Categories
Art

Portrait of Dylan H. from Sktchy

Oil painting and pencil sketch of Dylan H from Sktchy, 11x7.”
Oil portrait of Dylan H from Sktchy, 11×7”

This was one of those paintings that just flowed and was fun from beginning to end. I started with a drawing in pencil (below) on Arches Oil paper and then applied a layer of Golden GAC 100 acrylic sealant over the sketch to make the surface less absorbent and more slippery.

Graphite sketch of Dylan H from Sktchy, 11x7"
Graphite sketch of Dylan H from Sktchy, 11×7″

My goal for this painting was to stop as soon as the painting said what I wanted to say and before things got over-worked, overly perfected and I’m pleased to say that’s exactly what I did. Sure, there are many things that could be better but I like it just the way it is.

The images below show the steps in the process, from the graphite drawing, to an umber underpainting, to the block-in and final layer of paint.

Categories
Art Digital art Drawing Faces Oil Painting People Portrait Sktchy

Three Portraits of Dayris

Portrait of Dayris, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10"x8.5"
Portrait of Dayris, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10″x8.5″

I’ve had so much fun painting and sketching the lovely Dayris from Sktchy in oil (above), and before that, in pencil and then doing a digital sketch in Procreate (below). Also below you’ll find a slide show of the work in progress. Doing the two initial drawings really helped me quickly get a pretty accurate drawing for the oil painting. You can see her reference photo on Sktchy here.

Initial pencil drawing of Dayris, 12x9"
Initial pencil drawing of Dayris, 12×9″
Digital Sketch of Dayris in Procreate
Digital Sketch of Dayris in Procreate

Below are the steps in the process of making the portrait.

  • Initial pencil drawing of Dayris, 12x9"
  • Digital Sketch of Dayris in Procreate
  • Umber underpainting
  • Some background and shirt
  • Some paint on face
  • Icky background in with palette knife
  • More work on background, still icky
  • Background better but not happy with shirt or hair
  • Almost done
  • Scraped off shirt and some hair to redo
  • Portrait of Dayris, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10"x8.5"
Categories
Art Oil Painting Portrait Procreate on iPad Sktchy

Last Portraits of 2019

Portrait of Kori L from Sktchy, 10x8” oil on gessoed watercolor paper
Portrait of Kori L from Sktchy, 10×8” oil on gessoed watercolor paper

After working on this portrait for two months, trying over and over to capture this lovely woman in paint, I have to admit I never truly succeeded. I learned from all the struggles and attempts but it’s about to be a new year and time to start something new so I’m moving on. You can see her reference photo on Sktchy by clicking on the image of my painting here.

Below are two digital sketches in Procreate from Sktchy, done this month while waiting for the paint to dry on the portrait to try once again on a new layer of oil paint to get it right.

Sketched in #procreate5 from a #sketchyapp photo by Nicolas Schram Illustration
Sketched in Procreate from a Sketchy app photo by Nicolas Schram Illustration

You can see the reference photo for the sketch above here and the one below here on Sktchy. Just click my drawing there to see the reference photo beneath it.

Sketch of H. J. Haggerty from Sktchy in Procreate
H. J. Haggerty from Sktchy in Procreate

Categories
Art Faces Oil Painting Painting People Portrait Sktchy

Portrait of Hannah from Sktchy

Hannah W from Sktchy, 14x11” oil on Arches Oil Paper.
Hannah W from Sktchy, 14×11” oil on Arches Oil Paper. 

Learning to paint (well) for me means a constant but gradual process of 1) learning from my mistakes and 2) having “layers of the onion” lifted from my eyes until I at last can see something that was previously mysteriously hidden from me. (You can see the reference photo for this painting on Sketchy here.)

This painting taught me once again how much harder painting can be when you don’t start with an accurate drawing, going directly to drawing with paint and then correcting, correcting, correcting.

Getting the drawing right and capturing a likeness can be as “simple” as recognizing the big shapes, contours, divisions of space and observing where things line up with each other. Getting the values right can be as “simple” as observing where the light comes from, how it lands on the large and small planes of the face or any object, and asking myself where the darkest and lightest areas are and how this plane compares. Getting good color “just” means accurately observing the overall and predominant range of colors (saturated or grayed, warm or cool) and then asking is this the spot “warmer or cooler, more or less saturated, lighter or darker.”

I can ask myself these questions over and over, but until yet another layer of the onion is lifted, I just can’t see the answer. When that happens my brain tells me it’s too hard and just jumps ahead with a lazy guess, which then sets off another round or layer of correction, correction, correction. But I do learn from my mistakes and each next painting is an opportunity to put what I learned from them into practice and hopefully remove one more layer until at last I will be able to truly see!