blues within the face make the oranges pop out.