Tag Archives: art teaching

Ferocious

Ferocious

Portrait #9 of my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Ferocious” is an 11″x7.5″ watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image to view larger in a new browser tab.

I loved the perspective of this fellow. I believe the photo was provided by my great friend, LD. It has been a few years, though, and the image file did not have any identifying information. I could have taken it when visiting?

I started with a 12-minute drawing. The perspective made for a challenge, so I wanted to spend some time on the drawing to make the painting go my freely.

I saturated the paper back and front, then mixed up my paint. I used just three primary pigments, Cobalt Blue by QoR, as well as New Gamboge and Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith.

I soaked up the extra water from the back of the paper, but left the front really wet, except around the eye, where I lifted off the area to damp. I started with the nose and eyes and worked outward, using the red and blue for the dark tones at first. I started with pigment that was “milky-strength” because of all the water on the paper surface.

For the chest area, I used yellow, red and a tiny bit of blue to create the golden color. I used the same mix a little stronger for the gold around the eyes. After the chest area dried a little, I strengthened the pigment and added more blue and red for a brownish shadow color.

I used a tea-strength mix of blue, red and a little yellow to make a gray tone for the “beard” and scruff. I painted around some of the white tufts of hair.

After the paper had dried back to a damp state, I painted the background to call out the hair edges.

As the paper dried, I mixed all three colors together for a rich dark, now creamy strength, and painted in the darker values in the nose, eyes, and hair. I lifted off the “white” of the dog’s eye with a damp brush. I painted around the highlight in the eye but lifted off the larger secondary highlight that gives the dog that somewhat crazed and ferocious look <smile>.

When the paper was still damp but almost dry,  I painted in some thin calligraphy strokes for the hairs around the muzzle and eyes.

I have no idea how long the painting took to paint, I suspect about 90 minutes (including the drawing). I did record the process, so I’ll have to go back and look at the video clips to know for sure. I think I’m calling this one done. Even after overnight “staring time” I can’t see much to change. I love it.

The painting is for sale. $185 plus tax/shipping where applicable. Deliverable in a custom white mat with a black core, outside dimensions of the mat fit into a standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

$185

Snackie?

“Snackie” – First Draft

“Snackie?” – Final

Painting 7 of 14 for my Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Snackie?” is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor on 140lb Arches Cold Press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a little dog who belongs to the granddaughter of one of my watercolor students (I think). Thank you for the source photo, Vikki!

I videotaped the process, so this may be one of my demonstration paintings for my upcoming March workshop. Attendees of the workshop will receive four video tutorials complementarily with the workshop fee. What a deal?!

I am also selling the four video tutorials separately. If you think you might be interested, click here for the details.

I have a few adjustments to make to this painting; to the nose and the top of the head. Right now, the whole video clocks in at 64 minutes. I’m trying to keep each tutorial to 90 minutes or less. 

I painted “Snackie?” using my wet-to-dry method and just four watercolor pigments; Pyrrol Red, Manganese Blue Hue, New Gamboge, and Phthalo Blue (GS), all by Daniel Smith.

Stay tuned for the updates.

Update 2/17/20: I made a few changes. Can you tell? Is it better?

Painting is for sale $185 plus shipping and/or taxes, where applicable. Watercolor painting 7.5″x11″ with a custom white mat with a black core to fit in standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

Fluffy Butt & Finding Nino

Fluffy Butt

Finding Nino

Numbers 5 and 6 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Fluffy Butt” and “Finding Nino” are both transparent watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I painted both by first saturating the paper completely.

For “Fluffy Butt” I sketched in a basic contour edge really lightly.

I mixed up three different strengths (tea, milk, and cream) of a gray mixture with Phthalo Blue (GS), Indanthrone Blue, and Transparent Pyrrol Orange; all by Daniel Smith.

For “Finding Nino” I mixed up the same gray tones but added some New Gamboge with a touch of Raw Sienna Light for the eyes and ground.

For both paintings, I painted with the tea strength pigment first while the paper still had a sheen of wetness. The edges diffuse most on wet paper with wet pigment. I added first the milky tones,  then the creamy pigment, still in the really wet surface, to build up value and keep the edges really soft and lost. Going in with a thick pigment even on the wet surface allowed me to hold a soft edge around the head. I sprayed the whole painting with a soft mist to create some water burst effects, then let it dry at an angle.

While “Fluffy Butt” was drying, I began painting “Finding Nino” using the same process, but this time I did not do a pre-drawing but painted directly on the paper. I lifted out pigment around the eyes and nose. After drying the paper, I painted the eyes with yellow over the top of the gray tone. I added some yellow to the supporting background, so the eye color would not be isolated in the painting.

I went back to “Fluffy…” after he was all dry, and painted in some darks on the back, head, and under the tail. I added a hint of background to give him some context.

I quite like my fluffy kitties.

Nino was (is?) a fluffy black kitty who left me long ago and broke my heart. I have always hoped he wandered off and someone adopted him. He was only a year old when he disappeared. I surely loved that boy. Sigh. Here is me “Finding Nino” again.

 

 

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman – Update

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman – Final

This was the 30th painting for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge for January 2020. “Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on images to see a larger view in new browser tabs.

I painted it on January 30th. I have been staring at it since. The neck was originally too wide. This is the fix. I also made some minor adjustments to the shoulder, hand, and arm. It’s WAY better now, me thinks. 

Stage 1

Compare to the earlier version.

Available for purchase. $185 (plus tax or shipping). Includes a custom mat without outside edge dimensions to fit a standard 11″X14″ frame.

Buy Now $185

 

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman

Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman

Portrait #30 for my 30×30 Portrait challenge. “Walking Down the Street, Pretty Woman” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches Cold Press. Portrait #30 on the 30th! Whew! Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I dashed off the sketch in the morning, then had to finish up two paintings after my watercolor class to meet the 30×30 goal, but I did it! Yay!

I saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I mixed up five “piles” of paint to a milky strength; Rose of Ultramarine, Raw Sienna Light, Pyrrol Red, Cascade Green (by Daniel Smith), and Ultramarine Blue (by Holbein). I then dried the paper back to damp.

Sketch

I started with the background, painting around the whites, letting the colors mix on the paper (rather than in the palette). I used the blue, RoU, and Cascade Green and a bit of Raw Sienna for the background colors.

For the hair, I painted the first layer with Raw Sienna Light, then moved to the skin tones, adding some Pyrrol Red to the mix. I used my S-Caress stroke to keep all the edges soft and indistinct. I fixed the shoulder width between the drawing and painting, bringing the shoulder and arm shadows in closer to the body.

I used a light layer of Cascade Green for the blouse base, then added some Ultramarine Blue and let the paint swim around to create the impression of a fabric pattern. The hardest part around the torso was the hand. Keeping it indistinct but accurate (I hope).

I mixed all the colors together to create a dark for the shadows in the hair. I used an Ultramarine base for the eye sockets and irises of the eye,  but painted the eyelashes and brows with the same murky dark. I used the Ultramarine Blue and Cascade green with some Rose of Ultramarine for the soft shadows in the face and neck. I could probably still fix some things, but I like the freshness of it as it is.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting for $185 unframed (plus tax and or shipping, where applicable). It comes with a custom mat, sized to fit in a standard 14″x11″ frame.

Just click the Buy Now button below. Easy Peasy.

Buy Now $185

 

Woman in the Crowd – Sketch

Woman in a Crowd – Sketch final

Woman in a Crowd – Stage 1

Portrait #30 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. Yay! I made it to 30 portraits on the 30th day of the month. Whew! Okay, so the last two are just sketches so far, but the challenge didn’t say anything about having to be just paintings, right? I will likely need the 31st day of January to finish the paintings.

Woman in a Crowd – Stage 2

This is a graphite sketch on 90 lb watercolor paper. I started with an outline drawing of the major shadow and light shapes (Stage 1). In stage 2, I shaded lightly to separate the light from shadow.

By stage 3, I realized I had some proportions off. I fixed the “big head” issue, but I still need to adjust for the “Monster shoulders” issues. Stay tuned.

Once the final corrections are made, I will trace up an outline drawing to my watercolor paper today. Stay tuned!

 

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.

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.

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.

The Painting – Serious Golf Buddies

Series Golf Buddies

Serious Golf Buddies portraits 10, 11, 12 & 13 continue for my 30 x 30 Portrait Challenge.

After completing the value study drawing, I traced up the contour edges to 140lb Arches cold press watercolor paper. I like to refer to the drawing study as the “first date” with a painting. This is where I learn about my subject. Knowing my subject well allows me to be freer in the painting process.

Having said that, I did not notice the flaws before going into the painting. The main subject’s shoulders were too narrow, and the shadow cast by the nose was too dark compared to the shadow cast by the hat.

Serious Golf Buddies (Drawing)

In my first draft of the painting, I made the same mistakes, plus a few more. When one is in the middle of a painting, much like writing, one does not see the flaws. I find it is important to put away the painting for a time, place it at least across the room and look at it with fresh eyes. I call it staring time.

Serious Golf Buddies (Draft)

I edited the first draft to make those few adjustments. After wetting the paper front and back, I mixed up piles of Cobalt Blue Violet, Pyrrol Red, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Quinacridone Red, and Raw Sienna Light (all by Daniel Smith); Keeping to a broad analogous color harmony scheme.

I painted in value layers, starting with the background to carve out the main shapes of the figures. I moved into the distant figures, keeping them in lighter tones, with cool shadows and warm light. I increased the pigment strength for the main figure to intensity the colors and darken the values. Now I’m calling ‘er done. And it makes me chuckle.

Serious Golf Buddies (Final)

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This painting has SOLD.