Monday, September 7, 2015

The Longest Grass

I started a sketch of my son. On the last painting I said the head was too small to get much detail into. This face is only marginally bigger. Maybe the size of a silver dollar rather than a loonie. None the less, I like the sketch so far because the likeness seems to be there.

One thing I'm trying with this sketch is working from a b&w reference photo. I'm hoping it will help get the tones relatively correct with more ease and not being fooled by changes in colour.
I did a crosshatch with the watercolour pencils to add colour to the background. Then I tried to take that texture out with a wet paintbrush and just have a solid colour background. I didn't bother to scrub all lines out.  I figure when I add the grass in with the pencils after the paper dries, it won't be too noticeable 
After the paper dried I added more lines for hair and grass and emphasized the dark part of the eyes, nose, and mouth. 

I'm pretty happy with the end result. There wasn't as much magic if paint is applied on wet paper with a brush. But I'll stick with this technique for a few more paintings and see if it keeps improving. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Barefoot on Grass

I'm living away from home so I can work now. I anticipate there will be lots more time available to paint. Of course there is my full time job and I'll keep looking for a job back home. But after that there should be lots of time to paint.

I've been really inspired by Ali Cavanaugh's work. It's figurative paintings of her children. Her results are really remarkable. Of course she has a really skilled and well practiced hand. I'm sure it will take me 10,000 hours to reach her level.

I tried a little portrait of my son. I enjoyed working on it especially because it was my son and my family is so far away right now.

It is an 9x12 inch painting. I started with a sketch using Reeves watercolor pencils. Then I brushed it with water. I kept reworking it to try and get the likeness correct. But I think it looks way overworked  and still the likeness is not correct. Double whammy. Part of the issue was the face was only the size of a loonie and I was trying to do too much in such a small space. My brush is not small enough to maneuver in that tiny area.  Just getting the basics and broad strokes of his face might have been enough. At least not looking overworked.

I'll try it again with a bigger space, maybe the size of a tennis ball to paint the face.