If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after being fed through Faceapp (which can change age, gender, etc.), then altered in Photoshop, and then painted in Corel Painter. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like portraits from parallel dimensions or alternate universes.
A couple more fellows for the collection, and it’s now an even 6 males and 6 females. It’s not a diptych, I just often share them in pairs for comparison and contrast. Though I do think the pairs are interesting and they could be shared that way. At the bottom of the post I’ll share the 6 pairs so far and you can vote on your favorite.
It occurs to me that people may think this series is very narcissistic. I can see why. I am the subject. But here’s a fun fact for you. I never took a selfie until I started this series. Of course I’ve taken a handful of pics of myself over the years (usually for a job application), but I hadn’t taken one with my smart phone. I just hadn’t bothered. And when selfie-sticks came out I thought they were a joke (literally, as in I laughed). But now, for this series, I have to take selfies to get fodder to work with! But I am definitely not the sort of person who posts new selfies on Facebook every so often. In fact, part of the reason I started this work is that there are so few pics of me that there may be a whole decade where there isn’t a single photograph I know of documenting my existence (say, 30-40). This preamble is because #11 looks like a selfie proper.
This is a younger version of myself, mostly, was and relatively straight forward as compared to #9 & #10 (the old woman and the little girl). Below is the original photo and the final painting (looks like a photo when zoomed out):
I altered the composition, of course, removed extraneous crap, warped the ground (so it’s more rounded), and invented more of the right shoulder in order to create more space on the left. Photoshop! One of the reasons I chose this image to work with is the hair. It’s very difficult to fake hair, and I have to do it in almost every image, but this one had glowing strands on the top. It helps round out the series having different sorts of details in different images.
Here are a few details:
If you are middle-aged, like me — and some would say I’m already old, ’cause I’m 52 — sometimes you look older than other times. When I work on these older versions of myself, I start to think that’s really not so far off from what I already look like. I get used to it and accept my age. I know I’m not bald and I don’t have those extreme bags under my eyes, but I start to believe I’m a lot closer to that stage than I really am.
I decided to dig up the original photo for a before & after pic, which I’ll sometimes share in my blog posts, but not in the final series (because I don’t want to be in it exactly as I am). I was surprised how much younger I still am:
The app didn’t make me bald. I did that in Photoshop. It also doesn’t know that the top of my head isn’t rounded but comes to a bit of a point. I know that because I’ve shaved my head before. There’s some Photoshopping of the background to get rid of distracting elements. I got rid of one window and made another bigger… The photo comes from a restaurant, but I gave it a bit more of a metal shop or warehouse feel.
Here are a few details:
And here are all 6 pairs in order (click through to see them clearly):
I do rather like them as diptychs, I think. It adds another dimension. A good thing about working digitally is I don’t have to choose, they can be presented either way.
And if you like the (experimental) sort of art that I do, and you don’t want me to have to quit or put it on a back-burner, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art back on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). Ah, if only I could amass a few hundred dollars per month this way, I could focus entirely on my art and writing. See how it works here.
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