I watched the interesting class taught by Kirsten Britt on Sktchy and then, as usual, I painted the subject completely differently than was instructed. Kirsten’s work is beautiful but is all about splotches (here’s her version on IG).
I used an odd limited palette for this one which made it a little challenging. The pigments are DS Perylene Scarlet, DS Cobalt Teal and WN Raw Sienna. It wasn’t possible to get any real darks so I stuck with a high key painting.
I got very close with my sketch, even with the camera distortion; I only needed a few small adjustments.
I signed up for a Sktchy Watercolor class to see what I could learn from their teachers. I planned to make myself try the teachers’ different approaches and I did attempt the super loose, wet in wet approach Dritan Duro, the teacher for this class demonstrated, but tossed the crappy results and started over, doing things my way.
Interestingly, the 3-color limited palette I used for this painting was the same as the one I used for my painting of Dorothy, even though the two women look nothing alike. It’s a fun challenge to work with only a 3-color limited palette. (WN Raw Sienna, WN Perm. Alizarin, Winsor Blue Green Shade).
Above is my final sketch and below is my preliminary sketch, scanned into Procreate, with a tracing of the photo over it. I used it to check my drawing and then made the corrections to the final sketch above.
My first thought was, “Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, all grown up,” and, as the saying goes, “rode hard and put away wet” when I saw the photo (below) on photographer Earthsworld’s Instagram.
My second thought was “I must paint her!” I contacted Earth (his real name) and he gave me permission to paint from and share his photo. Then, while the painting was in progress I came across the cartoon below on Instagram by artist WadeHate.
It was too perfect, another image of Dorothy all grown up. He was kind enough to give me permission to share this artwork.
The original photograph had a background I didn’t want so I experimented in Procreate with different backgrounds. I probably should have just left the background white (below).
The deep orange I chose didn’t please me so I tried washing it off. That left an “interesting” peachy color and a paper surface that was not going to respond well to more paint layers. So, peachy pink is how it shall remain.
When I checked my initial sketch I was delighted to see how close I got on my first try, and how few corrections were needed (above). It’s so nice to see progress, whether it’s in drawing or painting or both. This painting also went really well (except the background).
My granddaughter Sadie loves to swim (and play soccer, basketball and read books, too). At the end of the season, after winning many races and awards, to fundraise for her team she swims lap after lap and people pledge $ per lap.
Trying to paint Sadie from this photo led to me giving up on oils and going back to watercolor. As was my way with oils, I tried repeatedly, persistently (obsessively?) but couldn’t make it work. This watercolor isn’t perfect, but it captures the joy of the moment and that makes me happy.
With watercolor I’m able to paint to a certain point and then happily call it done. Watercolor doesn’t allow you to keep fiddling forever like oil does.
I again used a limited palette because it’s fun to see what I can do with only 3 colors. This time it was DS Hansa Yellow Medium, WN Permanent Alizarin and WN Cobalt Blue.
I used to think it was really weird that artists limited their palettes. I thought one needed every possible color in order to capture color exactly. But now I prefer the harmony a limited palette provides and don’t really care about capturing exactly the colors in real life. I’m not trying to be a photocopier.
I went through quite a process making little birthday paintings for my granddaughters whose birthdays are two years and one week apart. I think of Madeleine as a little butterfly, always happy and amused. Strong but delicate.
First I looked at reference photos of the different critters and flowers, then sketched them as if I was doing scientific illustration. I transferred my sketch to watercolor paper and painted it. Then I realized it was a terrible composition.
So I started over, deciding that they didn’t need to be scientifically correct. I let my whimsical side come out, recomposed and redrew and painted it again. This time I was happy. I hope she will like it!