Tag Archives: portrait

Quarantines and Video Editing

Prelude: Perhaps you have noticed the absence of blogging on my part? Perhaps we do not notice that which is not, only that which is? At any rate, if you have been waiting with bated breath for my next bird painting… I apologize… the Big Bird March challenge had a coronavirus-related setback. It has taken me two days just to finish this blog post.

I have mostly been working on Workshop Video editing in my social-distancing time. See the images above. Click the images for larger views (then use your browser back arrow to return to this blog post).

3/28/20: You would think I would have much more time to paint and blog with all this social distancing and self-isolating?

I have actually found myself with quite a lot on my plate. First, there were all the cancellations of classes, and emails to announce said cancellations, and then the responses from and to all the hosts, and students, and then there were all the refund checks, and then the rescheduling of classes, and the updates of websites and social media accounts, etcetera, etcetera. Sigh.

Oh and book club? A great book, but it is was the fourth in a series, and of course, I wanted to read the first three, so I would have all the “back story.” I’m big on the back story. I only managed to read two in the series, then skipped to the fourth, so I could speak about it during our “virtual” book club via Google Hangouts. Now I still have one more book!  Which is wonderful. I don’t have to give up my new imaginary friends just yet (The Cormoran Strike detective series by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling, for those interested).

In between all that, I thought it would be a marvelous time to get ahead on editing the videos for my video portraits workshop. I have actually spent most of my working-day hours on editing. I have two done. One is now “crunching” through the rendering and upload process (I’m told I must wait another hour and 30 minutes for the rendering to complete tonight).

3/29/30: I am now working on the third painting in the workshop series, “Little Cutie.” I actually was going to do a different painting, but… ah…. I had missing source video and audio. So I started from scratch and did a whole other painting. Which is actually good because this is the version of the portrait we actually did in the workshop.

“Little Cutie” is the most complex painting/video in the series. I thought I would break it into three video tutorials because the file size gets so massive. The drawing is about 40 minutes. The painting took an hour and 40 minutes (and after “staring time,” I still think I have a few corrections to make). The first stage of the painting is in the “video hopper” (aka Adobe Premier) as we speak.

The drawing video tutorial is up and ready. See Youtube preview.

In case you want to help out a… not-quite-starving-but-a-little-nervous-about-paying-the-studio-rent-artist in social…uh… isolation? (I was going to say purgatory – but that implies I’ve been a bad, bad artist)… All the full-length videos are for sale, either individually or as a package (the package purchase is the better deal, for sure). If you are interested, you can read the specifics under the “Colleen Teaches” menu of my very own website, www.colleenreynolds.com/art-classes (just click this link). The full descriptions of each product are located in my Sellfy Shop CRME Exploring Watercolor.

I created the Sellfy shop as a way to provide a video download product. I would be most celebratory if you happened to want to dance your fingers through the shop and give me some feedback? To pre-order the whole package, you can click the purdy green button below.

 

 

 

Window Bathing (Sold!)

“Window Bathing”

This little one flew off the brush in about 30 minutes (painting) and 8 minutes drawing. Painting #13 of my 14×28 Furry Friends of February challenge. I painted it with “Cactus Cat” from yesterday’s post, but I thought she deserved her own post. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a common pose for this kitty and I imagine kitties everywhere. She was lapping up the sun in front of the window, keeping us from making the bed.

I used the wet-to-dry method for the painting. After masking off a few white whiskers and hairs and letting the masking dry, I saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I mixed up three piles of paint; red, yellow, and blue; Indanthrone Blue, Pyrrol Red, and New Gamboge.

I dried the back of the paper off with Viva paper towels and dabbed up the light edges on the front. I painted the background first with all three colors, starting with blue, then caressing in red and yellow while the paper was really wet. I then painted the darks in the head with the same three colors, putting more red and yellow around the eyes.

After moving to the white fur, I decided to bring in a fourth color; Manganese blue, to capture the shadows in the white fur. I first put in some tea strength Pyrrol Red around the nose and chin, then added my grayed down Manganese blue and caressed out the shadow areas, painting around the whites in the face edge, chin, chest, and paws. For the forward paw, I started with a dirty orange of mostly Gamboge, a little red and a little Indanthrone Blue for the colored fur, then used the same dirty blue mix as the paw transitioned to white fur in shadow. I added a tiny bit of the dirty orange in the crease between the far paw and chest. I built up the core shadows with thick paint, using some dry brushing.

For the forward quilt, I used Manganese and Gamboge at tea-strength to paint the overall shape, then added the Indanthrone Blue for the shadow areas. While the quilt was really wet, I used the Indanthrone Blue to hint at some of the stitching patterns.

I removed the masking and cleaned up some of the white shapes. A quick little cutie pie painting. And she sold almost immediately. Kitties make me smile.

Next up will be my final furry friend of the February Challenge. It’s a good thing we have an extra day in February this year, or I would be one short!

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Jonesy Boy Too

“Jonesy Boy Too” – Final

Painting #11 for my Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Jonesy Too” is a 5.5″x7.5″ transparent watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the images for larger views in new browser tabs.

“Jonesy Boy Too” – Stage 1

“Jonesy Too” is a demonstration painting for my community education Silver Watercolor Class with Truckee Meadows Community College. This was the final painting demo of our 4-week class, which met on four Saturdays this month.

I used my wet-to-dry method, which meant saturating the paper, mixing up my three pigments, then drying back the paper to damp where I wanted to hold an edge. See stage 1 for a view of where the demo ended in class.

I used Pyrrol Red, Phthalo Blue (GS) and New Gamboge (all by Daniel Smith) throughout the painting. We first called out the outline of the kitty by painting the background around him, letting the colors blend and mix on the paper.

We then used the same three colors to paint the biggest shadow side of the interior kitty. After the first value layer had dried back some, we worked some mid-level darks, concentrating on the cat’s features. After the class was completely frustrated, I went around and helped students individually with their paintings. I did not remember to take photos of some of their efforts, but they did really well, I thought.

“Jonesy Boy Too” Stage 2

After returning to my studio, I added the final dark tones, working slowly and deliberately which my big pointy brush. I really just concentrated on shadow and light. After Stage 2 (see image), I thought I was done. After seeing the image on my computer, though, I realized the shadows around the mouth were wrong, making the kitty look almost cartoonish. So I fiddled with it some more; lifting off some pigment, and adding more.

I used a sharp snap knife to scratch back the whiskers and highlights on the fur and in the eyes.

I have painted another version from this same source photo. See earlier blog post for “Light Catcher” (Click link)

Which version do you prefer? This painting is half the size of the previous one.

The painting is for sale. $95 plus $7 shipping to destinations in the continental U.S. It will be delivered unframed in a white mat with a black core, outside dimensions to fit a standard size 8″x10″ frame.

 

 

 

Gemstones & Garth

“Garth is a Gem”

Portrait #10 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February challenge. “Gemstones & Garth” is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image to bring up a larger view in a new browser tab.

Garth just popped out on the paper with speed and pleasantry. I had gone to his home earlier in the day for a photoshoot. Garth is of the Corgi breed. My Little (from Big Brothers Big Sisters) had previously indicated this is her favorite dog type. Since my good friend Betty lives with Garth, I asked permission to photograph her pup. Later in the day, I had fun-time scheduled with Little, so I was prepared with oodles of Corgi shots.

To my surprise, Little wanted to watch me do the painting. I set her up with a “Little Table” in front of my studio projection screen, so she could watch the process. I told her I wanted to record the painting process, did she mind? Not only did she not mind, but we also set her up with her own mike so she could be the “studio audience” for my “Puppy Painting, Live!” video adventure.

Her favorite watercolor pigment is Lapis Lazuli (it’s a gemstone character in her Steven Universe series). It is a beautifully soft, Daniel Smith warm blue pigment (very expensive) that is also transparent and granulating with tiny sparkles of light when dry. I thought it would be perfect for the shadow whites of the dog’s fur. I also used New Gamboge, Pyrrol Red (both by Daniel Smith) and Ultramarine Light (Holbein).

I had previously drawn the contour lines of the subject off-camera, with Little as my witness. That is when she informed me she would like to watch me paint him. I had taken the photos with my iPad for the photoshoot (which eliminated the laborious need of transferring the photo reference from another camera to the iPad. whew!). I enjoy using the iPad photo as my reference when painting because I can zoom in and out on the image as needed.

I saturated the paper, then dried some spots back to damp. I started with milky pigment strength because the paper was really wet. I caressed in the first layer of value, while everything was really glossy, except at the damp spots I had created at the top of the nose, back of the head, ear, and under the nose and chin. Drying those spots back to damp kept those edges soft, rather than lost. I called out the overall “dog shape” by painting around. I used all four pigments in the background, letting them blend and mix on the paper.

I did use the blow drier on the nose, eyes, ear, and back of the head; to speed the process. Once dry (ish), I added the darks on the features and behind the head.

I quite like the painting. It flew off the brush in about 30-40 minutes (I’ll have to check the timing on the video clips). I credit my “Little Muse” for providing the perfect environment for creativity <smile>.

Now to edit the audio and video for the collaborative creation, between my Little and me. We were both all smiles in the end.

Smiling Beverly

Painting with model

Smiling Beverly

“Smiling Beverly” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press paper. A day departing from my Furry Friends Challenge. I participated in the Portrait Society of Reno’s weekly live model session. The lovely “Smiling Beverly” graced us with herself. She held a slight smile the entire time. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I used Phthalo Blue (GS), Cascade Green, Quinacrindone Coral, and Raw Sienna Light. All Daniel Smith pigments.

I painted on dry paper, set at a 60-75 degree angle (on my plein air easel). For the first 20-minute sitting, I drew the contours of the major shapes.

I began painting on the second 20-minute pose. I began with the background, moving from the outside in. The background is a mix of Cascade Green and Phthalo blue. I then framed the face with the hair. I mixed phthalo, quin coral to make the first layer of light gray hair. I then moved on to the skin tones. I used quin coral and Raw Sienna Light. Around the eye sockets I put down a think layer of just phthalo blue. I exaggerated the light shapes at first, leaving them completely white.

For the second 20-minute pose, I concentrated on the features with a stronger mix of all three pigments. Painting the shadow shapes.

For the third 20-minute pose, I worked on the clothing and darker shadows in the hair. This time I added some RSL to the blue and coral for a richer more neutral gray tone. I put in some blue reflected light on the bottom of the chin and added some blue to the lights to give her a sense of being in outside light.

For the final 20-minute pose, I added some more darks around the features, added the glasses, and darkened the background green.

I have a few corrections to make (around the eyes and mouth) but I am quite pleased with the likeness achieved from the live setting. Stay tuned!

 

Sold! What Did You Say?

What Did You Say?

What Did You Say? – Final

Portrait #2 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “What Did You Say?” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

 

I made friends with this little guy just before Christmas last year in Boise, Idaho. I wonder if he will remember me when I visit again?

I sketched in a quick outline drawing directly on the paper using my lead holder (pencil) with 2B graphite. I exaggerated the forward tilt of the left-side ear to make the dog look more inquisitive.

The painting went really quickly. I will have to check the timing on the video clip, but I think the drawing & painting process took about 30 to 40 minutes total? I was trying something a little different for me. I still saturated the paper, front and back, but this time I did not dry it back to damp; instead, I went in while the paper was still really glossy wet.

I worked the shapes from the inside out, using thick paint. Instead of working light pigment and building up the values, I wanted to do more of an “all prima” method, achieving the correct values from the start.

I used Transparent Pyrrol Orange (TPO), Raw Sienna Light (RSL), and Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith, and Ultramarine Light by Holbein.

I began around the snout and eyes, using strong pigment. I put a base of blue for the eyes and nose, being careful to paint around the highlight on the tip of the nose. I added TPO and red, letting all three colors mix on the paper, then drew the orange, yellow and red out to the hair. It was fun to watch the paint bleed out and leave a lost edge.

I used the RSL for the light hair at the top of the head, the bottom of the chin, and tips of the ears. When calling out the background, I rewetted the paper and applied a thinner mix of all the colors, creating a diagonal flow. I just hinted at the dog’s body so the focus stays on the face. I darkened the nose, eyes, and mouth with more blue, red and TPO. After the painting had dried off a bit, I added some calligraphy strokes to imply hair. I saved some random whites around the edges to create sparkle in the painting. I may want to lift off some brighter highlights in the eyes. What do you think?

Sold! Thank you, Denise Maxwell.

Update 2/7/20! I made two changes. Can you tell where?

 

Light Catcher

Light Chaser – Final

Painting #1 for my 14/28 February Furry Friends challenge. “Light Catcher” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I painted this “wet-to-dry,” meaning I first saturated the paper completely, then dried it back to damp and painted “alla prima” until the paper was completely dry.

I used three primary pigments; Phthalo Blue (GS), Pyrrol Red, and Hansa Yellow Light throughout.

I first drew an outline of the figure and shadow edges directly on the watercolor paper, using a 2B graphite pencil. While the paper was quite wet, I painted the background with all three colors, letting them mix on the paper and painting around the whites. I moved into the figure with the top right ear, then to the right side shadows, keeping the paint at milk strength. I like to put the paint down, then “S-caress” it out to leave soft edges. I then just painted the gray shadows by mixing the red with the blue to get a rich gray. I started the left ear with a tea-strength red, then added some of the gray mix for shadow areas.

I painted the eyes last. I started with the yellow and blue, then added some of the red to create a more neutral green for the far eye. I used the same colors for the near eye (in shadow), painting around a sidewise T-shaped highlight. While the eye was still wet, I dropped in some of the gray mix for the pupil and the darker ring around the middle. I let it dry, then carved around the edges with a thick almost black mix of red and blue. After drying off the eye again, I decided the near eye had to be more in shadow, so I glazed over everything except the highlight with a darker green. I let that dry, then glazed over that with an orange, mixed with the red and yellow. I let it dry again, then painted over the highlight with a tea-strength phthalo blue (except for a tiny spot of pure white).

I did not use any masking or white paint. I did, however, use Magic Eraser to lift out a critical highlight in the far eye, just at the bottom edge of the eye.

I painted the edge of the gray shadow shapes with a toned-down orange (mixed with the red and yellow and a bit of blue) to give the fur a glow. I called out a few hints of hair and fur with some calligraphy strokes. Done. I think it took about an hour and a half. I will have to check the video clips for sure.

I quite like it… Personality abounds.

Available for purchase. $185 (plus tax or shipping). Includes a custom mat without outside edge dimensions to fit a standard 11″X14″ frame. Please include the title of the painting in the comments during purchase.

Update 2/7/20! I made a change. Can you tell where?

 

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

 

Man in Crowd – Painting

Man in a Crowd – Painting

Portrait #29 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. Watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Aches Cold Press paper. Click on images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I wanted to keep this one unrealized, like the on/off drawing sketch. I used Rose of Ultramarine, Cascade Green, Cobalt Blue Violet, Raw Sienna Light, and Transparent Pyrrol Orange all by Daniel Smith. I saturated the paper, then dried it back to damp, so I could hold an edge. I painting around the light shapes with milky strength pigment, letting the colors mix on the paper. I like the soft diagonal effect of the paint strokes in the background.

I used RoU, CBV, and Cascade Green in the background and for the grays of the hair. I used the TPO and RSL for the skin tones, adding RoU for the shadows. For the shadows in the shirt, I used the RoU and Cascade Green, then some CBV for the darker shadows.

Man in a crowd – Sketch

For ONCE, I stopped before I put in too much detail. I quite like the sketchiness of the painting. Sometimes working on a deadline makes me focus.