Categories
Art Oil Painting Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Sadie and the Swim Trophy

Sadie and the swim trophy, watercolor
Sadie and the 2021 Swim Trophy, watercolor, 10”x7.5”

My granddaughter Sadie loves to swim (and play soccer, basketball and read books, too). At the end of the season, after winning many races and awards, to fundraise for her team she swims lap after lap and people pledge $ per lap.

Reference photo

Trying to paint Sadie from this photo led to me giving up on oils and going back to watercolor. As was my way with oils, I tried repeatedly, persistently (obsessively?) but couldn’t make it work. This watercolor isn’t perfect, but it captures the joy of the moment and that makes me happy.

Failed oil paintings
Abandoned Oil Paintings, 9×12”
L-R: Start of painting #2; unfinished painting #2; unfinished painting #1

With watercolor I’m able to paint to a certain point and then happily call it done. Watercolor doesn’t allow you to keep fiddling forever like oil does.

Final drawing for the portrait painting
Final drawing for the painting (after many corrections)

I again used a limited palette because it’s fun to see what I can do with only 3 colors. This time it was DS Hansa Yellow Medium, WN Permanent Alizarin and WN Cobalt Blue.

Limited palette color wheel of primary triad
Test of Limited Palette Primary Triad using DS Hansa Yellow Medium, WN Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Permanent

I used to think it was really weird that artists limited their palettes. I thought one needed every possible color in order to capture color exactly. But now I prefer the harmony a limited palette provides and don’t really care about capturing exactly the colors in real life. I’m not trying to be a photocopier.

Categories
Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

In the Light, In the Dark

Lady in the Light, watercolor, 8×6″

After watching a Sktchy watercolor demo by Alison Pinto, I tried my hand at drawing (see below) and painting this sweet face. I want to assemble a good palette for watercolor portraits, so tried Alison’s interesting palette (see bottom of post for pigments and reference photos). So far I know I do not like Burnt Sienna in portraits.

Sketch for Lady in Light watercolor portrait
Sketch for Lady in Light
Lady in Dark, watercolor, 8x6.5"
Lady in the Dark, watercolor, 8×6.5″

I was a little happy with this painting until I realized I’d given her googly eyes and started trying to “fix” the painting, which with watercolor translates to “wreck” the painting. Oh well. This is a scan I made before I started “fixing.”

Lady in Dark,sketch
Lady in Dark, sketch

Pigments: : Winsor Lemon, Indian yellow, Permanent Rose, Holbein Opera, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet and Winsor Green Blue Shad

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 People Sktchy

Fun Portrait Sketch of Pulcherie

Pulcherie, Graphite pencil on recycled printer paper, 11 x 8 inches
Pulcherie, Graphite pencil on recycled printer paper, 11 x 8 inches.

This portrait of Pulcherie was so fun to sketch! According to her Sktchy profile, she is a French artist living in China. You can see the original photo reference on Sktchy here.

It’s always such a gift when a drawing just goes well! I was able to do this one in a couple of hours while listening to Barack Obama’s latest (audio) book that he narrates. I never noticed before that he had a slight lisp but I’m sure I’m hearing one on the S-sounds when he reads aloud from his book.

Categories
Art Drawing Faces People Portrait Sktchy

Moody Sketch of Ron McA from Sktchy

Pencil Sketch of Ron McA from Sktchy, 11x8.5", graphite
Ron McA from Sktchy, 11×8.5″, graphite

I’m really happy with this sketch of Ron McA from Sktchy. I tried to just keep it simple and it worked. I like the mood and the pencil work. If you’d like to see the original photo reference, you can click and swipe on Sktchy here.