Monday, February 28, 2011

Railroad Man, WIP

Began this watercolor this morning based on a reference photo provided by Kevin Wueste for the Wet Canvas Portrait Challenge.

This morning I watched the portrait video of Mary Whyte painting a young man wearing glasses at  She starts with a drawing that shows the shapes of the different areas within the face - the shadows, the highlights and lights, with the rest of the area being the mid-tones.  She said she always starts her paintings from the top, working her way down.  As a base for shadows, Ms. Whyte laid in ultramarine blue then immediately dropped in red tones.  Wonderful, at least when she does it.  I tried that with the forehead area and it doesn't look too bad IRL but it will require more value structure. 

The dark background is painted with Perm. Alizarin Crimson, Indanthrene Blue, Hookers Green, Fr. Ultra. Blue, and Raw Sienna, tying the background colors into the darks of the blue hat the man is wearing.  I wish my camera would pick up the colors in the background instead of seeing mostly blue.

My goal was to paint one small area at a time, leaving some white shapes.  I can see at this stage that I'm not achieving my goal very well, The reference photo shows light on both sides of the face with the shadows down the middle (backlighting).  Will be quite interesting and challenging to paint this. 

Another portrait video I watched at was by Jean Pederson.  A wonderful video, chock full of information.  Ms. Pederson also does a detail drawing (map) of the face.  Both of the videos mentioned here are well worth watching if one wants to learn more about portraiture and watercolor.


Linda Roth said...

Georgia O'Keeffe painted from one corner of the canvas to the other, but that was in oils. I'll have to watch these videos. Watercolor is very new to me, an acrylic painter, who paints all over the canvas. Some direction wouldn't hurt. Thanks for the suggestion.

Speaking of tips, I've found q-tips to be quite effective in lifting watercolor where I over did. You can't get all the way back to white, but darn close. They're also good for "brushing" out or drawing the lights in.

Railroad man looks like he's in good hands.

Ann Buckner said...

Thank you L.W., for commenting and for sharing the q-tip info. How are you enjoying watercolors? I enjoyed both your blogs as I took a quick peek. :)