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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Watercolor Figure Portrait Demo

I am trying another method of under painting for this watercolor figure portrait. The underpainting has been started using a more traditional color, sepia, to build up form slowly. There are still many more layers to be added but the general form is clear. Charles Novich was featured in the Artist's Magazine using the colors I will be using which give the skin a warm brownish glow.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Completed

Well I think this is done! I will leave it for a few days and come back to it to see for sure and I will likely make some tweaks. I have added a few more glazed to the hair after lifting out some highlights. To lift out the highlights I just used a nylon angle brush with clean water and a tissue. You could also use a razor blade to scratch out the highlights but I think it looks too harsh. It is also scary to take a razor blade to a portrait after all this work! I also lifted some highlights out on the skin, eyes and shirt. I love this stage but it is easy to get carried away so I have to watch myself. The paint also lifts very easily at this point as there are so many layers of paint on the paper to a light hand is good! This photo seems to be a bit less red than the original, I can't seem to get it right ;)

Watercolor Portrait in Demo #8

This update photo was taken at night so the colors are a little off. Mainly in the hair, I don't think it was that red at this stage. I have added the shadows to the hair with a darker mix of French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre. I also added a few layers of Rose Madder Genuine to give her skin a healthy glow including her lips.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #7

The hair has been painted in several layers to add depth and to obtain the rich red color in her hair. A dark mixture of ultramarine blue, burnt umber and yellow ochre was used for the darks. I then glazed over all of the hair with raw sienna and then a mix of burnt umber and a touch of sepia to give the red and brown tones. Still a bit more work to be done to add the detail to the hair.

Her face has been glazed with cadmium red with a touch of terre verte several times but still requires more glazes to give her a rosy glow. The lips have been painted more heavily with the same mixture. The eyes have several glazed of indandathrene blue with a touch of cadmium red. I may add more glazed once the portrait is nearer completion and will lift out the highlights later as well.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #5


Now the face is modeled a bit more with venetian red which is an earthy color similar to indian red but not as opaque.

The color is again brought into the hair. The background has been darkened with a bluish green mixture. It will be darkened a few more times as I go. The shirt has been blocked in with cobalt blue and a touch of terre verte and will be modeled loosely to suggest shape but not too much detail.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #4

The features have been modeled a bit further using the watercolors very dryling now and blending well to avoid harsh lines in the portrait. I have added the background color which is a granular purple shade. I plan to darken it significantly as I go. I am continuing to add all of the flesh colors into the hair so that the hair looks more natural and has more depth.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #3

The hair and face were covered with a light layer of Naples Yellow and then the features of her face were further modeled further very carefully. Now I am adding layers of light red to give a bit of color to her skin and hair. The colors are a little off on this one as I had to use the scanner again and the board does not fit the greatest on it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #2

The blue underpainting has been overpainted with a olive green mixture to comeplete the grisaille. It looks more brownish than I think it should at this stage, and even moreso online, but we will see how it goes! It does have a nice glow to it though and she is starting to look less one dimensional.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo

I started this portrait prior to doing the last two cat portrait commissions and am now getting back to work on it. I am going to do it as a work in progress and it is my second attempt using the same drawing that I used for my first attempt using the grisaille method. I have transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper and have painted in the lights and darks using only blue. The full image would not fit on my scanner but you get the general idea.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak


Well I think Zak's portrait is complete! I will leave him overnight and may make minor tweaks. The scan does not show the graduations in tone as well as I would like. Some areas look a little choppy in the scan, but if gives the general idea. I think the dark background is throwing the balance off a bit for the scan.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #4

Zak is very near completion, just a few more tweaks in his fur better match his color pattern and texture. The blanket also needs to be lightened in a few areas so it does not look so flat.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #4


Cat, what cat..... Zak is looking a little lost right now but once I add more detail to his fur he will pop back out of the blankets and the background. I used 4B graphite pencil for the background for now but I may add charcoal at the end if I need it to add more depth. Once I pull out more highlights in the fur I will know for sure. The eyes sure make a difference! He is starting to look more like himself now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #3

I have added a few more layers of graphite pencil to Zak's fur and will add more still but needed to get the background established first. The blanket has been drawn with 4B graphite pencil and I will either use charcoal for the background behind his tail or 6B graphite pencil, will see how it progresses.

I definitely need to get his eyes drawn in, cats just do not look right without their eyes!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak Commission - Demo 2


The tonal values have been further developed and Zak the cat is starting to take shape :) He is so beautiful, I love all the fur! I still need to add many layers of graphite pencil to add depth and shape to him but he is already starting to look pretty furry. I will need to establish the background early on as well to ensure his fur does not look cut out around the edges.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak

Graphite Charcoal Portrait of CatThis is a cat portrait of Zak that I have just started. He is going to be a Christmas Gift for his unsuspecting person. The photo is really small but the pose is priceless and the lighting is aweseome. I have darkened the sketch in photoshop to show the detail better. The sketch was drawn lightly with a H graphite pencil. Next I will start adding in the layers of graphite pencil in 2B, HB and F for his fur.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Ready for the Birthday Party!

I think Vartz is ready for the Birthday Party! I will let the portrait sit for a bit and come back with fresh eyes to see if any minor tweaks need to be made. I started getting separation anxiety last night as I realized I would be parting with her soon, I may need to get a cat soon :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Commission - Demo 2


Just a quick update! Vartz is getting closer to looking like her self, not himself, so sorry Vartz! Many layers of graphite pencil have been added, blended and removed...many more to go. Mostly to add more shape and depth and to tweak a few areas where the resemblance is a little off but looking good for being completed on time tomorrow as it needs to be shipped Wed in order to get to the party on time :)

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Commission - Demo 1



Wow is this a cat or a jiggesaw puzzle, I think my eyes are bleeding ;) Just kidding :) This cat portrait is actually a lot of fun to draw as all of his stripes really make me get into the 'drawing zone' quickly. I have used mostly 2B and HB graphite pencils for his eyes and fur so far. I will likely use F or H for his wispy fur as get further along but establishing the darks first. Back to the drawing table!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait


This is the graphite sketch of a cat name Vartz that I have just started. It is a 50th Birthday gift for his person and it is a rush job so not sure how many posts I will do of him before he is finished due to the time. I darkened the graphite sketch so that it is easier to see online it is much lighter on the paper. I added more detail in the sketch than I usually do as he has so many stripes in his fur and the photo is a little dark so I don't want to get lost as I go.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I have been tagged!

Well, I have been tagged by a fellow artist who does beautiful watercolor artwork, Billie Crain. So here are 7 things few people know about me:

  1. I have a fetish for boxes, empty, full, big, small why... I don't know..
  2. My favorite foods are rice krispy squares, papyas and creme brulee
  3. One of my toes curls underneath the one beside it, kind of like it is hiding
  4. My nick name used to be Elmer Fudd when I was little because I pronounced the letter "r" as "w".... "You wascally wabbit...." ugh
  5. My favorite color is red
  6. I tried to shave my freckles off when I was little, didn't work
  7. I was ticklish when I was little, but my brother tickled me so much he tickled me out and I am no longer ticklish

    And here are the artists I have tagged:
    Maggie Stiefvater
    Marina Dieul
    Bobbi Dunlop
    Mika

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cards of Graphite Portraits




These are examples of my cards that I have started printing. I started out printing just as copies for customers to go along with their portraits as usually they are for gifts so this way they would have a print of the portrait for themselves after they give away the original graphite portrait. The cards can be either vertical or horizontal. If they are for customers like the one for the anniversary gift I usually enter a little note inside the card but for the greeting cards that I am selling like the puppy I have chosen to leave it blank.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Girl Completed

Well I think my first attempt at this watercolor portrait is completed. I will leave it a few days just to be sure but I am pretty happy with it. I lifted out some highlights and touched up a few areas. I may add more detail to the hair and I need to fix the pupils a touch but need to wait until they are completely dry. I tend to run into trouble due to my impatience and not waiting for the paint to be completely dry....aha what can you do ;)
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby - Demo 3

Watercolor Portrait of Baby Girl
Well more layers have been added to this watercolor portrait and I am happy to say she does look like she has been out in the sun too long anymore :) The brows and lashes have been darkened a little more and the lips have been plumped up.

I still have a bit more work to do, softening some areas, intensifying the background and maybe adding a bit more blush into her skin to see if I can make it a little less blue in some areas. I think I overdid it a bit in the underpainting, but it was so much fun! Aha, live & learn ;) I may also add more definition to the hair but will wait and see. It is easy to overdo it with watercolor for me so I may just leave the hair as is...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Totally cool right side/ left side brain 'test'

I just saw this on Maggie's site and had to check it out. It is so cool, give it a try and see, no you don't have do do any math or think, it is not a 'test' like that ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby - wip2

Watercolor Portrait of Baby


I have added many layers of alternating warm and cool colors to try to achieve a realistic skin tone. The background has been loosely established to better judge the skin tones. She looks a little too red right now, hopefully that will all balance out in the end!



Sunday, October 14, 2007

Artwork on Display

The life drawing class I belong to is displaying it's work at the Coquitlam Public Library at 575 Poirier Street, Coquitlam, BC for the month of October and I have several pieces of art on display. Most of the artwork is figurative but there are also some other works on display.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby


I am spending more time doing watercolor now so thought I would post my latest watercolor portrait as it progresses. I am trying a new technique so I plan to paint this portrait until I get it right :) This is my first attempt and I figure if I get to 20 attempts and I am still unhappy I give up! Just kidding :) This is the underpainting done using only blue. The idea is to build up the structure using an underpainting and then add the flesh tones overtop...I think I may have gotten a little carried away with the underpainting.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Life Drawing Portrait in Graphite - Francis Sustained Pose


This is a 50 minute graphite portrait

of Francis done in two 25 minute sessions. I am so happy to have found this life drawing class! It is such a nice escape to have 3 hours a week to draw without worrying about the end result ;) It really enables me to just enjoy the process and if I have learned something at the end of the drawing session, it is a bonus :) I have tried to set aside time at home for life drawing but of course if I am doing my art, I am always drawn to either working on a commission or a more detailed piece rather than on drawing exercises. Getting out of the house too ensures I don't get 'pulled' away by other obligations!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Life Drawing Portrait in Graphite - Francis



This is a quick 30 min graphite portrait of Francis from my life drawing class that I recently started attending. Many of the pencil lines are not as soft and/or defined as I would like but hey, 30 minutes goes fast!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Life Drawing Portrait in Graphite


Well, it is week two of my life drawing class and I decided to focus on just the face for this one. I started quite small on this one not realizing that sustained pose meant for the whole night :) Of course, by the time I got to my second attempt I think I was too tired as he was starting to look very tired in the portrait ;) I used HB and 6B graphite pencils for this one. The likness is not too bad and I think the proportions are pretty close so I am happy with my attempt. Although, he has a bump in the bridge of his nose that I could just not capture .... I am sure I will get a chance to draw him again though :)


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Life Drawing Figurative Portrait in Graphite

Yay summer is over and my life drawing class has finally started...hmm perhaps my priorities are mixed up....no, I don't think so :) I have not drawn from life for several years as I draw mostly graphite portraits from photos and usually draw children and animals, neither of which will sit long for a portait to be drawn! This is my first 'attempt' at a 50 minute portrait of Iva. There are many issues with it, her head is too large and the likeness is not what I would like, but overal I am happy with my attempt and I don't think Iva will hold a grudge ;)

Life drawing is very different from the tightly detailed pencil drawings that I generally work on and I am really enjoying it although I am still getting the hang of which pencil to use and when. I generally use 2B, F and B for my detailed portraits whereas with the life drawing portraits I need to use 8B, 6B and HB which encourage me much looser. I will be posting weekly so that I have a record of my 'progress' throughout the year. Should be interesting!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Exploring Conte

I have been taking a bit of a break from commissions and have been exploring new mediums for the past month. Oddly enough, I have never tried conte or chalk in the past. I stumbled across an artist who does amazing portraits in both oils and conte and charcoal. Her name is Marina Dieul and you can see her work on her blog at http://marinadieul.blogspot.com/

She manages to capture such emotion and strength in her portraits and her conte and charcoal portraits only use a few colors to achieve a full range of tonal values. So as soon as I saw her work I ran out to the art store and purchased some conte and started playing. Well, for such a simple medium conte has such a huge range of tonal values and possibilities. Now, how to achieve these ranges, that is not so simple. I have been using similar methods that I use for my graphite and charcoal portraits and so far, am quite please with the results.

Combining the conte with vine charcoal produces a nice range of tonal values and, depending on how and when you combine them, different results can be achieved. Vine charcoal seems to produce the softest results which I prefer and depending on how it is blended (ie blending stumps, cloths, fingers etc.) a full range of blending can be achieved. I use the same methods for blending the conte and have been playing with several shades to achieve smooth transitions of color. The conte that Marina recommends is Carres which can be purchased at most art stores and has several colors to work with although I prefer to stick to a very limited palette of earth tones, especially while I am still trying to learn the medium. I will post some of my sample exercises and eventually a sketch or two once I am happy with the results. So far, I have just been doing basic blending/drawing exercises, spheres, lines and blending to get a feel for the medium.

Monday, June 25, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip10


This wedding anniversary portrait is complete! I have left the background loosely defined and added more detail to Bret's suite and Tina's dress. My scanner is not large enough to capture the entire image but I managed to get most of it in the first image and the lower half in the second image. I hope that Tina will enjoy it!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip9


The background has been loosley set in and still requires some refinement but I want to keep it soft so that it does not compete for attention with the bride and groom. Bret's suit is starting to take shape. The pinstripes have been added to his jacket and will be blended in and more lights and darks will be added to create shape. I have exagerated some of the curves in the pinstripes to give the illusion of the shape of the jacket as if they were totally straight it would flatten his body rather than add depth.
More of the detail has been added to Tina's dress and feet as well but still more work is required to give more depth as well.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip8


The facial features are pretty much completed. I will leave the portrait for a bit and then make make some minor adjustments but I am happy with the resemblence now. The dress and suit still need more of the details added and her feet need a bit more refinement before I move onto the background.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip7


I refined both Bret and Tina's features further, still more to go but the resemblance is getting much better. More work has been done on the dress, tie and her foot. Her mouth and nose need to be adjusted further to get the angle and her teeth correct, I will fix these tomorrow and finish up their faces before moving on to finish up their suit and dress, then the background!

Friday, June 15, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip6


The darkest layers of graphite pencil have been added to the portrait for Bret's suit. The graphite still needs to settle more and I will keep adding layers to both his suit and Tina's dress allowing time for each layer to settle.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip5


Had a marathon session and blocked in most of her dress. Still need to add more details. I will draw Bret's suit next to establish the darkest tones and allow the graphite to settle into the paper and then go back to Tina's dress.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip4


I have done a few minor tweaks to her face but still much more is needed to achieve the resemblence. I will leave the faces for a bit though and work on the rest of the portrait to allow the graphite to settle in and so that the final details are crisp. I have drawn in the shape of her arm using B graphite pencil and will move onto her dress shortly.

Monday, June 11, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip3


S

till lots of tweaks to made to the bride as well but the main features have been blocked in. Several layers of H, B and HB graphite have been used to draw her skin and hair. The graphite pencil is then blended, features redrawn and blended again removing highlights where needed. Each pass further refines the features as the graphite absorbs into the paper. I will likely draw both of their faces to near completion and then move onto the rest of the portrait and then finish up with their faces again to keep the features crisp. As their faces are smaller than I generally work with I find that I am almost working in reverse for this portrait. Laying the features down and then removing excess graphite to refine their features more.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip2


Still lots more work to go on his face to get the resemblance but he is starting to take shape. The graphite needs to settle into the paper again before I can do more but it is getting better :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip1


I have drawn in the rough details of Bret's face and am building and defining his features as I go. Many details are off at this point as I refine them as I go. His eyebrow and goatee have been set in but need adjusting as well. The actual faces are much smaller than I am used to drawing which is a bit of a challenge so I am using B graphite rather than 2B to keep the details more crisp. HB graphite pencil is used for the tighter details and both have been blended and reapplied many times to build up depth.
This is kind of the ugly stage of the portrait for me as many things are so off that they scream at me but by the next update things will be taking shape nicely :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait




This is the graphite sketch for a commission that will be a gift for a first wedding anniversary. I was not able to capture all of the portrait with my scanner as it is 11x14 and my scanner...even though it says it scans A4...seems to not want to go larger than 8.5 x 11 argh, may be time for a new scanner ;)


I have transferred the drawing onto the watercolor paper and have darkened the outline of the bride and groom with HB graphite pencil. The background is hard to see right now but is sand and rocks with will be loosely drawn in.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait Completed


Well she is complete! This was a tricky one as several reference photos were used to create a portrait of Ann as each contained something needed for the expression that her friend was trying to capture. I am quite pleased with the results and I hope that Ann will be too!
My scanner is not large enough to fit the full sheet so the word at the bottom is Understanding. The
theme that we attempted to convey in this portrait is her striking and natural beauty, grace, a sense of complete peace, comfort and happiness. I think we achieved it!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - wip 7


The portrait is nearly complete. I will leave it overnight to see if anything jumps out at me in the morning that needs adjusting ;)
The final step is to add the words
Happiness, Peace, Comfort, Understanding and Beauty throughout the sheets and do a little more blending on the sheets.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - wip 6


The eye's have finally been set in. They need to be strengthened a bit but the general shape has been established. I have also further defined several areas on her face, lips and nose and will continue to do so as the portrait progresses.