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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Watercolor Portrait Commission - Grisaille and Underpainting

Watercolor Underpainting
Watercolor Grisaille
Oh how I have missed watercolor! Funny how you do not realized how much you love a medium until you are away from it for a while! I ave been focusing so much on life drawing and oils that I have not had the opportunity to work in watercolor for many months and now I remember why I love them so much, sigh, not enough hours in the day.

I posted both the updates side by side to show the difference in these stages, even though the lighting does not do it justice.  The paper is actually a creamy white and even though I took the photos under a daylight bulb I still can't seem to get an accurate photo of the colors.  It is best to go outside and take the photo in the shade on a cloudy or sunny day...but today is raining so I am not risking it!  As there are many more layers to go before I need to worry about displaying accurate colors I am not going to worry about it.



Despite the photo quality, I hope you can see how the paint appears much softer and  there is more of a translucency or opalescence to the grisaille which when the flesh colors are built up, still shows through giving a more natural skin effect.  That being said, I also love the underpainting stage so much that I have left many paintings at this stage as I just really liked the effect.

I think her portrait is coming along quite nicely and there are just minor adjustments needed to capture her likeness more which will be resolved once I begin modeling her form more with the flesh colors.  The flesh colors are where things really start to take shape and the ghostly portrait becomes more of a three dimensional solid portrait. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Watercolor Portrait Commission - Graphite Sketch on Watercolor Paper

Graphite Sketch on Watercolor Paper
This is a graphite sketch for my latest watercolor commission that has been transferred to a stretched sheet of 16x20" Arches Cold Pressed watercolor paper.

After the transfer has been copied onto the paper, areas need to be tweaked a bit due to the texture of the watercolor paper which is great for painting, it is tricky to get the exact angles correct with a pencil.

I do go over the transfer with a very sharp 2H pencil which is a hard lead which helps, but more adjusting is necessary with a thin layer of watercolor paint to really get into the weave of the paper.  

This portrait is going to be a full color watercolor portrait which I am excited to start as it has been a while since I have had the chance to work with watercolors...man have I missed them!