Creating Jack

Creating Jack – Final

Portrait #26 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Creating Jack” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.


Photo courtesy of Alethia Harmon, the boy’s mother. Along with the previous portrait, the boy and his little brother were doing Halloween preparations. I had done the outline drawing directly on the watercolor paper the previous day.

I wanted to have a dominant triadic color harmony this time secondary colors for this painting; violet, orange and green.

Creating Jack – First Draft

I began by saturating the paper front and back. While the paper soaked I mixed up milky piles of Cobalt Blue Violet, Cascade Green, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Raw Sienna Light.

I dried back the paper to damp in the background areas and the shirt. I used a combination of the green and violet to create a dark. I used orange and violet for a base on the hair. The hair and face areas were still really wet, so I had lost edges between the foreground and background. I had some of the orange to the background as well. I used orange and Raw Sienna Light for the skin tones. I did bring in some Quinacridone Rose on the face and arm as well. I saved the arm and hand for last after I worked myself into “the zone.”

Creating Jack – Outline Drawing

This painting was a joy to paint from start to finish. It almost felt as if the brush moved around of its own volition. Fortunately, I have the painting process on video to go back and review, because I honestly do not remember much, after I made my first few decisions. I might need to adjust the far cheek? But I may leave it alone to preserve the freshness. Stay tuned!

Update 1/27/20: I did fix the far cheek (my initial drawing was actually correct). If you open the images in your browser, you can click between them to see the correction unfold, almost like a movie <smile>.

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