It’s been such a joy painting this adorable face – he made me smile throughout the process.
Unfortunately, despite visiting two different scanning shops and taking many, many shots over three days, this woefully poor photo is the best image I got, which doesn’t do it justice.
As predicted, the watercolour study has evolved to become the final piece; smaller portraits have their merit and I’m quite satisfied with the result.
A light touch and a soft palette of transparent colours was necessary to reproduce that wonderfully delicate freshness of the little man’s flawless, peachy-soft baby skin. Greatly diluted, these watery colours were carefully built up in layers until I felt I’d ‘captured’ him enough to please his parents.
Despite intending to paint loosely, unless the main features are detailed, it’s difficult to achieve a proper likeness of the subject. In an attempt to make it more ‘painterly’ some splashes were added and I purposefully tried to fade out at the edges so that he wasn’t overwhelmed by the business of his clothing. I do like a slightly unfinished painting, but on this occasion, it was mostly due to the fear of messing it up with overworking.
Now all I need is to stop “Baby face, you’ve got the cutest little baby face” from playing on a continuous loop in my head.
Isn’t it always the way? With this drawing of my son I didn’t try. Really! It was only a spontaneous sketch with barely any conscious thought…yet somehow, I effortlessly managed to accurately ‘capture’ my son and his mood. He even likes it enough to use it on his website.
Striving for perfection and overthinking often sabotages creativity. It’s a paradox! This was only achieved because I was ‘in the flow’, in a ‘zone’; the usual self-inflicted pressure was off and I didn’t care about the outcome. I was unleashed!
Drawing with coloured pencils is extremely satisfying. It’s just so very simple – all that is required is some paper, pencils and a sharpener. And the results are gratifyingly fast…no drying time required.
I’ll have to cultivate this – in future, I’ll try not to try.
And so as Christmas creaks into view, with the nation reaching wearily for its winter woolies once again, lo – behold my latest offering before I totally disappear up my own festive fundament.
Personally, I prefer a looser, more spontaneous and drippy effect to this overworked watercolour portrait, but I learned so much; primarily how to conquer my fear of a blank sheet of paper:
- my pigments are not as translucent as those of the tutor
- squinting to properly see tone, light, shadow and reflected light
- identifying warm and cool colours
- preparation – pre-mix enough paints
- glazing – how graduated washes create many layers – first time using a mop brush
- establishing soft and hard edges
- lifting off damp as well as dried pigment
- ability to look at watercolour paintings by other artists and decipher which technical aspects were probably used
I enjoyed this online course so much.
Herewith the various stages showing the process…
…just don’t ask me to share the technical details – it took me a long time to complete and I am busy preparing for the impending fa-la-laaa fiasco.
Once they have had time to complete the course themselves and IF they decide to publish, I will be adding links here to posts by my good painting buddies, Leslie White and Carol King.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night. Rum pum pum pum!
I wanted to say something fascinating and existential about this picture but am too tired from focusing on drawing with a mouse instead of a pencil and I think my computer may be running a temperature.
Being too impatient to closely follow rules in instruction books, I applied my usual trial and error approach by throwing myself at Photoshop and…yes it hurt, but I’m taking antibiotics for it.
You can probably hear me patting my own back from where you are.
I’m pleased with it – did I mention that before?