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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Black and White Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait - Valentine's Day Update #3

Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait
Valentine's Day Commission
The dark values are really starting to help the lighter values and highlights glow.  I have softened the edges of the highlights in the hair and built up the layers very slowly to create depth, letting each layer dry prior to adding the next.  Realistic watercolors are not for the impatient ;)

Her facial features have also been built up slowly and will be refined a bit further and then all areas will be softened.  I will let dry completely again and then will add some dry brush details to her hair and brows to create crisp texture.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Black and White Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait - Valentine's Day Update #2

The hair is now filled in for the darkest values and the highlights will then be added in using dry brush strokes and then softening so they blend in nicely with the darks.  Then I will continue to refine her features, especially her eyes, then build up the tonal values on her skin and lips.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black and White Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait - Valentine's Day

The dark and light values have been laid in roughly to establish the overall balance of light and dark values not I will begin building up the depth and refining her features.  Her right eye has been refined more so than her left so they look  a little off right now.  They should be more equal in value in and diameter in the next post. 

I have loosely washed in the darker values to add more texture but several more layers of paint will be added to build up depth and a stronger value.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Black and White Monochromatic Watercolor Portrait - Valentine's Day

Rough Sketch
16 x 20" Monochromatic Watercolor
I am very excited to have started this commission as I really miss working with my watercolors.  There are just not enough hours in the day (or is it energy in the body?) to play with all the mediums that I want to play with each day!

This is the rough sketch which has been transferred to the pre-stretched watercolor paper.  Normally I would lighten the lines more with my kneaded eraser but as this monochromatic watercolor portrait will be in black and white I don't need to worry about it as much.  I can still lighten areas of the graphite after the watercolor is applied but most of it will either just melt away with the water and settle into the paper.

The sketch that I am working from is ridiculously small but due to her features being very clear in most of the areas I am able to get away with it. The subject has huge blue eyes and dark blackish brown hair which will look really nice with the black and white monochromatic watercolors that I use.  I never use black straight from the tube and prefer to mix my blacks either using the primaries or a blue and earth color depending on the look I am after.  Due to the mixing of the pigments the portrait may look more blue or more purple at various stages but will be a gray once completed with cooler and warmer areas to push and pull her features.

Ok, onto the painting!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Beautiful Nude - Odd Nerstrum Competition

16x20" Framed Watercolor
I entered Balance in an online competion The Beautiful Nude on Helene Delmaire's Facebook wall.  Check out the amazing paintings/drawings featured and if you feel so inclined (shameless plug) vote for me at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150170484524676&set=a.10150164965619676.354193.691569675#!/photo.php?fbid=10150170484524676&set=a.10150164965619676.354193.691569675

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Realistic Graphite Portrait Workshop - Feb 5 & 6, 2011

Cool Blue Eyes
Graphite 8x10"
My upcoming workshop is fast approaching and registration is at the half full point :)  We will be covering all of the elements of the past workshop but will build on creating different textures for facial hair and mature, rougher skin texture as in the drawing, Cool Blue Eyes, used for the workshop brochure.

If you are interested in this workshop, you can register directly online, by phone at 604-927-8400 or contact me at info@stateofartportraits.com for more information.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Graphite Portrait Commission - Birthday Gift for Mom
Sister's Portrait Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches
The finishing touches are all done! Just added a few more highlights and refined a few of the features as noted in the last post.

I am quite happy with the final portraits and I hope their mother will be as well!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Graphite Portrait Commission - Birthday Gift for Mom
Sister's Portrait

Sister's Graphite Portrait Commission
Mother's Birthday Gift
I think the sister's portrait are nearly complete.  Just a few minor touch ups here and there that probably only I will notice.  I need to soften a few areas of Nicole's skin and darken her eyebrows and jaw line just a touch on the left side.  Then a few more highlights on the necklaces and adding a bit more reflected lights. 

I also need to fill in the shirts a bit more but I ran out of time today.  I wanted to get an update for my clients tonight so that they have time to request any edits for tomorrow.  That will leave Wednesday for any final edits and Thursday for cleaning up smudges and spraying with the UV spray so that it can dry in time for packaging and shipping.

The final portrait is 16x20" framed so an image area of 11x14" for both of the subjects.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Graphite Portrait Commission - Birthday Gift for Mom
Nicole's Portrait Update 1

Nicole's Graphite Portrait Commission
Update #1
The values are slowly being built up on Nicole's portrait while refining her features more.  I worked on this earlier today and am just posting an update this evening.  With only a few hours of a "break" on my eyes I see several things immediately that need to be addressed tomorrow.  Her left eye is a touch too open and her right eye is a touch too closed, how did that happen ;) Her bottom lip is too full right now but once I add in more highlights that will take care of the fullness and will look more settled in.

I will add a few more layers to her hair and the shadows on her face but her skin tone is much lighter than her sister's so I need to keep the balance as well and not go too dark.  I am hoping to have Nicole's portrait completed up to the same level as Ashley's by tomorrow to leave time for final adjustments and refinements for both. 

The commission is for the east coast in the states so I want to have this portrait packaged and shipped on Friday to ensure it arrives well in time for their mother's birthday

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Graphite Portrait Commission - Birthday Gift for Mom
Ashley's Portrait Update 2

Ashley's Portrait Commission
Update #2
Much of the detail has been added to Ashley's portrait and I am very happy with the progress on her.  It is so nice to have a photo where I can see much of the details in the eyes, I could spend all day just drawing her eyes!  Her cheek still needs to be refined and her nose and mouth need softening but I will move onto Nicole's portrait and then come back with fresh eyes.

I started the base of Nicole's hair while I was working on Ashley's hair so that both subjects would blend together rather than looking cut out.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Graphite Portrait Commission - Birthday Gift for Mom
Ashley's Portrait Update 1

Ashley Portrait Update 1
The values are slowly being built up on the younger sister's face, refining the details as I go.  Many more layers need to be added but she is starting to take shape. Now off the computer and back to the easel!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Graphite Portrait Commission - Birthday Gift for Mom

Rough Sketch of Sisters
Birthday Gift Commission
This is the rough sketch of two sisters that I am drawing as as birthday gift for their mother.  The pupils are pretty wonky right now as I am just starting to define them.  I always envy artists that just draw the pupils correctly on the first go, at least I assume there are those that do.  Not me :)

I will start with the sister on the left first and draw her to roughly 80% completion.  This way I don't smudge the other sister on the right as much.  I always protect the areas I am not working on with a sheet of paper laid down over top but smudging always seems to happen when you least expect it so I take every precaution from the get go :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Framed Artwork Sizes and Caring for Framed Artwork

Framed Artwork Samples
I thought I would take a photo of my latest commission framed alongside some of my other artwork to show the different sizes of frames.  

The family commission is in an 18x24" frame, the cow skull, Better Days, is in a 16x20" frame and the figures are both in 14x18" frames.  The smaller abstract painting are all in 9x11" frames. 

I thought it might be nice to show several sizes together to show how the sizes relate to each other.  Though had I note been under the weather for the past few day I would have provided more variety, maybe another time :)

I also posted a cross link to some tips on choosing frames and caring for artwork from this past post.

So now my commission is all wrapped up and ready to go "home" and no matter how many commissions I do, I always breath a sigh of relief seeing it packaged safely in it's box...along with a little pang of separation anxiety ;)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Graphite Family Portrait Commission - A Few Minor Changes

Family Graphite Portrait Commission
At the request of my client I made a few minor edits which will hopefully capture the resemblance better.  I darkened the father's jacket and softened his jawline. 

The youngest daughter I got carried away with the highlights which resulted in her hair color being lighter than it is in real life so I added in more darker tones.  I also made her eyes a little smaller as my client felt that she was looking younger than she really is.  This is the nice part about having a client that knows the subjects well and provides feedback as, especially when the photo quality is not great, a photo can only capture so much of the subject.  Having the feedback and/or multiple good quality photos really helps!

The oldest daughter's nose was also a bit wider than in real life which was tricky to see in the photo as most of the left side of her nose is one value in the photo so hard to determine the shadows on the lit side of her face.  The photo of the portrait the top of her nose looks a darker and harsher than in the real portrait but I think the width is better, although I will wait for my client's feedback before adjusting any further.