Now this was fun to paint and everything actually went pretty well. I’m starting to make friends with gouache and enjoying recollecting and putting to use some old watercolor skills.
I left off his fishing pole and some other fishing tools because I wanted to focus on the fish. I LOVED painting this fish and I’m thinking about buying some fish to paint. I’ve painted fish before, but only when standing at the fish counter at the local Ranch Market 99 and sketching these.
Unlike with oil paints, there’s a point with gouache where it just gets nasty if you try to add one more layer or brush stroke. The positive side to that is that it encourages me to try to get the color and value right as quickly as possible; to put a stroke down and leave it, not thinking “close enough, I’ll fix it later” like I tend to do in oils (a lazy, bad habit).
On this painting I passed the point of no return on the woman’s face and have to admit I did a wee bit of softening/smudging in Procreate before I posted this to fix the lumps too many layers of paint made on her nose. Even so I didn’t do justice to how cute both she and the baby actually are in their photo.
Another mystery photo! Is he an artist who builds giant chicken statues or perhaps a chicken rancher with his trademark chicken?
I noticed that when I paint with gouache on cold press watercolor paper I end up with little white spots in dark areas so this time I tried a different gouache technique. I covered the whole sketch first with thin washes. It wasn’t that helpful. I learned that for that to work it’s necessary to get the values right in the underpainting, making darks really dark.
When I posted this painting on Instagram I mentioned that I’d love to know the story behind this picture of a burly guy riding a painted bull in a parking lot in a desert somewhere who Facebook in its wisdom recommends I get to know.
Shortly afterwards someone I know recognized him and told me that this lovely gentleman was her former sergeant and that he is a much loved retired law enforcement officer. Below is my pencil sketch before I painted it.
Every time I open Facebook it shows me photos of random people it thinks I might want to know. Many of them are in curious settings or have interesting faces so I’ve started saving them to paint or draw. Above is the first one, done in Procreate on the iPad, where I tried to simulate an oil painting digitally.
Since I don’t have permission to use their photos I won’t post them here but it will be fun to see if anyone recognizes themselves or their friends, given the small world we live in now.
I tried painting with watercolor (above) over the graphite sketch below in a Stonehenge square sketchbook. I discovered that I am very rusty with my watercolors and this sketchbook is apparently NOT watercolor paper, so this is kind of a mess. But an interesting mess.
I realized I need lots more drawing practice, after trying to paint a life-size three-person portrait in oils over several months and failing again and again. I put the project and the four failed canvases in the closet to try again another day after I improve my portrait drawing skills.
I painted this portrait of my darling daughter-in-law in Procreate. My son posted the inspiration photo of her on Valentines Day on Facebook. I am so grateful to her for all the years she has been a wonderful partner to my son and for all she contributes to her community.
I had to make myself stop or I would have worked on this one forever because the colors and expression in the Sktchy photo were so fascinating (and challenging) and fun! I again tried to focus on painting the planes of the face using mostly cool colors with some warm colors to help create dimension. The lighting really helped show the underlying structure of her face.