Thursday, March 25, 2010

Learning to Paint Petals, Watercolor - Finished?

This is finished except for a critique by Ruth and the group.  May need more darks in the bottom petals for better separation.  Will wait and see.  6 3/4" x 6 3/4" image size - watercolor.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Drawing Practice

I sketched this without measuring and can see the areas that need to be adjusted like the width of the nose which the tip needs to end at the edge of iris.  This can be checked by drawing a vertical line straight down from the edge of the iris.  Notice the rough eyes sketched at the top.  I shudder when I look at them but these are what help me to grow with my drawing.  I wonder if I am sketching the eyes too small and going to dark too quick.  Actually, the size shouldn't matter as the lines and values need to be adjusted to fit the size.  Guess I am just looking for excuses lol. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning to Paint Petals, Watercolor Next Step

A continuation of the petal from yesterday and this morning.  I am following Ruth's steps as she posts them.  Her petals look so fresh and vibrant. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Protrait Practice

This is today practice sketch of my niece using graphite on drawing paper. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Learning to Paint Petals, Watercolor

There is a workshop going on at Painting Friends thanks to Ruth (Madmum).  We are using a reference photo provided by Ruth.  I have been working on the steps slowly, waiting until Ruth posts each of the steps she takes so I can follow along. It is always interesting to see how other artists proceed with a painting.  I normally don't paint much in layers, unless it is getting darker darks, so this is rather a new experience for me. I know I can learn lots from her.  You can see Ruth's blog with her fabulous florals here

Plus, I have been practicing eyes and noses - none that are worth sharing.  I have a heavy hand with the pencil and have the tendency to go over and over an area.  I do the same thing when painting so the challenge is to not only learn to draw and paint facial features but to retrain my brain to keep from repeating strokes unless absolutely necessary. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bet Sketch

This is Bet, my adopted niece from Ethiopia.  I have to work on her left eye and eye brow - reshaping and lowering them just a bit.  Once the eyes are reshaped this will be transferred to watercolor paper.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Madagascar Periwinkle Watercolor

6: x 6 1/2"

This is my first effort at a botanical painting.  The artists that do these must have loads of patience and an eye for details. 

Madagascar Periwinkle Sketch

This sketch of a Magagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus) is the beginning steps of a painting for an on-line group studying color and other aspects of art.  This month the subject is botanicals.  I will take this rough sketch and trace it on to tracing paper then will transfer a clean outline of the plant to watercolor paper. 

The photo reference for this painting is from Wikipedia and information about the plant can be read here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day - Looking For 4-Leaf Clovers

This photo has always been one of my favorites.  Here, the story about the magic of looking for a 4-leaf clover is being passed on.  One of my favorite things to do and you can see that this little girl enjoyed it too. 

Wishing each of you the Luck O the Irish and blessings too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ethiopian Child, Layers Update

As you can see the mouth is still too low and the paper is now overworked.  So as soon as my order of paper arrives I will try this again. 

Rhonda asked, ". . . do you not draw it on the wc paper exactly as you want it and then paint it? I would think it would be difficult and frustrating to try to adjust in watercolors after you have the features in? Maybe that's just me and I don't know how to adjust a portrait in watercolors - any tips for us?"

Using my sketch, I transferred it to tracing paper then rubbed graphite on the back of the lines then transferred the sketch to watercolor paper by going over the lines on front of the tracing paper, again.  The lines on the watercolor paper were not dark so I did tend to lose my way in the different facial areas.  I only put enough lines in for general placement of the features.  I also think I used too much water and not enough paint, in some instances.  I did make sure my paper was dry though between layers. 

It is difficult to correct in watercolor without marring the paper - in this painting I used burnt sienna and quin. burnt sienna so they lifted pretty well.  It is the darker areas where ultramarine blue and perm. alizarin crimson were used that didn't lift well when I wanted to correct shapes. 

I'm not sure if this answers your questions fully, Rhonda.  For me, every painting is different but I do know the next one I will paint the eyes first which is usually how I begin a drawing. 

Ethiopian Child, Watercolor Layers

These are the first two stages of the watercolor study of the Ethiopian child.  Now I will find out how much I can correct, starting with leveling the eyes.  The way I normally paint is to get the painting to the almost finished stage in one session.  This time I have worked over three days to get to this stage.  I need to remeasure the placement of everything to see what areas need to be shortened, lengthened or widened.  Happily, I traced my drawing on to tracing paper for transfer to watercolor paper in case I need to start another painting.  So far, I have used Burnt Sienna, Quin. Burnt Orange, New Gamboge, Transparent Yellow Oxide, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, and Ultramarine Blue.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ethiopian Child Sketch #2

This is the second sketch of the little Ethiopian girl.  In this sketch I was striving for darker skin tones.  The eyes are tooking up but they aren't looking forward.  More practice needed. 

Monday, March 08, 2010

Ethiopian Child Sketch

I have a few photos of Ethiopian children living in an orphanage in Ethiopia.  The photos were taken by my niece when they were allowd to bring their adopted daughter home.  This child has the most sad, pensive look and I want to draw her again until I can express her expressive look on paper, whether in pencil or paint.  Next time I hope to get the skin tones a bit darker although she was quite light toned. 

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hot House Rose

 Hot House Rose
5" x 6 1/2"

I wasn't at all happy with the beginning of a rose I posted here yesterday so I began again.  This is better but still looking for more improvement on leaving clean whites and clean interesting shapes in the roses. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Red Rose, In Progress

I haven't painted in the last few days so I decided to get back to it by practicing a rose.  I find red roses the most difficult of flowers.  I began this with an underpainting of Quinacradone Magenta in the darker areas - made a mess of the rose so I used Mr. Clean Magic eraser and water to lift some of the color and began again.  Still want to form the rose more and perhaps lift some good lights in the petals.