Categories
Art Gouache Portrait Sktchy Sktchy

Trying Gouache Again

Gouache portrait, 10×8 inches on Arches CP Watercolor paper

I’ve studied gouache before as in this post with color charts and several other times over the years. This month I’ve been participating in the “Sktchy 30 Faces in 30 Days – Gouache and Watercolor” challenge with a different artist demonstrating their way of painting a portrait in either watercolor or gouache each day.

The first gouache demo was presented by Jordan M. Rhodes (@jmr_art on Instagram) who I’ve been following on IG for a long time. I tried to paint along with him but kept on struggling. I ended up taking much longer, painting multiple layers until I was able complete it with some degree of satisfaction. And of course it took me several hours just to get the drawing right-ish first.

My preliminary drawing
Reference photo

I had hoped that doing this 30 day challenge would force me to work faster, but nope. It wasn’t until I got to the next gouache class that I picked up the insights that have given me much more confidence and better skills, which I’ll write about when I share the next portrait.

Categories
Drawing Faces People Portrait Sktchy Sktchy

Rainbow Hair and a Pretty Pointy Profile Pic

Ioana F from Sktchy, pencil and colored pencil, 10x8 inches
Ioana F from Sktchy, pencil and colored pencil, 10×8 inches

I was inspired to sketch Ioana because of her brilliant hair color (see her photo on Sktchy here) and because a dear friend had to shave her head while undergoing chemo and I was looking for photos of beautiful bald women to share with her. (Ioana also posted photos of herself with a shaved head on Sktchy.) Maybe when my friend finishes her treatment and her hair grows back she’ll dye it shades of pink and orange to celebrate.

Profile sketch from internet photo, pencil, 10x8 inches
Profile sketch from internet photo, pencil, 10×8 inches

This sketch was done to practice profile drawing which I find difficult. She has such an unusual facial structure as you can see in the photo below, but somehow looks beautiful despite the pointy chin and long nose and big ears. She looks nervous about it all in my sketch.

Reference photo from somewhere on the internet
Categories
Art Drawing Faces People Portrait Sktchy

Aleksandra Again and Again

Aleksandra Final Pencil Sketch
Aleksandra Final Sketch, pencil, 10×8″

I worked on making a portrait of Aleksandra over and over for a couple of months (see the terrible work below). I finally surrendered and chose a different photo of her. The drawing above went smoothly and I did it in one afternoon. (Sktchy photo reference for above sketch.)

What originally inspired me to paint her was the bright yellow-green background in this Sktchy photo. But I learned the hard way that selfies shot close up distort the features and shape of the face.

Our eyes and brains automatically correct for things like photo distortion and lighting, but trying to draw exactly what is there from a distorted photo doesn’t work unless you’re ok with a distorted drawing. Sometimes that can make for a fun caricature, but in this case I was trying to capture a complimentary likeness of a pretty woman.

Below are some of the failed attempts. The first colored image is an oil painting with about 15 layers of failed attempts beneath the final failed attempt. The second colored image is a gouache painting that I put too much paint on, tried to wash some off, then gave up because the sketchbook paper was ruined.

Last six attempts including a failed oil painting (top row) and gouache (bottom row).

Below are the really terrible initial drawings.

Early attempts, some with imposed corrections
Categories
Art Drawing Faces Sktchy

Sketch of Zoey K.

Zoey K from Sktchy. Graphite on copy paper. 8 x 8 inches.

My pencil drawing can’t do justice to her bright red hair (see her photo on Sktchy here) but I’m still limiting myself to pencil to improve my portrait drawing skills.

I’m trying to work out how to address the distortion that is in almost every selfie because of the wide angle lens held close to the face. Perhaps the best solution is to just go with it and not worry about realism. Maybe everyone is used to seeing each other via selfies and that’s what we think people look like now anyway?

Categories
Art Drawing People Portrait Sktchy Sktchy

Calm, Gentle Bette

Quick Sketch of Bette G. from Sktchy, graphite on Xerox paper, 11x8 inches
Quick Sketch of Bette G. from Sktchy, graphite on Xerox paper, 11×8 inches

I’m finding myself attracted to sketching people who radiate peace and kindness which is calming in the midst of all the intensity in the news. This was a quick afternoon sketch from last month. You can see her reference photo on Sktchy here.