watercolor portraits

Variety is the spice

A variety of faces, that’s what I enjoy about the Sktchy app. Young, old, men, women, racial differences, attitudes and expressions. . .variety is the spice. And what great practice! I fuss over each portrait until I get bored and stop before I’m really finished, which means before I’ve totally lost it!

day4

Sticking with the gray toned paper here, drawing in pen, painting with watercolor and finishing off with a bit of white gel pen, pastel pencil or gouache. The paper buckles from the wet watercolor and makes it hard to photograph evenly.

day7

I just didn’t have a good strategy to paint the very dark skin and didn’t want to ruin it, so I stopped!

day8 I loved the drawing and the hair, but messed up on the shadows, making them too purple. Argh.

day10

That glorious hair was a lot of work and I wasn’t happy til I got out the blue violent gouache.

day13

Another handsome young man and this time I didn’t make the black skin too dark!

day14

Now that I’m starting to get the hang of painting dark skin I’ve forgotten how to do light skin! Luckily the 30faces30days challenge is still going!

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.

Faces 6-11

Pretty faces are OK, but faces with attitude. . .those are the best to try to draw. And the #30faces30days Sktchy challenge has lots of those. Here’s some more of my efforts. Rather than following the prompts and lessons offered, I’ve been trying to stay a bit consistent in my efforts, working on Stillman and Birn Nova series gray toned paper, drawing first with pencil, then inking in, adding light watercolor applications in warm and cool colors, and ending with pastel pencil and white gel pen.

Day 6 Bella

Oh yeah, and trying to stop before I get bored.

Day 6: Bella Lambert   I find hair particularly difficult to stay interested in, especially when there’s a focal interest, like these great pouty lips!

30facesday5

Day 5: Delphine Lily  The lesson on Day 5 was about hair, so I forced myself to paint it, and I think you can tell.

Day 8 Marcus

Day 8: Marcus J. Bright  Another great attitude pose! And all the features in the “wrong” place, which really helped, because you couldn’t assume anything but just had to trust in what you actually saw. Like top of ear down below the lip, and what a lip!

30facesday10

Day 10: Stuart Goss I didn’t rush this one and went back in after the painting with some more line definition.

30facesday11

Day 11: Shannon Dada   I was really rushed with this one and came in really fast with the paint. I’m learning that it is hard to get the eyes focused right. Seemingly infinitesimal changes make a big difference. These were particularly challenging. My favorite part is coming in with the bright white at the end.

OK, back to sewing masks now.

Sktchy’s 30 Faces/30 Days, April

Are you doing Sktchy’s 30 faces in 30 days ? I don’t think I’ve ever completed one of these 30 day art challenges, having religiously sketched something every day, but so far this month, four days in, I’m on it!

Of course when you’re sheltering in place it helps to have the motivation of being told what to do every day. And the great thing about this 30 faces/30 days is that you have a teacher’s demo to watch every day. I like to watch while I’m drinking my morning chai.

Day1_30faces1

graphite on toned paper (gray actually, though it doesn’t look so here)

The suggestion on Day 1 by teacher Mike Creighton was to do three quick sketches, 5 min, 10 min and finally 15 minutes to warm up and improve with each try. I just rarely give myself the opportunity of repetition and it really works.

Day1_30faces3

Then I took the 15 min. sketch and added w/c and pastel, inventing the color since there was none in the picture.

Day2_30faces

Pitt artist pen and fountain pen on white paper, direct to pen

Day 2 the suggestion by teacher Dylan Sara was to draw directly in pen, slowly working around from shape to shape, and then use vertical hatching to do the shading. The picture of Jacob Palmer had wonderful shadow shapes to work with. I normally find hatching to be tedious, but actually this was quite fun and I realized that if I slow down enough, I can skip the pencil sketch and go right to pen.

30facesday3

watercolor, fountain pen, and white gel pen on toned paper

Day 3: The teacher Cecile Yadro chose a duel subject and demonstrated different ways of checking the drawing’s accuracy. I just loved that she chose an old woman as a subject rather than some hip young person for a change. I can relate to the veiny hands! There was no need to paint in the stripes on the cat and the woman’s coat. I think the story was already told without. The woman loves her cat and the cat, well, goes along with it.

30facesday4 Day 4 (today) the teacher was Vin Ganapathy, and his lesson was to start with a fast and loose contour drawing (outline without lifting the pen off the paper much) and then work on salvaging the inevitable errors by putting in finer details. The picture was a bit wonky, but that made it more like sketching a caricature, which was fun! I chose paint over hatching for the shadow because it saves so much time! (I can see how the same toned gray paper looks a different color in each picture. I guess due to ambient light in the room.)