Dumoulin, Claudia. Self-Portrait. 2023. Gouache. 7.9in. by 7.9in.

Creating this piece helped me define who I am as an illustrator and my hopes for the future.

I fell in love with the process of creating art. Once I have an idea, I roll with it and keep going until I come up with a piece that I like in the end. So far I have found a way to make each project my own and really put the time and effort in to come up with a final piece that I am proud of. Prior to this class, I have never used gouache before. I do a lot of work with watercolor and acrylic, but I have never tried gouache even though it is very similar. I found that I really enjoy using gouache and it pushed me to improve my skills in other areas that I am not as strong in. For each project, I tried to challenge myself by adding an element that I wanted to improve on. I want to strive to do this in my upcoming projects as well.

In this self portrait, I started by finding a reference photo that I liked and sketching it out. I added in the flowers in the background because I am inspired by the beauty of the natural world. I always find myself gravitating towards painting and drawing flowers and landscapes. In order to add another level of interest, I decided to make the flowers break the picture plane. I incorporated some small elements that show that the portrait is me like my rosy cheeks and the necklace that I wear every day. When working with gouache, I tried to mix bold colors and layers of detail. I love how the final piece turned out because I feel like it really represents me as an artist. In the future, I would love to create a series based on this artwork with multiple different portraits and different floral arrangements in the background.