When I posted this painting on Instagram I mentioned that I’d love to know the story behind this picture of a burly guy riding a painted bull in a parking lot in a desert somewhere who Facebook in its wisdom recommends I get to know.
Shortly afterwards someone I know recognized him and told me that this lovely gentleman was her former sergeant and that he is a much loved retired law enforcement officer. Below is my pencil sketch before I painted it.
Every time I open Facebook it shows me photos of random people it thinks I might want to know. Many of them are in curious settings or have interesting faces so I’ve started saving them to paint or draw. Above is the first one, done in Procreate on the iPad, where I tried to simulate an oil painting digitally.
Since I don’t have permission to use their photos I won’t post them here but it will be fun to see if anyone recognizes themselves or their friends, given the small world we live in now.
I tried painting with watercolor (above) over the graphite sketch below in a Stonehenge square sketchbook. I discovered that I am very rusty with my watercolors and this sketchbook is apparently NOT watercolor paper, so this is kind of a mess. But an interesting mess.
I realized I need lots more drawing practice, after trying to paint a life-size three-person portrait in oils over several months and failing again and again. I put the project and the four failed canvases in the closet to try again another day after I improve my portrait drawing skills.
I painted this portrait of my darling daughter-in-law in Procreate. My son posted the inspiration photo of her on Valentines Day on Facebook. I am so grateful to her for all the years she has been a wonderful partner to my son and for all she contributes to her community.
I had to make myself stop or I would have worked on this one forever because the colors and expression in the Sktchy photo were so fascinating (and challenging) and fun! I again tried to focus on painting the planes of the face using mostly cool colors with some warm colors to help create dimension. The lighting really helped show the underlying structure of her face.
I was really happy with the way this gouache portrait of Olivia A. from her photo in the Sktchy app turned out. I focused on putting down patches or tiles of color, based on what I was seeing but also considering color temperature and facial landmarks. It also helped that for once did a good job on the drawing first.
Sometimes I study and study and have lots of book learning and every now and then, if I’m really lucky and persistent, it pours out of the end of my pencil or paint brush like magic and I actually meet your goals for a piece.