Tag Archives: watercolor

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!

 

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.

 

 

Cosmos

Cosmos Too

For my class at the Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, we painted a simple flower painting, using my “Dot & Pull” method. I adapted my little painting style from creationsceecee on Youtube. I’ve adapted it a bit to include a soft background and based my creations on flowers in my garden, rather than imaginary ones. In this case, I used the cosmos flower as my inspiration.

Sunflowers Three

Last year, I also adapted the same method to paint sunflowers.

All the paintings are on 140 lb Arches cold press watercolor paper, sized down to 5.5″x7.5″. In a 5″x7″ black core mat that fits into an 8″x10″ frame opening quite nicely. I am hoping to have a number of them to offer for sale during future Carson City Wine Walks. My Carson City studio, Exploring Watercolor, will be on the walk map, beginning in April.

Anyway, it was a day away from February Furry Friends challenge. I will need to get back to them soon.

I did have to take another day away to prepare for another college class. You will be able to read all about that in my next post (I still need to take photos).

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.

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!

 

Man in the Crowd

Man in the crowd – 2nd Stage

Portrait #29 for my 30×30 Challenge. Graphite on 90lb watercolor paper 7.5″x11″. Click on images for a larger view in separate tabs in your browser bar. This sketch is based on an image of a man in the crowd I took several years ago. It is a preparatory value study for a painting.

Man in the Crown – 1st Stage

Man in the Crowd – Final Sketch (so far)

The first stage is the outline drawing. The second stage is to separate the white from the “color.” The final stage is bringing in some more value layers. I need to make adjustments to the proportions on the face. Or I may just keep the painting to the second stage. I’m not sure yet. BUT I had two more portraits to do today to meet my goal of 30 portraits and 30 days. Sketches count! ha! But I may need January’s 31st day to finish the paintings. 

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.