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Art Gouache Portrait

A Beauty and a Gloomy Gouache

I had so much fun with this painting. I’m (slowly) working my way through the Sktchy “30 Faces in 30 Days” gouache and watercolor class, though at the rate I’m going it’s probably going to take me 300 days, not 30 to finish it….

Olivia McRae in gouache, 10×8 inches

I had so much fun with the painting above and was really happy how it turned out. I’m (slowly) working my way through the Sktchy “30 Faces in 30 Days” gouache and watercolor class, though at the rate I’m going it’s probably going to take me 300 days, not 30 to finish it.

For the painting above, I followed along with Cecile Yadro’s demo. Her style felt very congruent to the way I like to work. You can see the reference photo for this painting on Sktchy here and download Cecile’s free gouache ebook here.

Although it wasn’t mentioned in her lesson, I was especially happy about how I was able to maintain the (high key) value structure while varying the colors and color temperatures within her face, something that clicked for me for the first time.

On the other hand, the next lesson was by Russian artist Nicolai Gánichev and his approach, techniques and final painting didn’t appeal to me at all (see his painting below).

Painting by Nicolai Gánichev 
Photo Reference from lesson

There seems to be a trend in contemporary art of destructing portraits, smearing paint across the subjects face or wiping off their eyes or mouth. Are the artists just bored with their facility in making portraits and have to show their contempt for skill or for the subject? I don’t get it. Also, the reference photo seemed dark and gloomy to me. I tried it anyway.

My sketch
First painting attempt, ugly and gloomy

I sketched her on Xerox paper and then transferred the drawing to watercolor paper. I tried following along with Nicolai but disliked his process so went off on my own. I ended up hating my first painting (above) so I transferred the drawing again, lightened the photo and discovered she actually might have red hair. I wasn’t having fun so I gave up after the second attempt below and moved on.

My final, still unpleasant, attempt at painting her

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