Categories
Faces Gouache People Portrait

Julia Kay’s Portrait Party: Portrait in Gouache

Portrait of Jan Jaap for Julia Kaye's Portrait Party, gouache in XL WC Moleskine, 9x6.5"
Portrait for Julia Kaye’s Portrait Party, gouache in XL WC Moleskine, 9×6.5″

When I learned that Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (Facebook) (Flickr) was coming to SF in March for a weekend of live portrait party events I signed up. My goal for 2015 is to develop my portrait drawing and painting skills and this seemed a perfect way to get started, along with the excellent 4-hour figure/portrait drawing/painting class I’m taking at my local community college.

Since I’ve been experimenting and teaching myself to paint with  gouache (more about that soon, with reviews of paint and brushes for gouache). I thought it would be a perfect medium for my first Portrait Party attempt. One thing that I know about gouache but am not yet accustomed to, is that it dries significantly darker than it looks on the palette (unlike watercolor which dries lighter). That explains the very vibrant tones in the portrait above compared to the original photo (which I don’t have permission to post here)! Below is the original sketch that I painted over in my X-large Watercolor Moleskine.

Sketch of Jan Jaap for Julia Kaye's Portrait Party, graphite, 9x6.5"
Sketch of Jan Jaap for Julia Kaye’s Portrait Party, graphite, 9×6.5″
Categories
Drawing Faces Self Portrait Sketchbook Pages

End of Journal Self Portrait

End of Journal Self Portrait, graphite, 8x5"
End of Journal Self Portrait with New Glasses, graphite, 8×5″ 11/2014

I’ve been doing more oil painting than sketching lately so it’s taken longer than usual to fill my journal and get to the last page that I always save for a self-portrait (above). It’s interesting how each sketch in the collection below shows a progression upwards in age and (occasionally) in skill and how only bits of them resemble me at all. Also interesting how many of them were done on days I was feeling grumpy and/or tired (probably wisely choosing to sketch myself instead of working on something that “mattered” when I felt that way).

Below is a little gallery of self-portrait end-of-journal sketches since 2009. You can click on any image to see it larger, if you must.

Categories
Faces Flower Art Gardening Ink and watercolor wash Outdoors/Landscape Plants Rose Self Portrait Sketchbook Pages

Spring Things and not so Spring-y Things (Self-Portrait)

Figgie 2014, ink and watercolor, 8x5.5 in
Figgie 2014, ink and watercolor, 8×5.5 in

This little fig tree has survived so much: being transplanted, then a killer frost, and then transplanting again after sewer line work. As soon as leaves sprouted this year so did two figs. Sadly the crows or squirrels (or the toddler next door?) took them before I could even post this.

Little Rose Studies, ink and watercolor, 7.5x5.5 in
Little Rose Studies, ink and watercolor, 7.5×5.5 in

I sat in the driveway and quickly sketched some roses but had to stop when the shadow of the house took away the light.

End of Journal Self-Portrait, graphite, 5x7.5 in
End of Journal Self-Portrait, graphite, 5×7.5 in

And then there’s my not so spring-y self, frowning into the mirror, with hat-head and something wrong with the mouth. And yes, it’s intentionally buried at the bottom of this post. It feels good to be drawing again, after what seems like months away from it. It’s also a little frustrating feeling rusty at it. But the only fix for that is more drawing!

Categories
Colored pencil art Flower Art Sketchbook Pages

I’m Not Number One, I’m 2 Million! plus 1 More Crab Apple

Crab Apple Blossoms with colored pencil sketch on tan paper
Crab Apple Blossoms colored pencil on tan paper in 8×11″ Moleskine Journal

Once more with the crab apple blossoms, this time on tan paper using mostly a Prismacolor black grape colored pencil and white pencil (and then pasted in my giant Moleskine).

I sketched these before I did the oil paintings posted previously below. I wanted to try the approach of sketching with only three values: the tan paper as mid-range plus highlights and shadows. But I wasn’t seeing a lot of variation in value in the subject. Everything except for the whitish pink blossoms looked like a medium dark value. So what I was trying to do didn’t really make sense. But it was fun anyway.

The Visitor 2 Million Prize on Making a Mark

Katherine Tyrrell credited me with being or generating the 2,000,000 millionth visitor to Making A Mark, my favorite blog about art on the web. We were both down with a nasty flu bug then so she missed seeing the counter tick over to 2 million. But she could tell it was either me (reading her blog from bed with box of tissues in hand) or someone referred from my blog, so she named me the prize winner. Her blog is such a gift to the artist/blogger community. I learn something new every time I read her weekly “Who’s Made A Mark” column.