Back to Sktchy, a Gouache Portrait

Portrait of Dennis J. from Sktchy, Gouache, 12x9 inches
Portrait of Dennis J. from Sktchy, Gouache, 12×9 inches

I’m returning to using Sktchy for my reference photos of people for portrait practice since there is such a wide range to choose from. I’m not abandoning my series of “people Facebook thinks I should know,” but those are less useful for portrait practice, which I’m wanting to do right now.

Can you tell those splotches on his face are light coming in from a window through maybe lace curtains? I can’t post the original Sktchy reference photo off that site, but you can see it by clicking or swiping on my Sktchy painting on Sktchy here if you’re interested.

One thing I love about gouache is that it limits me to working on a painting for only one or two sessions. Unlike oils that can go on being repainted forever, gouache fairly quickly says, “Sorry, no more paint, no more layers, you’re done.” It teaches me to get the drawing down, go for the values and then lay down brush strokes of color and let them be.

Cool Portrait in Gouache

Gouache sketch of "Ms. Red Rose" from Sktchy App
Gouache sketch from Sktchy photo of Ms. Red Rose, 10×8 inches

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.

Warm Portrait in Gouache

Sketch of Olivia A. from Sktchy in gouache in Strathmore Mixed Media Journal, 8.5” x 11” .
Olivia A. from Sktchy in gouache in Strathmore Mixed Media Journal, 8.5 x 11 inches

I was really happy with the way this gouache portrait of Olivia A. from her photo in the Sktchy app turned out. I focused on putting down patches or tiles of color, based on what I was seeing but also considering color temperature and facial landmarks. It also helped that for once did a good job on the drawing first.

Sometimes I study and study and have lots of book learning and every now and then, if I’m really lucky and persistent, it pours out of the end of my pencil or paint brush like magic and I actually meet your goals for a piece.

Sktchy People Sketches

Sketch of artist Makenna Snyder from her photo on Sktchy app in Procreate
Sketch of artist Makenna Snyder from her photo on Sktchy app in Procreate

I wasn’t sure which version of the very pretty artist Makenna Snyder I liked best, but I think it’s monochrome version above rather than the colored version below.

When I was looking for new glasses two years ago I tried on a frame like hers and thought it was a frumpy, old-fashioned look, having seen the style the first time around several decades ago. But eventually I’ve come to see them as attractive and stylish. Now that I like them it means they’ll probably be going out of style very soon.

Sketch of artist Makenna Snyder drawn and colored in Procreate
Sketch of artist Makenna Snyder drawn and colored in Procreate

Below is a sketch of Tomas from Sketchy. There was something rather ominous about his bathroom selfie. I’m not sure why someone would take a photo of themselves half naked in the bathroom and post it for people to draw but I’m glad he did.

Sketch of Tomas from Sktchy in Procreate on iPad
Sketch of Tomas from Sktchy in Procreate on iPad

Gouache Self Portrait and Sktchy Portrait

Gouache selfie sketch in Strathmore Mixed Media journal, 8.5 x 11 inches
Gouache selfie sketch in Strathmore Mixed Media journal, 8.5 x 11 inches

It cracks me up how selfies end up making noses even more prominent than in real life, including the one above of me. I’m still finding my way with gouache but enjoying the immediacy of it and the easy clean up. It doesn’t allow for reworking forever the way oil painting does, which is helping me to focus more on getting it as close to right as I can with each brush stroke and color mixture.

Below is a gouache sketch from a photo in the Sktchy app of Farah W.’s mother.

Gouache painting of Farah W.’s mom from Sktchy in 8.5 x 11 inches
Gouache painting of Farah W.’s mom from Sktchy in 8.5 x 11 inches

Paolo, Fasyali and His Bow Tie

Digital sketch of Fasyali from Sktchy in Procreate
Digital sketch of Fasyali from Sktchy in Procreate

I was attracted to draw Fasyali (above), by the photo he posted on the Sktchy App because he just looked like such a nice person and I loved his bow tie and ears. I drew it first in one of the pencils on Procreate and then added a layer of color beneath the pencil so it colorize the sketch.

Below is another sketch from a fun photo of Paolo in the Sktchy app.

A sketch of Paolo from his photo on the Sktchy App in Procreate on the iPad

I love the way digital selfies make noses and ears so prominent. They’re so fun to draw.

Man on Lox and Off

Procreate Sketch of Ernest from Sktchy on photo of lox
Ernest From Sktchy On Lox, Procreate on iPad

I drew Ernest from his photo on the Sketchy App with Procreate’s “Ink Brush” on my iPad and then superimposed it on a photo of the package of lox I had for my breakfast. I was inspired by how pretty the smoked salmon looked on it’s gold packaging and thought it would look nice under his rough hewn face.

Below is the original drawing before I added the salmon layer.

Procreate Sketch of Ernest from Sktchy
Ernest From Sktchy Off Lox, Procreate on iPad

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