Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
The Little Writer
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
self portrait lesson
Here's the self-portrait demo I posted awhile ago in video form. My first attempt at video demo. It had music, but the audio got lost somewhere.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Workshops in Rising Sun, Indiana
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Collected self portraits
Hithergreen watercolor moving right along
Jane tried a new twist in this one--a profile delineated with ink lines and tinted with watercolor. This has been a favorite technique of hers since we first tried it several months ago. I like her handling of the lines here.
Liz also missed classes, but painted this without a reference photo. The painting has a fresh and spontaneous look that I like.
I also did a brief demonstration on painting "glow," which you can see in a previous demonstration project on my Web site. However, I did the new demonstration wet-in-wet entirely.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
AWS controversy resolved
Friday, February 13, 2009
Creating Confident Color with Nita Leland
Here's a clip from my new video, Creating Confident Color, coming soon from ArtistsNetworkTV.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
4 more class self portraits
Don is a relative beginner to art and watercolor, but he's always game to participate in the current challenge. He decided to do a caricature and did a good job. He actually captured his sense of humor, and the heavy eyebrows and full face are characteristics of his natural features.
Ely's self portrait is a combination of line and wash that is distinctive from all the other self portraits. It's very well done and is a good likeness. I like the high-key quality of the painting.
Pat glazed washes over one of her self-portrait drawings from the earlier lesson. There's some camera shake in the photo, but you can see the face is beautifully painted and very lifelike.
There may be one or two more yet to come, but we're also working on learning about watercolor paints.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Revisiting the Golden Mean
Here are a couple of ways to find the "ideal" location for a focal point,
regardless of the dimensions of your surface. One is the "rule of thirds," which divides the surface in thirds each way and places the focal point at any intersection of lines. Another is "rabatment," which consists of drawing diagonals from corner to corner, then drawing a perpendicular line from any corner to a diagonal. See this diagram on my Web site FAQ page. (Scroll down to diagram.)Both methods provide four "sweet spots" to choose from as your focal point, each spot being a different measure from every edge of the paper or canvas.
Another interesting way to divide your space is shown in an my earlier design tools blog.
Ed Whitney always said to locate your center of interest a different distance from all four sides. That's it in a nutshell. Although don't hesitate if you find a good reason to put it smack-dab in the middle.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Stop me before I glaze again.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
My guilt trip
Next, I painted the eyes to get the shapes, but not the detail. I blocked in the structure of the head and neck using Davy's gray and cerulean blue watercolors. This stage looks ghostly, but it does help you to put in strong shapes at the beginning, so you can capture dimension in the head and features. On top of the shadows, I layered thin glazes of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and Winsor red for the skin.
I painted the lips, which really brought the face to life. Then I drew a few details in the straw hat, which I didn't want to be too busy. I also laid in the shadows on the folds of the scarf wrapped around the hat, but I decided to simplify the design and color and painted it freehand. I also painted in the detail on the earring. The one in the photo was twisted, so I used a different one from my jewel-case.
Here's the portrait after the scarf and shirt were completed. I enhanced the skin color and warmed up some of the dark shadows. I'm not sure if I'm finished. I'm thinking of softening the shadows in the neck. They need to be there, but they seem a little harsh. I didn't capture my expression exactly, but I think you can recognize me, anyway. At least, as I tell my class, it looks human. Here's a larger image.
Monday, February 02, 2009
More student self portraits
Sylvia's self-portrait from a photograph is an excellent likeness. The eyes are very lifelike and beautifully painted. I also like the way she has handled her hair. Her photograph didn't show enough of the hair, so she used a different photo for that. The gray brushstrokes that define her hair are very nice. Her choices of color are pleasing, as well.
Suzanne's likeness is recognizable, if not exact. Her self portrait is nicely painted and suggests her lively personality and a twinkle in her eyes. Her hair could be developed a tiny bit more, with a slight shadow under the edge along her forehead, to give it more dimension. I like the contrast of the blues and greens with the flesh tones.
Patty was one of the brave souls who painted her self portrait using a hand mirror. This is a wonderful portrait on its own, even though it doesn't capture her sparkle and beauty. She said she didn't want to grin at the mirror, which accounts for her somber expression. Patty is excellent with children's faces in particular and had no problem with the proportions of the features.
Pat redid her portrait from last week and improved the features with more modeling and detail. In spite of the source material, which wasn't a very clear photo in the first place, she managed to do a better job this time. This does point up the importance of good reference material, though. An experienced portrait painter can "fill in the blanks," because she knows the structure of the face. For others, it's often guess work.
Maureen's self portrait is very colorful. She is bold with color and brushwork in this portrait based on a photograph. She was somewhat disappointed with the likeness, but artists often are, with their own self portraits. Everyone in the class admired this lively face.
Lynda is developing a spontaneous, expressionistic style that works well in her self portrait. The wild colors and flying brushwork are very exciting. She had problems with proportion in the lower half of the face and her eyes are somewhat enlarged, but that contributes to the expressiveness of the portrait. Working with a mirror, she discovered as others did who tried it, that it's difficult to capture proportions and likeness.
Linda's portrait of her husband from a photograph is well observed and painted. It's a good likeness and the eyes are done especially well. The colors that contrast the blue shirt with the warm tones of the rest of the picture make a harmonious portrait.