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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.

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Art Drawing Faces Gouache Painting Portrait Sktchy Sktchy

Librarian (?) in Gouache with Zorn Palette

Stacy D from Sktchy in Gouache using Zorn Palette, 10x7 inches
Stacy D from Sktchy in Gouache using Zorn Palette, 10×7 inches

I dramatically changed the setting of this portrait from a graffiti-covered wall (photo at bottom) to a library. There was something about her expression and clothing that made me think judgmental librarian, not the hip artist she appears to be in her photo feed on Sktchy. (Not that librarians can’t be hip artists! I was thinking of the mean school librarian who was always shushing us and glaring if we giggled.)

This was the last lesson in Mike Creighton’s Sktchy class on gouache portrait painting and color mixing. This lesson was about the Zorn palette: white, yellow ochre, cadmium red light and black. I’m really enjoying playing with limited palettes and discovering all the varieties of color possible with them.

In my initial sketch below, I hadn’t decided on the background yet.

Stacy D. from Sktchy, initial sketch on Xerox paper
Stacy D. from Sktchy, initial sketch on Xerox paper

When I decided to change the background from the wall in the reference photo below, to a library I did a quick internet search and found the photo below, right, which I used as inspiration.

Reference photo of Stacy D from Sktchy
Reference photo of Stacy D from Sktchy
Internet photo for library photo reference
Internet photo for library photo reference