Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Studio







I reorganized my studio (again) and thought I would share photos with you all. It is still a bit messy but it goes from clean to ridiculously messing when I am working in a matter of minutes. I like to think it is because I am messy but it is likely due to the fact that I am just messy ;)






The bookcases & office desk I inherited from my hubby as he used to use them for his home office and the drafting table I picked up for $60 at a second hand store, major score :) It is a great room and I am really lucky to have it for a studio. It gets lots of light and is big enough to move around plus have a great display area when visitors come.

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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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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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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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Monday, June 02, 2008

Evaluating your drawings

While working on a portrait it is crucial to take a step back every now and then and take a really close look ... from a distance. While working on a recent commission, I needed to After looking at get some distance to do a few more tweaks to it before moving on. There were too many little areas that needed tweaking and it would be too distracting if they are not addressed first as they are throwing off the resemblance.

I use several tricks to 'get distance' from my portraits as I work on them, the most helpful and easiest is to just take a photo and upload it onto the computer. It is like viewing the portrait through different eyes as the computer flattens the image even more so any areas that are off immediately pop out.

Another trick is to look at the portrait in the mirror which I think gives a pretty similar effect, but is a little difficult to do with a larger drawing. One I have been trying recently is using Photoshop to superimpose images.

  1. Open the original reference photo and the drawing at the same time
  2. Size the image size for both ref and drawing using Image - Image Size
  3. Unlock background layer of drawing by double clicking on lock in the layer panel
  4. Drag the drawing over top of the reference photo
  5. Set the opacity to around 45% on the drawing using the drop down for Opacity in the layers panel on the right hand side
  6. Match up drawing and reference photo

You may have to resize the image a few times to get it just right but it is a great way to check the proportions quickly for the entire drawing.

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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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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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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Framed Art in Exhibition Frames from Opus

I thought I would post some of my artwork in my new frames. I bought a bunch for an upcoming exhibit from Opus Art & Framing Store as they were nice and simple and were on sale which is very nice when buying so many at once.

I wanted something simple so as to not distract from the artwork and they looked ok at the store but once the double matt is inserted with the artwork they look really great! I am considering replacing artwork and photos in my home with these frames as well as they are super easy to change out the photo or artwork as the backs pop out easily with little clips. They can sit or are hung by a wire which attaches easily to the back.

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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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