Monthly Archives: January 2020

With a Blue Streak Too

With a Blue Streak Too.

Portrait #22 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “With a Blue Streak Too” watercolor on 140 lb Arches cold press, 7.5″x11″. I decided to paint this model again. I just did not capture a likeness the first time around. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I painted wet-into-wet using Rose of Ultramarine, Cascade Green by Daniel Smith, Ultramarine Blue and Translucent Orange by Schminke, and Cobalt Blue by QoR. I wanted to just do an analogous color scheme from green to violet, but I just couldn’t resist bringing in the orange for the skin tone.

The green and violet mix to a nearly perfect gray tone. I used the same two colors as individual components for the background.

I really enjoy the painting now, especially the pops of blue in the hair and the green backlighting at the temples and under the jawline. The other portrait was not bad, it just did not look like the model in my opinion.

I did take video of the process for future reference. Stay tuned.

All these small portraits (7.5″x11) are for sale. $185 (plus sales tax and/or shipping, where applicable). The price also includes a white black core mat with outside dimensions of 11″x14″ (standard frame opening size), foam core backing and clear cellophane packaging.

Buy now with PayPal

 

Spiked – Painting

Spiked

Portrait #21 of my 30×30 portrait challenge. Over 2/3rds of the way there. Woot! “Spiked” watercolor on 140 lb Arches cold press, 7.5″x11″. Click on images to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

I began wet-into-wet and intended to do an ethereal and unrealized portrait. Once again, I took it to the “too much” level. Sigh. I used 5 colors this time. Rose of Ultramarine, Raw Sienna Light, Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith, as well as Ultramarine Blue and Translucent Orange by Schminke. Oh, and some Titanium White.

I started out wet-into-wet and left the paper wetter than I normally do. I painted in value layers from the graphite value study I had done previously. I “pushed” the colors a bit more than they appear in the reference photo, wanting to have a vibrant contrast between the violets and yellows.

Spiked – Graphite 11″x7.5″

I “finished” before completing the painting. I felt dissatisfied with it until I propped it up for display at home. Now I quite like it. This experience usually has the opposite effect. ha!  Though, I still want to bring some of the yellow to the left side of the background and soften a few edges here and there… Oh, and sign it. I usually only sign a painting once I consider it done.

Stay tuned to this blog post for any updates.

Buy Now with PayPal

All these small portraits (7.5″x11) are for sale. $185 (plus taxes and or shipping, where applicable). The price also includes a white black core mat with outside dimensions of 11″x14″ (standard frame opening size), foam core backing and clear cellophane packaging.

With a Blue Streak – Painting

With a Blue Streak

 

 

Portrait #20 for my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge. “With a Blue Streak” watercolor7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

With a Blue Streak – Drawing

I’m calling it #20 because the drawing and the painting both are significant efforts.

I started wet-into-wet, then dried the paper back to damp. While the paper soaked, I mixed up piles of Ultramarine Blue and Translucent Orange by Schminke, Raw Sienna Light (RSL) and Quinacridone Rose, and Cobalt Blue Violet (CBV) by Daniel Smith.

I called out the right side of the hair with a mix of CBV and RSL. I liked the gray tone the mix produced, so I used some of the same mixture for the shadows in the hair. I used Ultramarine for the critical blue streak, adding a little Rose for the shadows in the streak.

I painted the shadows in the skin tones with the Schminke Orange, Rose, and RSL, adding Ultramarine blue in the shadow areas. As I built up the darker values, I also brought in some Rose of Ultramarine by Daniel Smith to keep the skin tone shadows warm, especially around the nose and mouth. In the final stages, I brought out my Titanium White for the hair, eyes and skin tone highlights.

After my obligatory “staring time,” I think I may need to make a few adjustments. Some things I like better in the drawing, some things in the painting. I will update this blog post with any changes. Stay tuned!

With a Blue Streak Too

Update: 1/21/2020 – I painted her again. I just didn’t think I captured a likeness the first time around.

Little Veil – Drawing

Little Veil – Drawing

Portrait #19 of my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Little Veil” is a graphite drawing on watercolor paper 7.5″x11″. Start to finish in 50 minutes! Woot! Click on images to see a larger view in a new browser tab.

Stage 1

I started with a contour drawing of the big shapes, trying to concentrate on light and shadow rather than features and “things.”

See Stage 1.

Stage 2

I shaded in the first layer of value, giving the drawing an “on or off”, white or shaded, quality. See Stage 2.

Stage 3

As in previous drawings, I then shaded in the other layers of value. I have started using my fingers to soften the graphite on the skin areas and leaving the rough pencil marks for the hair and clothing. See Stage 3.

After reviewing the drawing in my iPad photo stream, I realized I gave her too much chin and neck. And the center of the chin was too far to the left. After making those adjustments, I’m calling it done! At least until I get the brushes out!  Tomorrow I WILL be back in the studio, and will paint at least one of these portraits.

Little Veil – Drawing

 

Spiked – Drawing

Spiked – Final, Graphite 7.5″x11″

Portrait #18 of my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge, “Spiked” 7.5″ x 11″

This is another preparatory drawing for a watercolor painting (I hope). Events conspired against me today, keeping me away from studio time. Sigh.

First, I did a contour drawing of the shadow shapes. See stage 1.

Stage1

I shaded in the first level of value to separate the dark from the light. See Stage 2. This is often my favorite stage of the drawing, but I always have a hard time not taking it further.

Stage 2

Stage 3

I began to shadow in the dark darks of the hair and shoulders…

Stage 4

I found myself lost in the drawing, adding all the subtleties of the next layers of value. I try to draw in the same order as I would paint, from light to dark. I want to capture 5 layers of value; highlight, halftone, core shadow, reflected light and cast shadow; just like my teach, John Erickson, told me in college.

After putting the drawing away for a moment, I noticed the shoulders were too small. After that final adjustment, I decided to stop. 56 mins. A good prep for a watercolor painting. Stay tuned!

With a Blue Streak

“With a Blue Streak”

Portrait #17 of my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge. “With a Blue Streak” 7.5″x11″ graphite.

This is a preparatory drawing for a watercolor painting. I thought I’d post some progress photos.

Stage 1

Stage 2

First I did contour drawing of the shadow shapes. See “Stage 1′. I shaded in the shadow shapes, either on or off, white or light shadow only.

Stage 3

I then brought in smaller, darker shadow shapes. And voila… out pops the image. It never ceases to amaze me how a face shows up on a blank piece of paper.

Between Stage 3 and the final stage, I made some adjustments to the eyes and mouth.

Click on images for a larger view in a new tab. Next up painting. Stay tuned to find out about that blue streak?

Liz

Portrait #16 of my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. And today is the 16th! Right on track.

Liz

Live Model! I really enjoy painting from a live model. I am a member of the Portrait Society of Reno. Each Wednesday morning from 9 am to noon, they organize for a live model at Nevada Fine Art, 1301 S. Virginia Street in mid-town Reno. All the painters (all media) pay a $10 model fee. The amazing Kay Genasci brings refreshments and sets up the model. If you’re anywhere near, come on along and join in the fun! Live sessions really do challenge our drawing skills, as there is no way to trace… Authentic!

Contour Drawing

I wanted to have a monumental view of the model, so I decided to sit down for this one, which is rare for me, as I usually paint standing. I started with the contour drawing for the first 20-minute pose.

I had been looking at the portraits of Pam Wenger (I think out of PA) the day before. She paints lovely portraits, full of personality and random shadows color. I love her skin tones. Some day I may have to take one of her workshops. Check out her website, http://www.pamwenger.com/

I started with the hair and background. I used Cobalt Blue Violet and Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith) as well as some Ultramarine Blue (Holbein) for a good colorful brown tone for her dark hair. I was intrigued with the red tones in the light, so I let the orange be more prevalent in the light areas. To turn the form, I shifted to the violet and blue tones for the shadows at the crown. I used the cobalt blue-violet and Quinacridone Red for the background.

Painting (Stage 1) Draft

Once moving on to the skin tones, I went in first with a layer of Pyrrol Transparent Orange and Raw Sienna Light, my brownish yellow and orange. I then added some greenish shade using a combination of Sap and Cascade Green (Daniel Smith). To give the painting an overall harmony, I brought in some of the violet to the shadow areas around the eyes and under the jaw, and touched in some of the green to the sweater and turtleneck, as well. I did bring in some Pyrrol Red in the eye sockets, nose, and mouth. I find I use Pyrrol Red on nearly every portrait, whether I intend to or not. It is a nice warm (but not too warm) semi-transparent pigment. I added some of the quin rose and cobalt blue-violet mix to the ends of the hair under her chin.

I was pleased with the painting, especially the likeness. I think I will adjust the shadows on the far shoulder, to let that recede rather than come forward. Then I will call ‘er done.

Thank you, Liz, for being a fantastic model, sitting like a statue. I think I saw you blink twice, though.

All Smiles Now – Painting (SOLD)

All Smiles Now

Portrait #15 of my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge. “All Smiles Now” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on Arches 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

Swatches

If you saw my last post, you saw my value study. During the painting process, I tried to only refer to the drawing, rather than the source photo. I played around with some different pigment options before beginning the painting. I wanted the colors to be softer than some previous portraits I have done for this challenge. I settled on the combination on the bottom (see Swatches image); Quinacridone Red and Coral, Raw Sienna Light, and Manganese Blue Hue.

I saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I mixed up my pigment piles, plus a violet mix with the rose and manganese. I dried the paper back to damp, but wet the shadow areas again, so I could drop the colors in and let them swim around together, without worrying about the colors floating in the drier paper. Damp paper will hold a soft edge. On dry paper, the edges dry too hard for my liking, especially for a little girl subject.

I put down a thin layer of blue in the eye sockets, under the nose and mouth to start, then applied rose, coral, and raw sienna next to the blue to let them mix on the paper. I then gently caressed the colors together.

I left the highlights in the eye dry, so they would stay white. Not the “whites of the eye,” though. just the highlight that crosses the iris and pupil. The “whites” are actually quite dark, sort of gray tones. I like to have a blue base for the eye socket and the teeth. When I’m painting a big smile, I avoid yellow anywhere near the teeth because it makes them look decayed.

I slowly built up the value layers, being careful to soften all the transitions while the paint was wet. I only wanted hard edges around the eyes and mouth. For the hair, I used mostly raw sienna, with purple shadows. I did have to bring in some Cobalt Blue Violet in order to create the darks in the mouth and eyes. The manganese blue is too high value to achieve the darks.

I’m not sure the painting is complete yet. As I look at it, I may make a few adjustments. But then sometimes we have to be brave enough to quit when it’s 80% done, to avoid that overworked look? I’ll sleep on it. Stay tuned. Compare to value study drawing. Does it look like the same little girl? I did use my drawing to trace up the contours for the painting. Click on images for a larger view.

This painting has SOLD.

All Smiles Now – Drawing

All Smiles Now – Watercolor, 11″x7.5″

 

All Smiles Now – Drawing (SOLD)

All Smiles Now

Portrait #15 for 30 x 30 Challenge.

Keeping on with the challenge, my friend in California is doing the sketchy version of the portrait challenge. She wrote a blog post about doing teeth which made me realize I hadn’t attempted an open-mouth smile portrait in some time. So what’s a challenge without “a challenge”, eh? I agree teeth are hard to pull off, even in a drawing.

But this cutie patootie Tay smile is hard to resist.

During the photoshoot, It did take a bit of coaxing to find the smiles, but once we did, there was no hiding the “happy girl” bubbles. Tay, I have received my kitty cards now, so tell your mom you need to visit again?

I like the diagonal presentation, do you?  I am pondering a choice of colors.. I want to keep them soft and fresh. I will go review some paintings by my good friend, Janet Rogers. Maybe I will find my inspiration. I want lovely violet shadows and pink cheeks, so I’m thinking a Quinacridone Rose and Manganese Blue are in order, perhaps some Raw Sienna Light. I’ll have to ‘speriment. As always, Stay Tuned!

That Tickle Smile – Drawing

That Tickle Smile

Portraits 14 & 15 for my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge.

I drew this value study in preparation for my next painting while watching Outlander on Netflix, so no video for the drawing process. I tried to remember to take process photos with my iPad, which also held the source photo. My friend, Breanne and her daughter Tay came earlier in the week for a “headshot” photoshoot. Tay started out shy with big wide eyes and a somber expression. Mom started giving her a little back tickle and out came the smiles.

The source photo is actually a little blurry. Sometimes I prefer slightly blurry photos. It helps keep me loose and general, rather than focused on the detail.

Drawing Stage 1

I started with ovals to set up the broad placement for the heads and Tay’s hand. I liked the diagonal composition to create a sense of movement. Mom’s gaze toward her daughter acts as a line back to Tay’s delightful face, the focal point.

After sketching in some contour lines, I began shading on the girl, her figure, moving to mom’s face, then the darks between them. I adjusted the size of mom’s head thinking it was too small and far away. Fortunately, I realized it early on, before “major surgery” as required.

Drawing Stage 2

Between Stage 3 and 4 I adjusted the mom’s far eye and added some more shading on the child’s hair, back and shoulders.

After putting it away overnight, I may make some adjustments to the girl’s hand, mom’s nose, and mom’s hairline?

Next up, painting! Stay tuned!

Update: First attempt at painting? Not so much. I’ll try again today.

That Tickle Smile