Categories
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Quilt Lady in Watercolor

Quilt Lady, watercolor, 7×7”

While I drew and painted her I thought of her as one of the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, women who were direct descendants of the enslaved people who worked the cotton plantation there. I saw a traveling show of their quilts at a local museum years ago.

Reference Photo from J Hunsung

I painted this after watching master Korean watercolor artist J Hunsung paint her on YouTube here where you can also see his finished version. He doesn’t credit the photographer or model for this reference photo, which I also used for my painting.

Quilt Lady sketch 7×7”

It took three attempts to get the sketch right. I’m learning to take my time and get everything sketched in. And if things don’t quite fit together, fix it, don’t pretend it will be ok as is. Looking at my sketch compared to the reference photo below, I can see I still didn’t get it perfectly, but it felt close enough to go for it.

How I checked my sketch against the reference photo, side by side.
Initial block in

I was so pleased with these perfect flat washes in my initial block in that I had to share them. In watercolor, getting a flawless flat wash is not easy.

Uncropped painting with limited palette colors in the margin

With each watercolor painting, I’m experimenting with a different limited palette and then adding strokes of the colors used at the bottom of the painting. For this one I used Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold, Winsor Newton Perylene Magenta, Daniel Smith Indanthrone Blue and a guest appearance in the jewelry only of Daniel Smith Perylene Scarlet. (I know it says DS Perylene on the painting but that’s a mistake.)

Watercolor set up with limited palette

I’m enjoying using fresh from the tube paint in a little porcelain palette instead of the ancient dried up old palette I had been using.

Categories
Art Faces People Portrait Sktchy Watercolor

Blue Sky and Dreadlocks

Black man with dreadlocks against a blue sky painted in watercolor.
Blue Sky and Dreadlocks, Watercolor 10×8″

Continuing my watercolor relearning journey I’m making progress with each drawing and painting. I watched master watercolor artist Eudes Correia paint this gentleman in a Sktchy class from a photo he provided. You can see his version on Instagram here. I actually like my version better, which is a great feeling.

Limited Palette (from bottom of painting)

I used a limited palette: Raw Sienna, Permanent Alizarin, Cobalt and for the sky, Holbein Peacock.

Sketch for Blue Sky and Dreadlocks, 10×8″

I was happy when I checked my drawing to find that I had almost nailed it. Just had to make a few minor adjustments for his shirt and neck width.

L-R: My sketch with corrections, my painting, reference photo
(click to enlarge)
Categories
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

In the Light, In the Dark

Lady in the Light, watercolor, 8×6″

After watching a Sktchy watercolor demo by Alison Pinto, I tried my hand at drawing (see below) and painting this sweet face. I want to assemble a good palette for watercolor portraits, so tried Alison’s interesting palette (see bottom of post for pigments and reference photos). So far I know I do not like Burnt Sienna in portraits.

Sketch for Lady in Light watercolor portrait
Sketch for Lady in Light
Lady in Dark, watercolor, 8x6.5"
Lady in the Dark, watercolor, 8×6.5″

I was a little happy with this painting until I realized I’d given her googly eyes and started trying to “fix” the painting, which with watercolor translates to “wreck” the painting. Oh well. This is a scan I made before I started “fixing.”

Lady in Dark,sketch
Lady in Dark, sketch

Pigments: : Winsor Lemon, Indian yellow, Permanent Rose, Holbein Opera, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet and Winsor Green Blue Shad

Categories
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Sweet Mime, Sad Mime, Not Really

Sweet Mime, Watercolor, 10×7”

In the reference photo (see bottom of post) he was just a skinny, shirtless guy photographed too close-up, which made his already big nose even bigger. I thought he looked like a French mime so I put him in a mime costume.

Below is my first attempt at painting him. I had so many problems with the drawing being off and the paint handling. His shirt, scarf and suspenders were so pretty and fresh before I muddied them up.

Sad Mime, watercolor, 10×7.5”

I’m still working on portrait drawing skills. It took four drawings before I had one that was close enough to paint.

Below are the various drawings and attempts at correcting them (tracing of photo superimposed on my drawing in Procreate) and the original reference photos.

The drawing and correction process
Reference Photos
Reference Photos (click to enlarge)
Categories
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Relearning Watercolor: Juni and Ginger Guy

Juni by the Pool, watercolor, 7.5×6.5”

After nearly a decade away from watercolor, I should have painted a pear or apple to practice. Instead I chose a difficult subject: little Juni, after a swim, with the cool, aqua colors of the pool and the reds of her beach towel reflected in her face (the latter overemphasized and unable to be lightened in my painting unfortunately).

I tried four times to draw and paint her and I may try this one again when I feel more competent.

Watercolor painting of redhead man
Boring Guy, Watercolor 10×7″

After I gave up on painting Juni, I tried painting this ginger-haired guy from a photo (below) from an online drawing demo. I found it a little easier to draw and paint him, since I don’t know him. It’s both exciting and frustrating to be relearning watercolor.

Below are the sketches and reference photo. As you can see, my first sketch was missing a huge chunk of the back of his head, a common rookie error. To check my drawing I layered a tracing of the photo over my sketch in Procreate. When I saw how far off I was, I started over with a second drawing that was more accurate.

From left, clockwise:
Final Sketch, Corrected First Sketch, First Sketch, Reference Photo