Tuesday, December 21, 2010


A while back I decided to experiment in pen and marker to make some minimalist self portraits.  My natural tendency is to do lots of shading, and these are essentially reduced to line and color.

One was inspired by some printed paper I had on hand from a gorgeous paper shop in Rome.  I only had a red marker and a pen--not so much to work with--so I wanted to keep it simple. Though I've always been a brunette, in these two pictures I experimented with color, first red, and then black.  The last one does away with hair altogether.

"Self Portrait with Spade" Pen, red marker, and printed paper. Copyright 2011 Jessica Boehman
For this image I juxtaposed two patterns of the paper to produce the desired result.  There's something Baroque or Rococo in feel to this one that I really enjoy.  The paper records part of the opera "Pagliacci" by Ruggero Leoncavallo.
"Self Portrait, White as Snow" Pencil, red marker, pen. Copyright 2011 Jessica Boehman

This one was a challenge in pattern.  I wanted to do a play on the idea of a sleeping Snow White, with black hair, white skin, and red lips.  The skin of the face is composed of a snowflake.  The background I made into a pattern of apples and vines. I especially like how they mirror under the neck, creating a sort of collared shirt that also becomes the background.   I continued the idea of flat patterning in this next self-portrait.

I've always had pretty much a hate-hate relationship with my large Italian hair. It obeys some of the time, if weather conditions are perfect. Most of the time it feels out of control. I imagine that Medusa felt much the same way.  The snakes in the hair are repeated in the flat pattern motif of the fore- and background.

"Self Portrait with Green Eyes" Ink and green marker. Copyright 2011 Jessica Boehman

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