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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > April 19 > Paint a selfie

Paint a selfie

Ian Sidaway demonstrates how he painted his self portrait using a limited palette in watercolour
Self Portrait, watercolour, 10x101⁄4in (25x26cm)

The selfie is thought to be a modern construct, a way of saying ‘look at me’; it’s a form of self-promotion, a proof of one’s existence. It begs affirmation, hints at one’s experience and place in the world, and is a way of standing out from the crowd whilst paradoxically being a part of it – an obsession that has led to envy, abuse, ridicule, admiration and even death.

But the selfie is not new. For the artist, the self portrait has long been a way of examining oneself; a means of looking deep within and possibly satisfies the desire for immortalisation and self promotion. However, whereas digital manipulation of photographs can shed pounds, remove blemishes, and remodel features, the crafted timeconsuming self-examination that a painted portrait demands, even if flattering, in some strange way inevitably extracts some semblance of the truth.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the April issue, packed with practical articles and demonstrations designed to inspire artists of all levels to develop their skills in all media. Our top artist-contributors this month include Hazel Soan, who suggests techniques for creating light and shade in your watercolours, Ian Sidaway who encourages you to paint a self-portrait, and Paul Talbot-Greaves who shows how to paint colourful boats in three easy stages in acrylics. Practise your skills as you learn how to loosen up and be more expressive in your drawings, use coloured pencils to create a found still life, simplify a busy harbour scene to create a composition full of light and colour, and achieve clean colours in your acrylic landscapes. This issue we also welcome back Geoff Hunt, who begins a new series documenting the results of his painting trips. Plus Roger Dellar offers tips on how to secure an artist-in-residence position and Mark David Hatwood explains how to reach potential buyers by working with partners. Enjoy trying new ideas in your own work with help from this month's artists and tutors.