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Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission - Update #3

Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission
The fur direction has been loosely brushed in for texture and now it is a matter of building up the color before I can start to add the details of the darker fur. It is a bit of a slow process as I don't like to rush the drying with a hair dryer so I need to wait at least an hour between each layer, but so worth it in the end. The color always looks so amazing and rich when wet, makes me love watercolors!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission - Update #2

Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission
I have started laying in the colors on her coat, some areas wet on dry and some areas dry brushing to add variety in texture and allowing the colors to blend on the paper rather than mixing on the pallete.

Many, many more layers to go!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission - Update #1

Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission
The initial washes have been laid down and the background is still slightly wet so may look a little warped but will straighten out by morning. The initial shapes of her fur and bone structure have been sketched in and now I will go over them in several different shades of brownish red to build up the depth and shape of her head and neck.

I will add a couple more layers in the background to build up the color with a loose texture once dried.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission - Sketch

This is a rough sketch of the horse that I will be painting as a Christmas gift for her owner. I rarely get the opportunity to paint horse commissions so I am quite looking forward to painting her. It used to be horses were all that I would draw!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Graphite Portrait Christmas Commission

Graphite Portrait Sketch Christmas Commission Gift
This is a graphite pencil portrait commissioned by the subject's son-in-law as a Christmas Gift for his wife and mother in law. The photo was really, really small and blurry but it was all that was available so hopefully I have captured him!

Christmas Watercolor Horse Portrait Commission

This is the reference photo I will be working on for my next commission. She is a beautiful show horse and will be painting in watercolor, 16x20".
The background will just be a light blue with minimal texture just to provide a bit of interest without taking the focus off of the subject. The tack will be included but without the hands and rider.
I have just started the sketch and am stretching the watercolor paper so should be able to start painting tomorrow.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission- Toddler Update #7

Well, I did not do many updates for the grass as I think the only thing more boring than watching the grass grow is watching me paint it :) Although it was fun to paint, very relaxing, but took much longer than I thought it would, lol, got lost in there a few times ;)
I think her portrait is complete but again will also bring it with me from room to room so I can stare at it from all different angles to see if anything pops out at me.

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #5

Well I think she is finished! Of course I will sit and stare at her for a few hours off and on to be sure and see if there are any tweaks my client would like.
I may soften the reflected light on her cheek a bit more and debating whether to add more layers to the hat. Will ponder a bit more :)


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission- Toddler Update #6

All of the grass has been painted in and glazed over to add more depth to the field. The shadows (dark areas) on the grass need to be worked in a bit more still and her back leg needs to be darkened more and the grass softened around her legs so they don't look so cut out.
Last but not least, I will then lift out some wildflowers in the front!

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #4

Several layers of red have been added to her hat, many more to go. Her eyes and lips have been softened a bit but still need more softening and her skin will get a bit more of a blush once more of the hat has been painted.
More shape will be built up on her sweater as well but very loosely so as not to attract too much attention as being the lightest color I don't want it to draw the eye away from her face.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission- Toddler Update #5

Most of the grass has been painting, I wish I could say I had a trick for it to make it goes quickly without painting every blade of grass, but nope :) There is a bit more grass to the right and top but will take a better photo once all the details are added to include the whole portrait. A few wildflowers will be added at the forefront for a bit of interest and the shadows in the grass will be darkened in areas.

Her outfit is nearly done, just a few more details and of course the red bow in her hair and a few shadows on her shoe. Last but not least her features, especially her eyes and lips, will be softened and highlights added for a more natural look. Coming down the homestretch!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #3


Several layers of color have been added to her eyes and lips but still more layers to go and edges and highlights need to be softened for both. They look a little harsh right now but once the background & hat are done I can better judge the values and how much they need to be softened and highlighted.

A more rosy glow has been added to her face and may be tweaked further but again I will wait until the background and hat have been finished to better judge the values.

The first layer of the background has been added and several more will be added to achieve a darker green at the top and slightly lighter green at the bottom near her sweater. Once the background has dried, I can then start on that red hat!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Toddler Update #4

Wow it is a good thing I like puzzles! Her outfit is nearly complete just a few more details and a few shadows to add. It is a perfect color scheme and outfit for a watercolor painting as it is the primary colors overlapping to create subtle shades of secondary and tertiary colors. By layering the pigments rather than mixing each one, the white of the paper and each layer of color glows up beneath the next creating a glow that you just can't get by mixing.
The photo is a little blurry as it is larger and when photographing flat it gets a little shaky and distorted. I will set up a larger easel to photograph it for the next update as I hope to have more of the grass done. Hopefully the sun sticks around to get decent lighting!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #3

Her skin tones have been warmed up considerably and next the rosy glow will be added and the details to her eyes and lips.
Hard lines will be softened and a bit more depth added to her cheeks and neck. She is definitely starting to plump up!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Toddler Update #3

More of the skin color has been built up and the color on the lips and eyes have been set in. They look a little harsh right now as they need to be softened and highlights lifted out but I will wait until the clothing has been painted to better judge the final values.
Once the clothes have been completed, further tweaks to her skin tones may be needed as well as all the white throws the colors off so while they look a little dark right now, they will probably be too light once all of the white has been filled in. More layers have also been added to her hair and more will be added once her bow is filled in.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Toddler Update #2

She is starting to take shape now and her skin tones have been warmed up. Next I will add a healthy pink glow to her skin and work on the details of her eyes and lips while lightening some of the pencil lines.
The reference photo was taken at my client's farm on a warm sunny day so her skin has more of a warm glow from the sun. I love the way the light is reflecting off of her hair and side of her face giving such a nice glow you can almost feel the sun. Aaha as we sit waiting for snow here!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #3

Watercolor Baby Portrait Commission
Most of the day was spent working on the flesh tones and molding those big pudgy cheeks and eyes. Did I mention how much I love painting kids & animals, you just can't help but smile while you work.

The color of her eyes will be left for a bit until more of the skin tones have been built up. Now to put a rosy glow in those cheeks!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #2

The initial part of the under painting is completed (the brim of the hat is still wet so bit of a glare) and now the skin layers will be built up. I have erased some of the pencil lines and will continue to do so as the portrait progresses. The ugly globs of yellow on her eyes is the masking fluid which will have to remain there for a bit as she has very dark blue-grey eyes so I want to keep the reflections crisp until nearer the end.
Her hat will need to be left until the very end now as red is very unforgiving so if it gets wet after it has been laid down, look out! The sweater is starting to take shape and is white in the reference photo so I am using a blue under painting and may grey it up a bit in areas for variety.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Update #1

The under painting is taking shape and needs to be done slowly building up the layers to get the correct tonal values. The graphite is still quite dark, I will continue to lighten the lines as I paint to keep things on track. The painting looks a little dark but it is just my poor photography skills showing again, the paper is near warm white so that give you an idea how bad I am with a camera ;)

She is wearing a red toque which is going to look so cute once the red is painted on, will make her eyes pop even more. Like she needs it ;)

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Toddler Underpainting



I managed to get a fair bit of painting done today and the underpainting of her skin is completed. I will start building her skin tones now and laying in more details as I go. The masking fluid will come off her teeth soon so will look much less harsh and I will start to lift off some of the pencil lines as I get more of the details built up.


I also took a photo of the colors I thought would look nice on her outfit. They are more muted than in the real outfit so they don't attract as much attention. The green also for some reason (the color next to yellow on the top right) did not come out in the photo as green as it is in real life so it would be a bit deeper leaning towards blue, not as bright a yellow-green as in the original outfit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Toddler Update #1

This is an update of the toddler portrait I am working on. It is much larger but just tried to take a photo of the main area that I have worked on so far. The grass has been roughed in around her as I had masking fluid on the edges of her to protect her from the green background. Several layers of grass will be built up in varying tones of green and a few wildflowers will be lifted out near her feet.

Masking fluid is still on her teeth and the highlights in her eyes so looks a little funny right now but hopefully in the next update it will look better. I will leave the grass for now and focus on her more.

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Sketch

Luckily my client was able to get a clearer photo of the baby so I drew her again from the better quality image and I am much happier with the sketch. Although, I am impressed with how much I was able to guess from the shadows of the original :)
She looks a little older than her age in the sketch but once the big pudgy cheeks get their shape I think she will look more babyish. Her right eye looks a little larger at the top that it actually is due to the graphite being a little too dark but that will soften once I start painting as well and they will look more even. Aha onto the painting :)

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Toddler Sketch

Watercolor Christmas Portrait Commission
This is rough sketch of another little cutie that I am working on for a Christmas commission gift. Again, this is the rough sketch on cartridge paper that I will then transfer to the watercolor paper and finesse a bit more before starting on the actual painting process.
This portrait, with the background, will be 18x24 so she will be surrounded by grass and a few little wildflowers here and there that I will draw and paint directly onto the watercolor paper. I am waiting to hear back from my client to see if the plaid is to be included so sketched it in for now just in case!
I will be working on two portraits at the same time to allow each portrait drying time as I do not like to speed up the process with a dryer as I worry about the colors staying crisp and clean. For this portrait, click on the label below, annette to see only this portraits updates.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Christmas Watercolor Portrait Commission - Baby Rough Sketch

This is the rough sketch of an adorable little girl that I have been commissioned to paint. As the photo is quite small and blurry, I decided to do a fuller sketch on paper first rather than just the usual sparse outline, hopefully to work out all the kinks prior to transferring the image to the good paper :) (see the new sketch http://blog.stateofartportraits.com/2009/11/christmas-watercolor-portrait_2211.html to see what a difference a decent photo takes, whew!)

I will be working on two portraits at the same time for drying reasons as mentioned above. For this portrait, click on the label below, suzanne to see only this portraits updates.

Watercolor Painting - Vancouver Inukshuk

Watercolor Painting - Vancouver InukshukThis is my latest painting of the inukshuk on Vancouver's waterfront. I am calling it On the Right Path which is close to the traditional meaning of the inukshuk which is "you are on the right path" or "someone was here".

Inukshuks are made for many reasons, navigational, to mark a location out of respect, mark a good fishing spot, for a memorial or to mark migration routes. Whatever the meaning they always get my attention when I am out walking or roller blading along the water

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Favourite Painting Poll

Ok so I need some help :) I can't decide which painting to submit for a very competitive exhibit so I thought I would ask for all your help :) I have put a poll on the side for voting, please chose your favorite painting from the list (the paintings can be viewed at the link below) or if you would like to chose one from my other originals at http://www.stateofartportraits.com/original-artwork.htm just add a comment & I will add to the poll. I have until Nov 11 to decide & would really appreciate any feedback as I keep going back & forth on my fav :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Photos from the Art Focus Show

Watercolor Paintings from Art Focus ShowTracey Costescu at Art Focus Fall ShowIt was a very rainy & windy night but despite the poor weather we had a great opening night for the Art Focus 15th Annual Fall show. As always there was alot of great artwork including miniatures, hand painted greeting cards and prints. I will be at the show again on Sunday from 3-5pm so hope to see more art lovers then :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Art Focus Fall Show

Well the show starts tomorrow night so I should be getting paintings packaged up, labeled and ready to hang but instead....I can't stop painting!

The hanging is tomorrow afternoon so I could package everything up until midnight or so tonight technically, why do it now when I still have time to put it off ;)

This is a photo of Wendy Milne and myself taken by Paul vanPeenen of us holding our paintings that will be in the show. John did a wonderful write up for us in the Coquitlam Now, check it out.

Of course it got me in a bit of trouble as I don't think I said that art and my kids are my two fav things....I am SURE I said they are two of my fav things...ok I probably said they are my 2 fav things because my hubby is so obviously my fav thing....geez when it is in writing on the screen even I don't buy it ;) He always calls my art my lover so I guess he saw it coming ;)