Category Archives: Watercolor Portrait

Yohannes

Yohannes

Portrait #28 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Yohannes” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in your browser.

Yohannes was the model today for the Portrait Society of Reno weekly Wednesday sessions. What a great model! He sat like a statue and provided us with SUCH a great look.

I spent the first 20-minute-pose on the drawing. Taking care to pay attention to angles, proportions, and Interrelationships. The rest of the painting I finished in 3 more 20-minute-poses.

I worked a wet brush on dry paper.

Sitter with Painting

I really enjoyed his glasses, deep orange skin tones, and dark beard. I decided to bring the violet tones in the backdrop to the shadows in the face and clothing. It contrasted nicely with the orange skin tones, don’t you think?

I used mostly Transparent Pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith), Cobalt Blue Violet (Daniel Smith), and Crimson Lake (Holbein). I did use a bit of Raw Sienna Light (Daniel Smith) for the highlights on the cheek, nose, and neck. I used mostly crimson for the lips but decided I needed a warmer red, so I brought in Pyrrol Red in the end. Since I used the Pyrrol Red on the lips, I had to put touches of it elsewhere around the painting; on the bridge of the nose, side of the nostril, cheekbones, and brow. I also mixed some Pyrrol, TPO, and CBV for the darks in the beard, hat, etc.

The violet, orange, and crimson combination just did not gray down enough for the clothing. I mixed the Crimson with some Cascade Green (Daniel Smith), Pyrrol and Phthalo to get a rich, rich dark. Cascade Green is a mix of Phthalo Blue and Raw Sienna, though, so it’s not like a whole ‘nuther color.. hahaha. I may want to make a few minor adjustments around the neck and glasses. Or I may just leave it alone? Call it a truly live-sitting painting? Whattaya think?

I really think I caught Yohannes’ likeness. He seems like one of those really nice men; smart, kind, and it didn’t hurt that he was so handsome <smile>. I hope I have the opportunity to paint him again someday.

Coffee Shop Reader

Coffee Shop Reader – First Stage

Starbucks Reader – Final

Portrait #27 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Coffee Shop Reader” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a WIP (Work-in-progress). I started wet-into-wet with a triadic secondary color harmony scheme; Cobalt Blue Violet, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Cascade Green by Daniel Smith. Though, I also used Raw Sienna Light for the skin tones. I painted in value layers, reaching the 3rd layer of value.

I had to stop prematurely due to other commitments. I hope to resume painting today and start the next.

I think it is a good start. Though, I need to warm up the skin tones, fix the fabric folds and straighten the bricks. Oh, and the hand could use some work as well. Major surgery? Stay tuned!

I did all those things I said I would do. What do you think? Better?

 

 

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>.

Clark Superboy

Line Drawing.

Portrait #25 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Clark Superboy” watercolor 11″x7.5 on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I created this painting and the next one (#26) (see next blog post) over two days. On the first day, I drew the outline drawings directly on the watercolor paper.

The photograph was taken by the boy’s mother, Alethia Harmon, as he was readying himself for Halloween excursions.  Apparently, almost Superboy was fascinated with 3D glasses.  I think he looks like a young Clark Kent transitioning into being Superboy?

I decided to use Triadic Color Harmony, using primary colors, red, yellow and blue. I liked how the blue of the outfit reflected up into the skin tones, hair, and glasses. I used a combination of Cobalt Blue by QoR and Ultramarine Blue by Schminke for the blue tones, Quinacridone Rose, and Raw Sienna Light for the yellow. I used a mix of Rose of Ultramarine and Transparent Pyrrol Orange for the dark hair and all the colors mixed together for the dark of the glasses.

This time I painted wet-on-dry, painting with tea-strength pigment. I started with the dark hair, then moved down to the face, then the underlying blue of the costume. I painted the base of the glasses with blues, so when I added the darks, the blue would be the highlights.  I built up the value layers, thinking the paint. T After staring at this overnight, I realize I need to even up the glasses lenses. Stay tuned.

 

Barista

Barista – Final

Barista – Draft

Portrait #24 of my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Barista” 11″x7.5″ watercolor on 140lb cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This time, I just did a pencil outline sketch directly on the watercolor paper.

To begin the painting, I saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I mixed up five piles of paint; Cascade Green, Rose of Ultramarine (RoU), Transparent Pyrrol Orange (TPO), Raw Sienna Light (RSL), and Manganese Blue Hue; all by Daniel Smith.

I dried the paper back to damp before painting. I kept the paint at tea strength to start, painting the eye sockets, neck, light side, and under the chin with the green and blue and glazing with RoU. I used the warm tones; RSL, TPO and RoU for the checks, forehead, mouth, and nose.

I decided the Manganese Blue just did not allow me to get dark enough for the hair, pupils of the eye, mouth, eyebrows, and eyelashes, so I added some Cobalt Blue Violet to the mix. I mixed the blue-violet with orange for a rich dark brown. I used the raw sienna light for the lighter areas of the hair, and the orange for some of the warm shadows. In order to preserve the harmony of the painting, I used green for the apron and mixed it with the two violets for a background. I had fun painting the hair tendrils with calligraphy strokes.

After “staring time,” I’m thinking I will glaze over the green tones a bit with something warm. Stay tuned.

Update 1/27: I worked on this painting more over the last two days. I glazed over the green tones with Raw Sienna Light and Rose of Ultramarine added more darks to the hair, and fiddled with the far eye a bit.

Note: If you click on the images and open them in new browser tabs, you can click between them to see the subtle differences better.

Little Veil – Painting

Little Veil

Portrait #23 of my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Little Veil” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I mixed up 5 tea strength piles of pigment: Rose of Ultramarine (RoU), Cascade Green and Raw Sienna Light (RSL) by Daniel Smith;  Cobalt Blue by QoR, and Translucent Orange by Schminke. I saturated the paper front and back, then dried it back to damp.

I wetted the shadow shapes again then “S-caressed” in the RoU, RSL, and Translucent Orange for the skin tones, using the Cascade Green for the light side and the shadows ad Cobalt in the eye sockets. I painted around the highlights in the eyes (by not wetting the paper there).

I used a combination of the Cobalt, RoU, and Translucent Orange for the hair, letting the colors mix on the paper (not in the palette!).

I wet the background and gently painted caressed in tea strength RoU and Cascade Green in the background, Letting the two colors both mix and be independent, so it was soft and blended. I let all the color bleed out a bit.

I took a break to handle a customer. Yay! Afterward, the paper had dried back just the right amount. I started to build up the value tones. Starting with the dark eyes. I brought in some Payne’s Blue Gray (or maybe Indanthrone Blue?) by Daniel Smith, mixed it with the Translucent Orange to create a dark brown for the hair and the eyes. I used RoU for the lips and nostrils. With a tiny bit of blue where the lips joined and in the corners of the mouth.

I called out the neck and back of the hair with a stronger mix of Cascade Green, then blended in some RoU to neutralize the colors.

I enjoy the painting. I REALLY captured a likeness this time. I like the softness on the edges and focus on the features with the hair falling across them.

This may be my favorite skin tone combination now? Who will I draw or paint tomorrow? Stay tuned.

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.

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?