Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait Commission

Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait Commission
This is the start of my latest watercolor portrait commission. I love the pose, very elegant & simple. Doing it using a monochromatic pallette will help to keep a quite calming feel.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update 2

Watercolor Pet Portrait - Christmas Gift Commission
More of the layers of fur have been built up by painting many more thin detailed layers of color. I could probably have added more of the darker colors in washes and then added the more detailed layers over top but I just find adding the thin detailed layers, although time consuming, gives such a richer level of depth and texture. Nikki's portrait is starting to take shape!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride Underpainting

Watercolor Portrait Painting DemoMost of the form has been painted in and I have painted in a bit of the detail on her scarf. I just love the way her scarf has wraps around her face. I am not following the reference photo exactly as this is not a commission so I can be a bit more free with my interpretation of this subject.

I have painted in some of the highlights in her hair as well. The highlights in her eyes are a little much right now I will tone some of them down later.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Kelly-Belle

Well adding the panelling to the house definitely finishes the background off. The daisies have been painted in lightly and a few touch ups to shadows and the yellow flowers were made...I think Kelly's portrait is complete!

As always I will leave it for a bit and stare at it from all angles to see if anything stands out to me. My eye is always drawn to Kelly's face instantly even with all of the flowers and foliage which is exactly what I was hoping for in the final painting!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 13

More of the detail has been added to the flowers along with some shadows and some extra leaves to fill out the area above Kelly a bit more.

The shadows are a little hard to see in the photo but they have been painted in with a bluish gray in some areas and pinkish gray in others show the reflected color of the flowers.

I will wait until daylight to add in the final details to the flowers. The deck has another layer painted onto it and will be darkened a bit further.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 10

Kelly's portrait is very close to completed so I have moved on to the foliage and flowers and will come back to make any minor adjustments. Once the background is completed I will better be able to judge if areas need to be touched up or softened.

The yellow flowers have been set in with several layers of cadium yellow and a few layers of new gamboge. The purple flowers are being built up with thin layers of perylene maroon and french ultramarine.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 9

Many more layers of sepia, payne's gray and burnt umber have been added throughout to further build up the fur texture. Her face has been evened out more but still requires a bit more work to soften edges and define her fur patterns. The deck has been darkened and will continue to be darkened with layers of payne's gray. Burnt sienna and cobalt blue will be added in areas for depth and warm. Things are starting to shape up!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 7


The details on her face and head are being slowly defined and built up in thin layers of sepia, payne's gray and a mix of yellow ochre & burnt sienna. A darker mix of payne's gray has been used on her nose and eyes and will continue to be built up. Still a ways to go!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 6

This update shows much more of the fur defined and softened in areas. The shadows on her face have been blocked in and will continue to be developed and softened in areas ... right now her face looks a little jig-saw-puzzlish, that will get better.

The photo was taken at night with flash so it looks a little more golden than on the original. A wash of yellow ochre and burnt sienna is to blame but it pulls things together and softens areas to help create the wispy effect of her fur while mainting the shape with the underpainting.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 4


Kelly is finally starting to show her colors :) Many layers of sepia, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, payne's gray, winsor green & perylene maroon have been painted throughout to add depth and texture.
I have established the darks on the pads of her feet to better judge the white values and will continue to build up areas throughout as I tend to skip from one area to the next to allow the paint to dry and to give my eyes a fresh view.
All of the masking fluid has been removed and the jury is still out on whether it is helpful or not. I usually just paint negatively around shapes to preserve my whites and lighter colors and while I like the way the masking fluid behaves in the fur and larger areas, I don't think it was helpful in the foliage area.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait



This is a reference photo for my current commission which is a memorial portrait for Kelly, a much loved Golden Retriever who recently passed away. The portrait will be 22 x 28" painted in watercolor and will be a surprise gift for her people from a friend. I have started on the sketch and am looking forward to painting her surrounded by all the flowers.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission


A few more tweaks have been made and I think I have got it :) This is the completed portrait in full size which is 18 x 24.
The transitions of the light and dark graphite are not as smooth as in the actual portrait but it is pretty close. I will leave it for a bit to see if anything needs minor tweaking but I think it is done!

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Birthday Portrait Commission - Son Update 2


This is another update on the son's portrait. I will take a break from him and let things 'settle' and will work on the daughter again for a bit. His left eyebrow still needs a bit of tweaking and his pout is not quite there yet. Aha his left eye is also a little too open, just noticed that. The computer is a great 'fact' checker as soon as you upload the image on the screen things start jumping out that no amount of staring and comparing on paper seems to catch :)

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission - Son Update 1


This is an update on the son's portrait which is to the right of his sister. His eyebrows and hair need to be darkened as well but need to let the graphite settle in more.
Again several tweaks are needed but much of the tonal values have been built up gradually. I should not of complained about the lack of sun here as I have been melting in my studio all day...but at least I have great lighting :)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission - Daughter Update 2


Well I think she is nearly complete but I will leave her until I am nearly finished her brother's portrait and then do a few more tweaks. I think her lips need to be a tad fuller in spots and her nose definitely needs to be narrowed a touch along the upper bridge but I want to wait for daylight and, per chance sun?!?!?, to see for sure.

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Birthday Portrait Commission - Daughter Update 1


This is an update of the portrait of the daughter which

is starting to take shape. The lighter layers have been added and now they will be built up to create the darks and to further refine her features. Several areas need to be tweaked but she is starting to look 'alive' :)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission of Kids Sketch


This is the outline graphite sketch for the birthday portrait. The color balance has been adjusted in photoshop so that the lines are more visible online as they are fairly light on the actual paper. Now the fun begins!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Birthday Portrait

This is the reference photo of the commission that I started today for a birthday gift for my client's kids. They are a few years apart but both of their birthdays are in August.
I think this is going to be an awesome portrait! The images were taking from different photos but I think they go together very well to show their different personalities. This portrait will be done in graphite and will be 18x24" in size.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Murphy Touched Up

Just a quick post as I touched up Murphy's portrait just a little. I pulled out a few more highlights and extended the grass as it was looking a little odd to me.
The paper flattened out nicely but took 2 days so it is off to the post office for Murphy today to go all the way to Scotland!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Murphy Completed

I think Murphy's portrait is complete! I will leave her for a bit and come back for another look just to be sure. The paper has buckled a little in a few spots so once I am sure she is done I will 'flatten' out the paper again so that it is totally smooth.
Once the paper is bone dry, I will pull out some grass blades around her feet just to settle her a bit more. I may taper the corners of the grass a bit as they look a little rounded at the edges but I will stare at it for a few hours and then decide :)

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander 3

This photo seems to have come out a bit darker than it really is. The overall fur midtones have been established so now I just need to re-establish the darks, add a bit more dimension to the lights, darken her eyes and give her some grass to stand on.
Last but not least, I will pull out some highlights and Murphy will be ready for her close up :)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander Underpainting

Watercolor Portrait of Dog MunstlanderThis is a photo of the under painting of Murphy a, ahem, female Munsterlander dog, sorry Murphy. Her face looks a little comical right now but once the layers are built up she will look more natural.

She is fun to paint though as her hair is just so wispy and her patterns on her legs are going to really add punch to the portrait I think!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander Sketch

Dog Portrait Commission Munstlander Sketch
This is the outline sketch of Murphy, a beautiful Munsterlander dog that I will be painting as a monochromatic watercolor. I have done the sketch small and will enlarge it then transfer it to the watercolor paper.
I usually start out with a large sketch but I wanted to keep it small to ensure that I caught all the details as the photo is blurry. I think I have captured his personality already though even with the limited detail.
The eyes I had to 'feel out' as in the photo they are in total shadow but he seems like a loyal intelligent dog so I hope that I have caputured that in his face and eyes.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander

This is a reference photos of a portrait that I will be starting on Monday of a Munsterlander dog named Murphy. The reference photo is very small but it is a surprise gift and it is the best one available and the pose and expression on Murphy's face are so sweet.
I will be working from several reference photos to get more details but the general pose and tonal values from this photo will be used to ensure that Murphy's character is captured.
The portrait will be 18 x 24 in monochromatic watercolor which will give a very nostalgic feel that I think is very fitting for a hunting dog.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Father & Daughter

The profile portrait of the father is nearly completed. The hair needs more texture added both darks & lights which I have just started adding. The shadows needs to be darkened just a little and the rest of the skin blended out in some areas, especially the ear once the graphite has settled a bit.
I just love the expression on the dad's face in this once, it is worth a thousand words. I think anyone that has just become a parent can relate, it is such an amazing thing to hold your new baby and wonder who is this person!

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Daughter


The daughter is nearly completed now so I will move onto the profile of the father and come back to her again near the end. The forehead needs to be blended a bit further and the hair darkened in areas but I want to give it a chance to settle in more so as not to damage the paper. Her eyebrow now appears a tad to narrow in spots so I will touch that up as well before the next update.
It is starting to look very cool with all of the family together, the balance of lights and dark are coming out really nice in the overall piece.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Father update

More darks have been added to the father's face and areas have been touched up and softened. The hairline will be softened more by adding wisps but that will be left until the end to keep them crisp.

I am not sure if it is due to taking the photos under indoor lighting but the transitions are really not showing up well for either the father or the son. I will take a photo tomorrow, hopefully in light as it has been raining and gloomy here and there is no end in sight!

The father's lips are still too dark I think but will wait until morning to fix. I did a few minor adjustments to the son but more are needed. His face looks dirty online but on the original the transitions are again much smoother. Will see how things shape up in the morning!

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Father's Day Commission - Father update

This is an update of the father's portrait. The transitions between the dark and lights look much harsher online than on the original but still a fair bit of work is needed to darken/lighten areas. His hair is looking a little pointy and too round on the side but the darkness is getting there.

The mouths looks a little odd with the outline of lighter skin around the lips but I want to leave it to nearer the end to fill in so that I do not loose the contrast of the lips. The moustache has just been placed in for now and will be shaped shortly as will the teeth.

This is the first portrait I have done with the darker skin tones and due to the size it has been a bit of a challenge to get the darkness tonally without getting a shiny surface as so often happens with graphite. I am happy to say that I have learned a few tricks on this portrait!

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Son

The portrait of the son is nearly complete so I will move onto the father and come back near completion. The hairline needs to be softened, the chin is a bit too pointy and his right eyebrow needs a bit of work. The eyes look very dark online but in the original portrait they blend in nicely but add sharp contrast.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Father & Son Outline


This is the rough sketch of the father with his son. There is still much to be done to bring life to the portrait. The eyes already twinkle even at this stage. The eyes are my favorite part of the portrait to draw, I used to spend hours just drawing eyes :) My teachers used to think it was a waste of time but I think it was time very well spent!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Father's Day Commission Sketch


This is a mockup using two reference photos that I will be doing a Father's Day commission for. I am really excited as the photos are just awesome both in quality and the character and emotion that has been captured. I honestly can't stop smiling everytime I look at it already, I think it is going to be really sweet :)
The portrait in total will be 18 x 24 which will be really great as well as I will be able to capture so much detail. I started on the outline sketch today so hopefully will have an update tomorrow!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Family Portrait Commission - the daughter updated


Blogger has been having issues the past couple of days so please see link for image Portrait
Well I think the daughter's portrait is looking much better now :) It is a bit of a tough photo to work from as were the boys as the photos are a bit blurry and over flashed so alot of the shadows and features are washed out, but they are such great expressions! It really helps to have photoshop (or any other software to work with) so that the tonal values can be adjusted back and forth depending on where you are at in the drawing stage to exagerate the shadows. You can get the same effect from squinting, but this is much easier on the eyes ;) I will leave her for a bit and may come back and make minor tweaks along with the rest of the family.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Family Portrait Commission - the boys

Wew, the boys portraits were tough for some reason but I am pretty happy with them now. There will likely be a few tweaks such as darkening the hair, adjusting the hair line and minor adjustments to their faces but I think the likeness is shining through now.
It really helps having a bit of time between working on the portrait and coming back with fresh eyes. I find that often something is bothering me that I can not figure out. I go and grab a cup of water and it jumps out at me. It is even more so with watercolors. I often leave thinking I should give up watercolors and take up oils or acrylic and I come back in the morning and am amazed at how all the pigments have come together and meshed. I think the graphite pencil also behaves the same way and settles into the paper more.
Another trick I find invaluable is viewing the reference photo on the computer along side the portrait. As soon as you see the portrait online the trouble areas jump out at you. I am not sure if it is due to the fact that the computer limits what you see and flattens it but whatever it is, it works!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Family Sketch Commission - Grandmother


Well the grandmother is starting to take shape but still a ways to go to adjust the likeness and complete the range of tonal values. Many adjustments need to be made but I think already her warmth is coming through. Of course I am adding much more detail than I should for a sketch rather than a full portrait but I just can't help it :) So far I have used 2B, H, and B graphite pencils.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Family Portrait Commission - Sketch and Reference Photo




This is the start of my latest commission. It is a sketch of the grandparents, father and children which will be a birthday gift for the father from a very nice friend. The artwork is 15 x 19 on a sheet of 16 x 20 Arches Hot Pressed watercolor paper.


The layout took a bit of reworking both by the client and myself and I think it was well worth the effort. It has a very nice flow which draws the eye from the father around the portrait to the other family members.


As this is a larger commission, I will start with the grandparents and work my way down from right to left, top to bottom, to the kids, house & then the father to avoid smuding and keep the drawing fresh. Generally each portrait is completed to roughly 90% before moving onto the next and then final adjustments and tweaks are made at the end. Time to jump in!

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Boy Completed


This commission for grandma is completed! This baby was alot of fun to paint as he has such a cute expression and amazing eyes! I love painting or drawing children as they just have the funniest expressions, you can almost hear the thought process!

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Monday, June 11, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip3


S

till lots of tweaks to made to the bride as well but the main features have been blocked in. Several layers of H, B and HB graphite have been used to draw her skin and hair. The graphite pencil is then blended, features redrawn and blended again removing highlights where needed. Each pass further refines the features as the graphite absorbs into the paper. I will likely draw both of their faces to near completion and then move onto the rest of the portrait and then finish up with their faces again to keep the features crisp. As their faces are smaller than I generally work with I find that I am almost working in reverse for this portrait. Laying the features down and then removing excess graphite to refine their features more.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait




This is the graphite sketch for a commission that will be a gift for a first wedding anniversary. I was not able to capture all of the portrait with my scanner as it is 11x14 and my scanner...even though it says it scans A4...seems to not want to go larger than 8.5 x 11 argh, may be time for a new scanner ;)


I have transferred the drawing onto the watercolor paper and have darkened the outline of the bride and groom with HB graphite pencil. The background is hard to see right now but is sand and rocks with will be loosely drawn in.


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - sketch


This is the sketch for a custom graphite portrait I have just started. It is a very rough outline at this point as I am working from several reference photos. The quality of the photos are poor so it is a bit of a challenge but the concept is quite cool and the main reference photo has great lights and darks and she has such a sweet smile that even at this very rough stage she brightens up my canvas.
I am still working out how the hair will fall, how the eyes will look as in the reference photo the eyes are open and some other details need to be addressed but they will sort themselves out as I go. The words Happiness, Peace, Comfort, Understanding and Beauty will be slightly hidden throughout the portrait as well which will be very cool. I will wait until the portrait takes a bit more shape before I decide where each word will be drawn.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Baby Girl's First Birthday Graphite Portrait - Sketch


I have drawn the rough outline with an HB graphite pencil and darkened it in photoshop so that the lines could be seen on the computer. The reference photo is below.

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Baby Girl's First Birthday Portrait Commission

This adorable little girl is the subject of my next graphite portrait commission. She is such a cutie and looks like she is full of spunk! This portrait will be in celebration of her first birthday which is coming up shortly.

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