Monday, December 29, 2014

Howdy Pard

You ain't gonna believe this . . . last summer one of my workshop students gave me a funky old pad of Grumbacher watercolor paper. I'm talking old, like from the mid 70's. So I decided to paint a portrait of my pard on it, and dang if it don't look sweeter than grapes on the vine! I got about 12 more sheets left, and am fixin to seek out some more of these here pads on Ebay.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Just Before Christmas

Two days before Christmas, this freshman college student came to my studio, and I gave her a four hour class in the fundamentals of watercolor portraiture painting. Her mother had contacted me in November to pay and reserve the date as a surprise Christmas present when her daughter came back to Sacramento on her Christmas break. How cool is that mom! This is a clip I took out of the larger one where she explains how her mom surprised her on the very morning of the private lesson.

Friday, December 26, 2014

All she wanted for Christmas was a John Singer Sargent.

My wife requested (tongue in cheek) a John Singer Sargent painting for Christmas. She is a master knitter and has two knitting-related Lobenberg watercolor paintings hanging in her knitting nook at our shared studio in Sacramento, California (Studio L) where she teaches classes. In fact, she requested this particular Sargent watercolor. Well, I checked into what Sargent watercolors sell for . . . way beyond my pay scale. So what to do? Hey, I know!! I'll forge it. She won't be any the wiser. It worked!!! She is sooooooooo happy!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My barber for over 30 years!

He runs a no-bullshit, BARBER shop. Not a hair styling salon but a BARBER shop. He even has a working, spinning barber pole.  Yep, my kinda place.


Once a painting is done, tweaking can be problematic. However, after letting a few days go by, I felt the need to work omn it just a scoch more (see my previous post to view the before-tweaking portrait). Now she has a slightly slimmed down and more anatomically correct jaw line,
and ditto for the tip of her nose. Whatcha think? Was the tweaking needed??

Friday, December 19, 2014

New watercolor portrait

One of my past students at Sacramento City College.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Final

Yesterday, I posted my step-by-step watercolor process of this gentleman up to an almost completed portrait. Here is my finish as of today.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Loose as a goose

Or should I have headlined this "Loosey Goosey?" Anyway, the point is that as I was looking at the photo reference, I quickly brushed in colors, shapes, and contours to help capture a likeness. The result is a quick, gestural (loosey goosey) watercolor. I plan on doing some slower refinement painting to bring it to completion. I will explore this approach more, because I think it can lead to an interesting portraiture style. We shall see. I'd love to hear what you think of this approach. Have you tried gestural painting like this?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Is it kosher to draw from a photograph??

These were all drawn from photographic references. Some with pencil, some with ink, and some with paint. Some on paper and some on canvas. So is it kosher to draw and paint from photographs? Of course it is. Don't forget that there are NO RULES in the world of creativity. I will say this, however - there is a certain excitement level with drawing from real life. The challenge of translating the three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface has a greater level of difficulty. Bottom line though is that one way is no more valid than the other. They are just different experiences.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Two blow-by-blows

1. Sketch with soft pencil. 2. Lay down a juicy free-for-all color wash.  3. Add facial features and other "valhues". 4 A done deal!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

COMMENTS WELCOMED . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly.

COMMENTS WELCOMED . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Many Faces of Tommie

I'm going to handcuff myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the third time I have worked on this SAME watercolor. I add paint, I take off paint, I add paint, blah, blah, blah . . . but . . . I think I like this LAST iteration (yes LAST) iteration. The End.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My latest watercolor portrait - need your advice

Which of these renditions do you like best and why.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The evolution of "Tommy"

This portrait of Tommy was started with a flat, four inch watercolor brush, painted in wet-on-wet on 140 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper. After that, the painting was brought to completion wet-on-wet as well as wet-on-dry with a #20 round watercolor brush. Painting time about one hour.