toned paper

Faces

gouache on gray toned paper

A fellow from the Sktchy picture archives – someone I’d like to meet !

What to say about this – dividing the face into fractals of color – why not stripes and dashes and thick and thin – adding and subtracting but mostly adding! That’s the beauty of gouache. You can just keep going. Come in at the end with pure color accents. That red on the tip of the nose and ear, blue in the shadow and pure white to pop. 

gouache on beige toned paper

I had to paint this redhead. Red goes with turquoise, green. Red like my hair was, and sort of still is with the help of hair coloring over the gray. Haha!

Portraits on Toned Paper

The Sktchy app keeps feeding my need to explore various media while practicing portrait skills; perhaps for the eventuality of finally being able to do portraits of new people I meet in person. . .unmasked. What a concept!

So here’s the latest, as I draw along with the current #30faces30days artists, only not in pencil, which is what is being encouraged this month. I’m alternating on the gray, black and beige toned papers in the 7″X10″ Nova Trio sketchbook by Stillman And Birn.

pen, watercolor, gouache on gray toned paper
pen, watercolor, white gel pen, w/c pencil

Sometimes I get frustrated enough that I just start grabbing other media and scribbling. I almost gave up on this one, then decided I’d gotten a couple of things right and should be satisfied! Perfection is just so boring anyway. Haha!

I would title this one Medusa, even though it’s a gorgeous guy. He’s also an amazing artist you can see on Sktchy, Derek McClure.

White gouache on black paper

This was another great exercise in negative thinking! meaning applying paint in the exact opposite way one does on white paper. I started the only way I could think, by drawing with a white pencil and then struggled to apply the gouache in a variety of values, but it didn’t exactly cooperate, at least not using my watercolor application methods! But if you overlook the messiness, at least it’s not a boring portrait, and my design brain got a real workout.

Chadwick Boseman

Have you watched the Netflix movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, yet? I decided to try to capture another magnetic performance, this one by Chadwick Boseman who played Levee. Chadwick died from cancer this September. Hard to imagine he could give a performance like that while secretly suffering from a debilitating form of cancer! The cast called this final role Legendary and Terrifying! An Oscar nomination seems likely.

watercolor on beige toned paper with highlights of pastel pencil

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

I haven’t actually seen the movie yet. It’s coming to Netflix December 18. But the character of Ma Rainey, played magnificently by Viola Davis (as always!), is enough for me to want to. I ran across a short video scene of her performance in the New York Times and had to put my brush to it/her! 

watercolor on beige toned paper in Stillman + Birn’s NOVA TRIO sketchbook

Drawn with a pencil and painted  ( no pen). I used a touch of pastel pencil here and there to give some white highlights.

 

More Faces From Sktchy

It’s become a kind of peaceful occupation, usually before or after dinner, contemplating faces with pen and paint in hand, inventing some colors, changing up the watercolor with pastels. Here’s some more.day26

fine liner pen and watercolor on tan toned paper, finished with pastel pencil

day27

. . .a bride dripping flowers. . .

MylaShyv

. . .a very young beauty with a magnificent mane. . .

RickN

. . .a fascinating man, posing as a troll.

Not Procreated

This month’s #30faces30days challenge on Sktchy is also a course in Procreate-ing portraits. Although it looks like a lot of fun to draw with an iPad, and certainly makes correcting mistakes a lot easier, as well as ease of switching media, I have steadfastly resisted the trend. I won’t bore you with my reasons, but it has to do with already spending way too much time on computers, what with reading the news and answering email and so much more.  Also I just love the feel of a real brush and paper. Are you bored yet?

So I just tune into the photos each day and paint the ones that intrigue, on beige toned paper with pen and watercolor and some pastel pencil. As I’ve said before, there’s so much variety in source pictures, like Baby Kohler here.

day19

At the risk of sound very weird. . .as I was working on this portrait I could almost feel the warmth of that little body on mine, and I kept getting a whiff of that unmistakable sweet sour scent of mother’s milk which I haven’t smelled (not being a grandmother yet) for about 26 years. That’s how up close and personal this remarkable image was!

day20

And then along came Mike with his kinky/curly locks, and I couldn’t resist making him gorgeous. I hope he doesn’t mind. My prerogative, as the artist, after all.

day21

This pose was a nice change, good practice for when I’m out sketching on location again. . . some day.

day23

Only a slight exaggeration of the the photo. Love that hot pink hair!

day24

And then, the prettiest black lady . . .with an ice cream sundae of hair piled high.

Expressive Faces

Oh I do love to draw and paint people. Here’s the latest. The Sktchy app is so great for finding really expressive faces.

BigAl

watercolor, black pen and white gel pen on gray toned paper

day3

There’s a new month of Sktchy’s 30faces30days challenge. This gentleman totally charmed me with his picture. I mean can’t you imagine all the years he spent out in the sun? And I do hope that now he’s a jefe, a boss man with his own ranch.

day5

And Mr. Nakashidze, what a face you have! I can’t guess what country you’re from.

I can’t stop drawing!

One might feel sort of lonely these days, not getting to see your friends or family in person. But one thing is sure. As long as you have wifi and a device to watch, you don’t have to draw alone. I tuned into Sktchy school recently and got to draw Dylan with France Van Stone, a favorite drawing teacher I remember from one of the early Sketchbook Skool courses.

dylan

Well I don’t really draw like France, but I enjoyed listening to her commentary and drawing along with her. It made the time go so fast! This is pen, watercolor and pastel pencil on toned paper.

ben

The subject of these studies will remain unnamed (so that I don’t get in trouble!) I did these studies from pictures I took on Face Time using a cool filter which maps the value shapes in interesting ways, making it actually easier to get a likeness and so much fun to paint. The conversation went through various changes from relaxed to animated. What a great tool to learn portrait drawing!

andy

Same person in these two portraits here. Quite an emotional range! Unfortunately I didn’t have access to the filter I used in the previous ones but I’m still practicing mapping warm and cool shapes that show volume.

One could say that these are examples of the emotional roller coaster we all find ourselves on these days. At least it makes for good portrait subjects!

eyesBen

Like this one! from the comic strip filter on Face Time, and captured during a conversation when my subject discovered how much fun it was to mug in selfie mode!

Benoutline

Probably better if I end this post with the pensive face of a young man, perhaps trying to figure out, like the rest of us, where this crazy planet is headed.

The Last of #30faces30days Challenge

By the final days of the #30faces30days challenge on the Sktchy app I was more interested in trying out some techniques I’d already learned than following the prompt each day. The pictures provided were so fascinating – they’re called “Muses” on the Sktchy app- that I couldn’t wait to draw the new one each day. Here’s the last two of the month.

30faces30days29

Watercolor and pencil on gray toned paper

This Muse’s hair was not white/gray and his shirt was patterned. I’m learning to leave out some parts to make the whole more interesting, and loving what happens on the gray toned paper.

30faces30days30

(sorry for uneven lighting here and rippled paper from wet applications!)

Thanks to Margriet Aasman, a Canadian illustrator and teacher on Sktchy for so many useful ideas about color and final application of pastel pencil. I was trying out a bit of everything on this portrait and loving the deep purples and dark reds for this Muse’s dark skin.

30 Faces/30 Days on the 18th day

I’m still at it most (not every) days, trying out the prompt on Sktchy’s 30 Faces/30 Days challenge. Each day comes with a teacher’s tip and a photo of a “Muse” to sketch. I’m learning so much, and finding some new teachers with different approaches to infuse into my own portrait work.

The following are my sketches, with the names of the teachers who gave the tips listed. You might want to look them up, or have a try at the challenge! It’s a course this month, for only $30.

30-30negativespace

Look how simple! Just drawing quickly in pencil, and picking two shapes , negative/positive, to add color. (teacher Chantal V.)

30_30sculpt

Using line here in a sculptural way. (teacher patrick Hochstenbach)

30_30Teeth

I did love it, for the first time ever, doing teeth! (Teacher Margriet Aasman)

30_30markproportions

Marking off proportions first for greater accuracy. (Teacher: France Van Stone)

30_30warmcoolshadows

Contrasting warm and cool colors. What an expression, huh! (teacher Gunhild Hope)

30_30energizingline

This one on gray toned paper. Making lines with energy!  (Teacher: Margriet Aasman) The gray paper somehow makes it easier to tone the skin color. There’s almost no white here, just a tad on the lip and not even in the eye!