Saturday, July 25, 2009

Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait Commission Update #1

Watercolor Commission - Figurative Portrait The muscle shapes have been suggested using thin layers of color to gradually build up the tonal values. At this stage I try to get the feel for the shapes by sculpting out the form.

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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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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Peeling Paint Update #3

I have added the grout around the bricks now & I think it turned out really well! I have also added more detail to the house and a couple more layers of blue to the sky.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Peeling Paint Update #2

I finally got an update online now I have been having blogger problems & my images would not load. I think it is the computer gods trying to get me off my computer and back to painting, it is working! I roughed in the bricks and used several layers for the sky but may still add a layer or two once the rest of the colors are brought up to completion. The windows have been blocked in but still need more layers of blacks to give more depth and then need to fill in the window pane to set it back into the house. I am really happy with the way the peeling paint turned out so far :)
Watercolor Painting - Quebec Window Peeling Paint

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Peeling Paint Update #1

Watercolor Painting Demo - Peeling Paint Well a bit of time has passed since I started this demo as I had to reformat my computer to try to restore my webcam, only to find out that it is a hardware issue, not software so now I need to find my warranty for my computer...awk! I never buy the extended warranty, perhaps I jinxed myself by buying it as I have only had the computer for less than a year...ok enough griping!

So I meant to take a photo earlier but was so happy to be back painting that I forgot. I painted in transferred the drawing and then masked off the whites so I could paint the dark layers of wood beneath the peeling paint without having to worry about saving my whites.

I used several layers of paint, more than I thought I would need, and will continue to add more layers as the painting progresses to give more depth. The bricks were under painted with yellow to give a bit of a glow through the layers I plan to add on top. I am going to make the bricks warmer than in the reference photo to add more contrast & because I like warm bricks :)

The house has been under painted with several layers of a blueish gray painting in some of the darker areas just to keep things balanced. I am still debating on how much detail to add to the windows as I am tempted to add the detail I see within the window panes but will wait to see how the painting progresses as it may be more interesting just to see the play on lights & darks.

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Peeling Paint - Update #1

Friday, June 26, 2009

Quebec City Window - Peeling Paint


This is the reference photo for the painting I started on today. It has been sitting on my table for awhile now & I finally got my butt in gear to start on it! I transferred the sketch to my stretched watercolor paper today and laid down the first layer of glaze and hope to dive in tomorrow morning :)

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Using the Grid Method - Step by Step

I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to use the grid method. I posted a very brief summary of the method awhile back but thoguht I would repost using images to hopefully make the process clearer.













Print the reference image on one sheet of paper in black & white. Reinsert the paper into the printer and print the grid image on top of it.

Print the grid image on a plain sheet of paper in black & white.

Using an hb pencil, draw on the printed grid directly drawing one square at a time paying attention to where each line meets the edge of the square on the reference images grid. Once complete, turn drawing over and draw over the back of the paper roughly to create a transfer paper or use a wax free transfer paper.
Take a fresh sheet of paper and place completed drawing face up onto the paper and trace over the lines you have drawn. The drawing is now transferred to clean sheet of paper and can be colored in or shaded as desired.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Watercolor Demo at Art Focus Group

Watercolor Demo SeashellsI promised at the demo that I would post a bit of notes on my blog so people didn't have to wright everything down & try to watch at the same time. So, hopefully this will help!

The colors I used for this painting are Indian Red, Yellow Ochre & Cerulean Blue to create a purplish mix and a separate yellowish mix. These three colors combine together to create what is called a Desert Triad and has a ton of possibility's depending on the amount of pigments used and the amount of water used.
I just discovered this mix and I think it will take me a long time to use all the possibilities from these colors! These colors are also used separately in the painting along with Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, French Ultramarine & Sepia. I created a dark brown mix using Burnt Umber, Sepia and French Ultramarine and also used a mix of French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber to give a nice rich cool black. I then built up the layers with these colors slowing varying the ratios to give more variety & texture.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

New Seashell Painting - Reference Photos

This is a photo I took that I will be using as a reference for my next painting. I of course took many photos and during the 2nd half thought to put a sheet of paper behind to block out all my palettes but this is the photo I liked the best, oh well ;) I have painted a couple seashells so far and used richly textured backgrounds for the first two but want to try one with just a white background for this one for more contrast, will see how it turns out. I bought a bag full of shells over a year ago and am finally getting the chance to use them. The bag came with a good selection of about 5 different kinds of shells and the plant and some sponges of different shapes and colors. I think I will do a few paintings to explore all the different shapes & colors but using the same palette. The bag was scented when I bought it and my studio still smells so great, nice bonus :)

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley Completed


Only a few minor tweaks were needed to complete Dudley's portrait. I just added a few more wisps here & there and added a bit more texture to his now. I think he turned out rather nicely so if my client is happy I will package him up and ship him, sigh, getting separation anxiety again. He is a cutie and even with all that fur he was fun to paint!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 4

Watercolor Pet Portrait
Spent most of today working on Dudley and I think he is nearly complete. Many layers have been added thinly to build up the depth and the darks have been darkened and glazed over many times to give a rich glow.
Just a few minor tweaks here and there but I have to let things dry a bit to ensure the lines are crisp as it is just a few small details that are needed.

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Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 3

Watercolor Dog PortraitThe directionality of pretty much all of the fur has been painted in so it is now a matter of building up the layers using cool and warm variations of brown to create shape a depth. Varying the amount of pigment and water gives a huge range of tonal values as does adding small amount of blue or red pigment to the browns used.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 2

Dudley is starting to take shape slowly but surely. The darks still look a little funny in areas but as the layers get built up it adds to the depth and blends in more naturally. By the next update most of the underpainting should be completed so the shape of his head will be more natural looking and things will just keep getting furrier :)

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait of Dudley - Update 1

The couch and background have been painted on and left to dry. Layers of his fur were then built up slowly blocking in the darks and lights. The collar has been blocked in and layers of brown will go over it to soften it more. He looks a little funny right now but will take shape soon enough.
The masking fluid is still on in areas but will come off soon. The lighting was not great for this photo so the coloring is a little off in areas, next update should be more accurate in color as it is 'supposed' to be sunny the rest of the week.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Watercolor Dog Portrait - Birthday Gift

Watercolor Dog Portrait
Watercolor Pet Portrait
This is the sketch of Dudley a cute little dog that I am doing a commission of as a birthday gift for his owner. I have applied masking fluid to the areas I want to keep light or white when I do the background. This will be a monochromatic portrait but again I will use a few colors as needed to add depth while still maintaining a monochromatic feel.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl Completed


I think this painting is complete but as always I need to live with it for a bit to be sure. The top left corner is not really that dark, just a glare from the shade as I was rushing a bit to take the photo.
So many things interfere with painting time, taking photos, getting ready for exhibits, eating, sleeping....I have serious issues!

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl Update #3

Watercolor Portrait Demo
Well if my blog serves no other purpose, it helps me realize I am making progress after several hours of painting :) When I took this photo I thought ugh all this time and there is little difference than from the last update, then I saw the last update ;)
So, I spent alot of time painting in the details on the flowers with permanent rose and winsor red. I had hoped to paint them loosely with a wash of permanent rose and then charge in the winsor red as I did in my samples as it looked lovely. Unfortunately I think these are too small for the charging to work (for me anyway as I am new at it ;)) so I used my tried and true method of just painting what I see :) A few more layers need to be added here and there to build up the depth but it is getting there. I also painted in more of the details on the hair and repainted the wisps that the added background washes washed out.
I added more of a pinkish glow to her skin as well and a few layers more to the mouth. Getting close but a bit more to go. I really like how much more 'bright' this has become due to the darker background. I usually do the skin tones softer but with the pink shirt and flowers and the green background her skin would have appeared washed out. I think it is a nice change :)

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl Update #2

I am much happier with the background now but still not sure if it is done yet. I am toying with the idea of either making the dots bluer/greener or possibly even iridescent but I need to do some playing on scraps first.
At least I can move onto the portrait again now as I think the color is much nicer and brightens things up again. I used a light wash of the background colors and then dropped in indandethrene blue in areas. It was ok but not as bright as I would like so I then went over the entire top area several times with winsor green. This really helped to brighten and enrich the backgroun color. It also gave a richer color & more depth to the dots.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl Update

Well this was going along nicely until I decided to darken the top background a little to add a little more depth. Should be fairly straightforward but for some reason when I added a darker wash of my background colors, ugly black dots appeared! Trying to darken it to cover them up made things go from bad to worse and this is the updated of me trying to remove the dark, yucky color that emerged hmmm.

Sooo, I think I will leave this for a bit until I decide what to do about this calamity :) I think I may use some gouache or gesso or possibly even acrylic to cover the black ugly dots on the background but will have to do some experimenting.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl

The flowers have been underpainted and several layers of skin and hair have been built up. The wisps of hair have been lost a little so I will build those up again after the background is completed. I think I will add a darker area to the background near the top so it does not look so flat.

The skin looks a little choppy right now but there are still many layers to be built up so things should even out. No color has been really added to the lips yet so I should start on that soon to judge the rest of the skin values and the flowers will soon get their pinkish red color to brighten things up a bit!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl

Watercolor Portrait Demo
The under painting of the skin has been started and the background has been painted in using winsor lemon and cobalt blue. Many layers have been used to slowly build up the form of the hair, hands and face. Salt was sprinkled on the background for added texture and left to dry thoroughly.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl

Watercolor Portrait Girl Flowers
This is a portrait I started of a girl that I just could not resist. I will simplify the shirt stripes to be only white and pink. The flowers are a similar pink as the shirt which should add continuity and keep things simple even though there will be a lot of details added.
I took the photos while she played with a flower necklace and as she danced around her expressions changed so quickly that I think I may have to do a series!
This is the sketch that has been transferred to my stretched watercolor paper using graphite paper.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Update 4

Still more darks have been added using the same colors as previously used just in darker mixes. Still a ways to go!

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Update 3

Watercolor Demo Seashells Still Life The shells are really starting to take shape now and the shadows underneath have been painted in to allow me to better judge my dark and lights. I will likely do another layer for the shadows at least near the shells but this gives me a good idea of the darkest darks.

I used a mixture of Winsor Red & Winsor Green for the shadow which gives a really nice velvety dark. The pigments separate a bit which adds texture as well which is nice.

The shells have been painted using many layers of burnt sienna, indian red, french ultramarine blue and sepia in various combinations.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Update 2


The background is much richer now and I am nearly happy with it. I will add a bit more variation to it once the shells are further developed. I used more french ultramarine, yellow ochre, indian red, burnt sienna and cerulean blue which are then also used to develop the shells.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Watercolor Seashells - Background Update

Still Life Watercolor Painting of Seashells
The background has been roughed in and let dry but I am not happy with it so will add more layers to get it darker. So far I have used cobalt blue, french ultramarine and burnt sienna. I like the texture though and the variations in color that is starting to occur. I used masking fluid around the shells & spattered some in the background so I did not need to worry about working around the edges quickly.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Watercolor Seashells


I spent the morning playing with some seashells and taking photos of them for a still life painting I am going to start soon. I have an awesome SLR camera that seems to be much smarter than me as I could not get it to focus on all 3 shells at once. I know there is a setting for this but where is it again... so rather than read the manual again I put two photos together.
I liked the angle a bit better of the back shell in the one photo where the focus was crisp on the back shell and softer on the first two shells. Then I grabbed the first two shells from another photo where the spiral was the focus point. I put them together and just loosely touched up the photo to make things a bit smoother.
I bought these shells last year when I was christmas shopping and have been trying to find the time to paint them, whew, just under a year! I was going to do a mix of different shell types but these ones just seemed to fall together so nicely, so maybe a mixture for next time.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting - The Guardian

Watercolor Architectural Painting Demo
This is the completed painting. It was alot of fun to paint and the textures turned out really cool which makes the face seem like it is really coming out of the wall.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting - Update 2

The darks have been built up more and things are starting to look pretty cool I think, I love this statue :) The darks still need to be pushed a bit further and maybe a touch more color added.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting - Update 1

Watercolor Landscape Demo
I have started to build up the tonal values using two of my favorite colors, French Ultramarine Blue and Sepia. They have such a nice texture together and depending on how much of each you add and how much water, a huge range of tonal values and hues. I continued adding thin layers until the tonal contrast was nearly completed on the face.
I then used a neutral gray for the background to add texture and interest. Sprinkling a bit of salt on the wet background paint adds additional texture and helps the pigments to separate giving interesting edges and a larger range of hues.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Watercolor Architectural Detail Painting of Grotesque

This is the reference photo that I will be working from for my next painting. I found it on WetCanvas and it stopped me in my tracks I just love it! It turns out the reference photo was taken by a very talented artist, Amie Roman.
As it turns out she also belongs to the Federation of Canadian Artist and I bumped into her at the Christmas Party at the gallery recently. She explained some of the printmaking process to me...it sounds very intriguing, I just wish I could clone myself to find more time! Check out her website as she has a great gallery of her work and also teaches classes if you are so inclined.
I have stretched the paper and transfer the outline drawing to the paper. Next I applied a wash of New Gamboge to give a bit of glow later on. I forgot to take at photo at this stage so will post an update tomorrow on the progress.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki Completed

Watercolor Pet Portrait - Christmas Gift
The portrait of Nikki is completed. I painted a few highlights around her face and muzzle and then warmed up a few areas to balance things out. I think her portrait turned out quite nicely and is going to look very nice framed.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update 4

The portrait is really starting to come alone. The sparkle is starting to really show in her eye and her fur is getting much fuller. Still more detail to add in her muzzle and I will likely add a few more highlights just to add a bit more depth and fullness. The darker blanket helped ground the portrait more and it has a nice texture to it.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait of Nikki - Update 3

Different shades have been painted to the portrait to add more depth and shape. Nikki is a very dark dog with lighter patches of fur so the darks need to be quite dark to get the resemblance.


Once the darks are fully established I will then glaze over them so they read more as brown than black to maintain the monochromatic portrait feel. She is really starting to take shape now :) The blanket needs to be darkened so I will do a bit more detail to her muzzle and will then save the whites with masking fluid and paint in the blanket again.

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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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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Demo Drawing Nearly Complete

Still a few more tweaks to her eyes, mouth & eyebrows to nail down the likeness. Just little bits off that are throwing things off...I think :) Bunny is complete, wew, what a lot of fur!

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Update on the demo drawing

Here is an update of the portrait I started at the demo at the Outlet in November. I did not get too much done at the Outlet but I have gotten a fair bit done now. The resemblance is still off a bit but it is getting closer. The portrait will be a christmas gift and the background will be very dark as it is in the lower right hand corner. I want to leave the darks until the end to prevent smuding but I wanted a bit done to better judge the tonal range for the portrait.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Watercolor Column - Adding the Details

Watercolor Column Demo
Things are starting to take shape now. Many (many) layers have been added to slowly build up the colors and tonal values. As I want to maintain the glow underneath, each layer must be thin enough to show the underlying layers and dark enough so that depth is added without washing out the previous layer.


I think at this point I need to darken the sky to better judge how much further I want to push the darks so that the lights shine more. The colors I have used overtop of the under painting are burnt umber, new gamboge, raw sienna, sepia, french ultramarine & yellow ochre.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Watercolor Column Underpainting in Purple

Watercolor Underpainting
This is a painting of a beautiful building that I am currently working on. I have just completed the underpainting and now will start building up the layers of color. I do not usually use a purple underpainting but have heard other have really enjoyed it so I thought why not give it a try!
I used a mixture of French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin Crimson to give me various shades of purple. French Ultramarine is one of my favorite pigments as it is so beautiful alone or mixed with other pigments. It is slightly opaque and gives a beautiful texture to the layers applied overtop of it.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Pride Updated

Watercolor Portrait Demo
I did a few touchups to this painting and I am much happier with it, mainly on the scarf but it really affected how the skin tones appeared to me. I darkened the shadow areas of the scarf more which helped to blend in the fine lines and I think made it look less busy.
The skin tones also appear more subtle due to the darks and I am much happier with it now so I think she is finally done!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride Completed

Watercolor Portrait Demo
I adjusted her skin tone a little and softened a few edges. The yellow on the scarf was also painted in and some of the purples darkened. The background has faded into nothing with all the added color so I darkened it as well and that really helped.
I think this is completed but I will leave it for a few days and have another look with fresh eyes. I have been staring at her too long that I feel like she is starting to stare back at me ;) Distance is a good thing!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride #3

Watercolor Portrait Demo

The fleshtones have been painted in and more layers have been added to the scarf. The white looking areas will be yellow but I am waiting until nearer the end to paint in the yellow shading.
The detail on the lashes and brows has been redefined as they were starting to blend in a little.
A bit more modeling needs to be done on her face as well on her nose as it is looking a little flat.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Pride #2

Watercolor Portrait Demo
More layers have been added to build up the face and her scarf. I have been moving around alot to let each area dry thoroughly as , especially with the purple, the paint is leaching a bit if it I don't let it dry thouroughly.

Partly due to the strong staining colors used but also I think that I am working on the back of the paper which is a bit rougher, oops. Always label your paper BEFORE you cut is so you don't forget :) Maybe this time I will remember!

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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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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Demo - Pride


This is the sketch for the portrait that has been transferred onto 140lb Arches Cold Pressed paper. The eyes are actually drawn on that dark as they will be quite dark in the final painting so I don't need to worry about the pencil showing through.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Pride

Watercolor Portrait Reference Photo

This is the reference photo for the next painting that I am painting for my exhibit. I love the close up on the eyes and the way the scarf surounds her face.

I found the photo on MorgueFile from a wonderful photographer, Luis C. Tejo. More of his work can be seen at MorgueFile, this photo is at http://www.morguefile.com/archive/?display=53669&

This painting will be in color rather than monochromatic to add a bit more variety to the exhibit and just for fun and a change of pace. It will be 11 x 14" on Arches watercolor paper.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 14


Just a few finishing touches to be made to the daisies and the yellow flowers and then I think Kelly's portrait is complete!
I have done several tweaks over the past couple of days that are very subtle and are hard to see online but I have softened areas and darkened some of the flower centers and shadows. The deck has been darkened as well and more of the wood grain defined. A few more tweaks need to be made to the shadows and then I may add the panel lines from the house in the background to anchor everything down but will wait to see on the final shadows.

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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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Friday, March 28, 2008

Newborn Baby Watercolor Portrait - Fighting Sleep


I think this baby is finished but will leave it for a few days to decide if it needs tweaking. He looks like a little old man which goes with he personilty totally as he is so serious about everything. I have titled this portrait "Fighting Sleep" as he was trying so hard to stay awake but failed miserably ;)

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Boy update 2


I forgot to stop and take photos of the progress but basically I have just been building up the tonal values using thin layers of sepia. The toy his is playing with is one of his favorites right now and took forever to paint! This painting will be a gift for his grandma or as we call her, mamaia. She has been watching the progess and is very excited :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo Completed

The fleshtones have been evened out using glazes of yellow ochre and burnt umber. Highlights have been gently lifted out to add more contrast. The shadowns and the background were darkened with sepia.


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Monday, January 07, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo 3


Just the finishing touches are left which will give the figure a more natural glow and will define her features a bit more. The shadow lost a bit of punch due to the glazes of Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna so I darkened them with another layer of sepia.

I may darken the background and/or warm it up a bit but I will wait till later to decide.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo 3


After the sepia dried completely the shadows were deepened with ultramarine blue using several thin layers to build up the color slowly.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo 2


Several more layers of sepia have been added and blended. I love the reference photo as the pose is so interesting and the lighting is great but the quality is very poor so this has been a little more slow going than I had hoped as I really have to squint to see the details. Nearly every time I start a piece of artwork I vow that I will not use poor reference material... I recently purchased a new digital camera that takes amazing photos so hopefully this will be the last one I struggle through ;) I blow the images up in photoshop or picassa which is free from google and alter the lights and darks so that I can see more detail which really helps. The image pixelates but if I squint I can get a better idea of how the shapes fit together. I bought a lightbox for the same purpose a year ago just before I discovered it works better on the computer ;) I now use my lightbox mostly as an expensive prop for my painting board, hmm. After looking at the adjusted reference material on the computer I notice that a portion of the hair was hidden in shadows so I will need to adjust that but overall the underpainting is complete.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo

I am trying another method of under painting for this watercolor figure portrait. The underpainting has been started using a more traditional color, sepia, to build up form slowly. There are still many more layers to be added but the general form is clear. Charles Novich was featured in the Artist's Magazine using the colors I will be using which give the skin a warm brownish glow.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Completed

Well I think this is done! I will leave it for a few days and come back to it to see for sure and I will likely make some tweaks. I have added a few more glazed to the hair after lifting out some highlights. To lift out the highlights I just used a nylon angle brush with clean water and a tissue. You could also use a razor blade to scratch out the highlights but I think it looks too harsh. It is also scary to take a razor blade to a portrait after all this work! I also lifted some highlights out on the skin, eyes and shirt. I love this stage but it is easy to get carried away so I have to watch myself. The paint also lifts very easily at this point as there are so many layers of paint on the paper to a light hand is good! This photo seems to be a bit less red than the original, I can't seem to get it right ;)

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Watercolor Portrait in Demo #8

This update photo was taken at night so the colors are a little off. Mainly in the hair, I don't think it was that red at this stage. I have added the shadows to the hair with a darker mix of French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre. I also added a few layers of Rose Madder Genuine to give her skin a healthy glow including her lips.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #7

The hair has been painted in several layers to add depth and to obtain the rich red color in her hair. A dark mixture of ultramarine blue, burnt umber and yellow ochre was used for the darks. I then glazed over all of the hair with raw sienna and then a mix of burnt umber and a touch of sepia to give the red and brown tones. Still a bit more work to be done to add the detail to the hair.

Her face has been glazed with cadmium red with a touch of terre verte several times but still requires more glazes to give her a rosy glow. The lips have been painted more heavily with the same mixture. The eyes have several glazed of indandathrene blue with a touch of cadmium red. I may add more glazed once the portrait is nearer completion and will lift out the highlights later as well.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #6


A bit more modeling with venetian red and darkened the background.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #5


Now the face is modeled a bit more with venetian red which is an earthy color similar to indian red but not as opaque.

The color is again brought into the hair. The background has been darkened with a bluish green mixture. It will be darkened a few more times as I go. The shirt has been blocked in with cobalt blue and a touch of terre verte and will be modeled loosely to suggest shape but not too much detail.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #4

The features have been modeled a bit further using the watercolors very dryling now and blending well to avoid harsh lines in the portrait. I have added the background color which is a granular purple shade. I plan to darken it significantly as I go. I am continuing to add all of the flesh colors into the hair so that the hair looks more natural and has more depth.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #3

The hair and face were covered with a light layer of Naples Yellow and then the features of her face were further modeled further very carefully. Now I am adding layers of light red to give a bit of color to her skin and hair. The colors are a little off on this one as I had to use the scanner again and the board does not fit the greatest on it!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #2

The blue underpainting has been overpainted with a olive green mixture to comeplete the grisaille. It looks more brownish than I think it should at this stage, and even moreso online, but we will see how it goes! It does have a nice glow to it though and she is starting to look less one dimensional.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo

I started this portrait prior to doing the last two cat portrait commissions and am now getting back to work on it. I am going to do it as a work in progress and it is my second attempt using the same drawing that I used for my first attempt using the grisaille method. I have transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper and have painted in the lights and darks using only blue. The full image would not fit on my scanner but you get the general idea.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak


Well I think Zak's portrait is complete! I will leave him overnight and may make minor tweaks. The scan does not show the graduations in tone as well as I would like. Some areas look a little choppy in the scan, but if gives the general idea. I think the dark background is throwing the balance off a bit for the scan.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #4

Zak is very near completion, just a few more tweaks in his fur better match his color pattern and texture. The blanket also needs to be lightened in a few areas so it does not look so flat.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #4


Cat, what cat..... Zak is looking a little lost right now but once I add more detail to his fur he will pop back out of the blankets and the background. I used 4B graphite pencil for the background for now but I may add charcoal at the end if I need it to add more depth. Once I pull out more highlights in the fur I will know for sure. The eyes sure make a difference! He is starting to look more like himself now.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #3

I have added a few more layers of graphite pencil to Zak's fur and will add more still but needed to get the background established first. The blanket has been drawn with 4B graphite pencil and I will either use charcoal for the background behind his tail or 6B graphite pencil, will see how it progresses.

I definitely need to get his eyes drawn in, cats just do not look right without their eyes!

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak Commission - Demo 2


The tonal values have been further developed and Zak the cat is starting to take shape :) He is so beautiful, I love all the fur! I still need to add many layers of graphite pencil to add depth and shape to him but he is already starting to look pretty furry. I will need to establish the background early on as well to ensure his fur does not look cut out around the edges.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Ready for the Birthday Party!

I think Vartz is ready for the Birthday Party! I will let the portrait sit for a bit and come back with fresh eyes to see if any minor tweaks need to be made. I started getting separation anxiety last night as I realized I would be parting with her soon, I may need to get a cat soon :)

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Commission - Demo 2


Just a quick update! Vartz is getting closer to looking like her self, not himself, so sorry Vartz! Many layers of graphite pencil have been added, blended and removed...many more to go. Mostly to add more shape and depth and to tweak a few areas where the resemblance is a little off but looking good for being completed on time tomorrow as it needs to be shipped Wed in order to get to the party on time :)

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Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Commission - Demo 1



Wow is this a cat or a jiggesaw puzzle, I think my eyes are bleeding ;) Just kidding :) This cat portrait is actually a lot of fun to draw as all of his stripes really make me get into the 'drawing zone' quickly. I have used mostly 2B and HB graphite pencils for his eyes and fur so far. I will likely use F or H for his wispy fur as get further along but establishing the darks first. Back to the drawing table!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait


This is the graphite sketch of a cat name Vartz that I have just started. It is a 50th Birthday gift for his person and it is a rush job so not sure how many posts I will do of him before he is finished due to the time. I darkened the graphite sketch so that it is easier to see online it is much lighter on the paper. I added more detail in the sketch than I usually do as he has so many stripes in his fur and the photo is a little dark so I don't want to get lost as I go.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Girl Completed

Well I think my first attempt at this watercolor portrait is completed. I will leave it a few days just to be sure but I am pretty happy with it. I lifted out some highlights and touched up a few areas. I may add more detail to the hair and I need to fix the pupils a touch but need to wait until they are completely dry. I tend to run into trouble due to my impatience and not waiting for the paint to be completely dry....aha what can you do ;)
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby - Demo 3

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Girl
Well more layers have been added to this watercolor portrait and I am happy to say she does look like she has been out in the sun too long anymore :) The brows and lashes have been darkened a little more and the lips have been plumped up.

I still have a bit more work to do, softening some areas, intensifying the background and maybe adding a bit more blush into her skin to see if I can make it a little less blue in some areas. I think I overdid it a bit in the underpainting, but it was so much fun! Aha, live & learn ;) I may also add more definition to the hair but will wait and see. It is easy to overdo it with watercolor for me so I may just leave the hair as is...

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