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
Categories
Art Drawing Faces Gouache Painting People Portrait

Big Forehead Guy and Erupting Volcanoes

Big Forehead Guy #2, Gouache, 10×7.5”

I used a limited palette to paint this guy twice. I based the one above on the colors I’d seen in a run around erupting volcanoes on Zwift. I also painted him using the original blue colors of the reference photo below.

Zwift is a virtual world/video game that you move through based on your speed and effort on a spinning bike or treadmill (see screenshot below). My limited palette was Indigo, Napthol Red and Cadmium Yellow Pale.

A scene from my run in Zwift’s Whole Lotta Lava route

I thought he’d be fun to draw, with that prominent forehead and strong jawline and he was. I also painted him using a limited primary palette of yellow, red and blue, trying to get colors close to the reference photo (below).

Big Forehead Guy, #1, Gouache, 10×7.5”

About volcanoes…when I was a kid I had a reoccurring nightmare about being on an erupting volcano with Little Lulu and Tubby, characters from my favorite childhood comic books.

Below is the photo reference, my sketches, correction checks (photo tracing over sketch in Procreate) and the painting starts.

Categories
Art Drawing Faces Gouache Painting People Portrait

The Restaurant Critic

Restaurant Critic #2, Gouache, 10×7.5”

I saw a photo of this restaurant critic in Berkeleyside, an online local newspaper, and immediately wanted to paint him. I made several drawings, trying to get a likeness. And then I painted him twice. Above is the second painting; below is the first.

Restaurant Critic #1, Gouache, 10×7.5”

I think his expression shows my frustration rather than the serene smile you can see in the reference photo here. Below are the drawings, which maybe captured his expression better than the paintings.

My drawing practice had been left behind over the months I worked on an oil painting that I ultimately abandoned. I was rusty at both painting in gouache and drawing but you have to start where you are, so that’s what I did.

Categories
Art Faces Gouache People Portrait Sktchy Sktchy Watercolor

Is She Sleepy, Bored or Annoyed?

Sleepy Asian Girl, Gouache on paper, 10 x 7 inches
Sleepy Asian Girl, Gouache on paper, 10 x 7 inches

This was one of those rare and wonderful painting experiences where the sketch (below) came together by magic, and I liked it enough to not even check it against the reference photo for accuracy. I didn’t care if it was perfect. The painting just flowed and it was super fun to see and paint all the different colors and textures.

Sleepy Asian Girl Sketch, 10x8 inches, graphite on Xerox paper
Sleepy Asian Girl Sketch, 10×8 inches, graphite on Xerox paper

I kept pondering her story while I worked on the portrait. I had all kinds of ideas but settled on a bone-tired factory or sewing shop worker. Then I did a Google image search of the reference photo (below), which was supplied by a Sktchy artist for her class demo and for us to paint from.

Reference photo

The image search took me down a looooong rabbit hole that led to a match for the photo. It turns out the model is a Japanese artist named Serena Motola. Maybe she was just bored and annoyed to be modeling when she wanted to be painting?