Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Watercolor Portrait - Truth

Watercolor Portrait - Truth
This is a portrait in a series that I am working on which shows only the eyes with the rest of the face covered either by a scarf, hands or another object. This portrait was painted using watercolor and a monochromatic pallete.
This painting is currently on display at Place des Arts until April 25, 2009.

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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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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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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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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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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Watercolor Portrait - Untitled

This is my latest watercolor painting for my exhibit in March. I for the life of me can not come up for a name for this one....any suggestion?!? I have come up with a few names but nothing that is sticking...hmmm

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Christmas Card Watercolor Portrait

Every year I say I am going to paint a Christmas card for our family to use rather than sending out a purchased card but I always end up to busy painting commissions that I do not get time to do it. So this year I figured I better start really early and here it is!

The little gift in her hand was imagined as the toy she was playing with was not visible. The red took some playing around to get it right but I think I got it pretty close to how I wanted it. I am going to the printers this weekend to get some prints made for an upcoming show so I will bring this one along and have some cards made as well. Talk about being ahead of the Christmas rush for a change....could be a new tradition...ha or not!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Watercolor Portrait - Ready or Not

Watercolor Portrait - Ready or NotI have been working on this painting at the same time as another one of the same model and I think this one is complete. There are a few minor tweaks I may make but I need to get a bit more distance to be sure.

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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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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Lazy Days


Watercolor Figure Portrait
This is another painting I started for my solo exhibit at Place des Arts but did not get a chance to finish due to commissions. I had painted it in January but when I was putting the finishing touches on the background I had a major accident!
I had used masking tape to get some nice crisp lines but did not push the tape down enough and the paint leached onto the figure. Only small amounts but enought to totally wreck the painting, ugh.

So I painted the figure again in sepia rather than cobalt blue as I had originally done and left the background light and with a bit of texture, which I think looks better anyway. I liked the cobalt blue but I like the sepia more so it all worked out for the best in the end :)

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Untitled #2

Watercolor Figure Portrait
This is another (finally) watercolor portrait for my upcoming exhibit in March at Place des Arts. It is done in sepia again and is as of yet untitled...any suggestions anyone?
I have a few ideas floating in my head but nothing that grabs me yet :) I started working on it months ago and just did the finishing touches after completing my last commission. Only 22 or so left to go.... Next!

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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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Friday, August 01, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 12

More of the flowers and leaves have been painted in both at the top and the bottom right corner. The shadow will be added at the top to better judge whether or not a few more leaves need to be added at the top.
Another small leaf or vine needs to be added near Kelly's head which I will paint next as well. Sometimes things don't pop out until you take a step back from the painting for a bit. Then I will finish painting in the leaves at the bottom right and add a few of the blue flowers on the right hand side very loosely. A few more washes will be added to the porch step and last but not least, the yellow flowers will be touched up to add a bit more depth and shape.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 11


The flowers and leaves are being built up slowly painting with thin layers. I am focusing just on the purples flowers at the top and the leaves right now alternating between them to allow the paint to dry.
The yellow flowers will need more depth added as well but I want to wait until the rest of the leaves and the purple flowers are finished to judge how much they need to be toned down as the purple will make the yellow pop even more.

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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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Monday, July 28, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 8


More layers of light and dark fur have been painted througout. The woodgrain has been lightly suggested and the layer of paint has been painted both with payne's gray. A few more layers will be added to darken the step underneath and create more texture.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 3

Some of the masking fluid has come off and now the 'connecting' areas need to be softened and worked in toghether. I have added a bit more detail to her fur and painted in a few more flowers.

The layers will need to dry thoroughly before more detail is added and then more of the masking fluid can also be removed.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Untitled



This is another watercolor figure portrait done with a monochromatic palette of sepia for an upcoming exhibit at Place des Arts.


It is part of a series of paintings that will be on exhibit in March 2009, 7 paintings down, 31 more to complete, haha, good thing I work best under pressure!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander 2

Watercolor Portrait of Dog
Murphy's portrait is really starting to take shape now as most of the darks have been added. The eyes look a little funny still as the 'color' has not been added to her iris's which should set them in nicely. Her right cheek needs a bit more shading as does the tip of her nose.

Once I have a few more glazes of watercolor painted on I will do the finishing touches to the darks and add more texture to the fur on the face & ears.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander 1

I have started adding some of the darks and have added several layers of fur already to create a fuller effect once completed.
I have only added one overall wash of watercolor at this point just to take away the starkness of the paper and will add several washes as the painting progresses to soften the edges and blend areas together more smoothly.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Reach


I thought I had posted this but looking back I did not, funny because it is my favorite in the series! It is a monochromatic figure portrait done in sepia watercolor and is currently on exhibit at Place des Arts in Coquitlam BC.

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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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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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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Inner Peace



This is my lastest in my watercolor figure series. I just loved the pose in the reference material but I think it comes across even nicer in the painting.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Boy Commissioned for Grandma


This is the start of a watercolor portrait commissioned as a gift for the grandma of this baby boy. He just had his first birthday and was playing with one of the many gifts his grandma had given him for his birthday.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Watercolor Nude Figure Portrait


This is another watercolor nude figure painting monochromatic with sepia. I am working on a series for an exhibit proposal for a local gallery in Coquitlam, BC. I have not given this one a title yet as still tossing around ideas:) I really like the monochromatic look and feel whether it be black and white or as in this case sepia.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Watercolor Nude Figure Portrait


This is the latest monochromatic painting I have done using sepia watercolor on Arches coldl-pressed watercolor paper. It is 11 x 14 and was painted using many thin glazes of watercolor to build up the depth and details.

I am working on a series of painting using the sepia for a monochromatic effect similar to black and white for contrast but with the warmth of sepia.

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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, 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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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Totally cool right side/ left side brain 'test'

I just saw this on Maggie's site and had to check it out. It is so cool, give it a try and see, no you don't have do do any math or think, it is not a 'test' like that ;)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby - wip2

Watercolor Portrait of Baby


I have added many layers of alternating warm and cool colors to try to achieve a realistic skin tone. The background has been loosely established to better judge the skin tones. She looks a little too red right now, hopefully that will all balance out in the end!



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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby


I am spending more time doing watercolor now so thought I would post my latest watercolor portrait as it progresses. I am trying a new technique so I plan to paint this portrait until I get it right :) This is my first attempt and I figure if I get to 20 attempts and I am still unhappy I give up! Just kidding :) This is the underpainting done using only blue. The idea is to build up the structure using an underpainting and then add the flesh tones overtop...I think I may have gotten a little carried away with the underpainting.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Using grids for proportions tutorial

I was taught to use the grid method in elementary school and was amazed at how simple it was to use. Unfortunately, I was under the impression that using a grid was 'cheating' so I never used it again. Years later I went to an exhibit of Vincent van Gogh and was astonished to see that he and many other masters used the grid method! Well that was good enough for me!

I decided to give the method another try. I drew grid lines, 1 inch apart, with a permanent marker onto an sheet of acetate film. I blew up my reference photo to the size that I wanted and placed the acetate over top. I then drew grid lines with an F pencil onto my drawing surface. While this worked very well, I was spending too much time drawing and erasing the grid lines.

I now use the process below:
  • I now blow up my image to a size that I am happy with and print it off.

  • I then print a grid using 1 inch squares that I created in Photoshop (you can also use a word document for the grid) directly overtop of the printed image. You can use whatever grid size you like but I prefer a 1 inch by 1 inch grid.

  • Then I print the same grid onto a piece of tracing paper and draw my initial sketch on the tracing paper.

  • Once I am happy with my drawing I use a light box (ok, so I use my glass dining room table with a lamp underneath) and transfer the drawing to my drawing paper.

  • If I have a hard time seeing the lines, I will go over them with a black felt pen.



This may seem like a bit of work, but if you have ever used the traditional grid method only to be dismayed by grid lines showing through on your final drawing, the work seems minimal in the long run. Also, I found that drawing my grid lines manually often led to slight discrepancies between the grid on the picture and on my drawing. Small discrepencies turn into big discrepancies when you are working on a portrait!

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