Watercolor portraits

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patrickart wrote
on 4 Jan 2010 12:06 PM

i say do use blue for shadow shapes on the figure/portraits. i would use a light wash of cerulean.

blue is natural on the human body. just look at the viens on your skin.

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on 4 Jan 2010 12:11 PM

Well.. here's an example of "tight"... I'm not so good at being loose.

This portrait is almost finished and will be featured as a step by step demo in the spring issue of Watercolor Magazine. I still need to finishe the hair. The article will include my "mistakes" and how I solved them. I almost gave up half way through because I lost the likeness, but I forged on and am reasonably satisfied now. I don't think I can say much more about this one until the article is published. Don't want to upset the editors ;-)

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on 4 Jan 2010 12:17 PM

Yes Patrick, I agree, cerulean blue makes a nice blue for portraits. I used to use it a lot. Since I've been painting with Richard Schmid, he's convinced me to go sparingly on the blue. When I first started painting in oils, all my portraits looked like "the living dead". He also taught me that the darkest darks are hot... meaning they often have a touch of alizarin in them. I use transparent oxide red in oil, and a mixture of burnt sienna, alizarin and a small amount of virdian, for my accent darks when painting in watercolor.

Yeah, I didn't mean one can't use blue - color is relative, and yes there are veins. No rules... besides the excellent loose portrait above has lots of blue, and it's fantastic.

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Lynn Powers wrote
on 4 Jan 2010 12:36 PM

Fantastic! Strong, clean and a sense of the individual. Plus I can only imagine the extreme pressure of "getting it right" for an article. Yikes! My hat, if I wore one..., would be off to you Lori!

Lynn

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on 4 Jan 2010 12:45 PM

Thanks Lynn! I have an instructional column in Watercolor - every issue - so I'm kinda getting used to the pressure. Now if I could convince myself not to wait until the last minute to get the articles done, I'd probably be a lot less stressed. I actually did two portraits side by side as I took photos just in case one of them didn't come out. The article is a continuation of the "working from photos" series, but I'll include the painting I did from life.

 

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Margo5 wrote
on 4 Jan 2010 1:10 PM

Lori, this is beautiful. Thank goodness you didn't give up! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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on 4 Jan 2010 2:06 PM

Hello Lori.  You done yourself proud!  This, to me, is a very lively painting - and very engaging.  Makes you wonder what is going on behind those eyes.  

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patrickart wrote
on 4 Jan 2010 4:24 PM

i cant believe you  where going to give up on this one. please! this panting is going great.

also i like seeing artist posting there bad paintings. i post more ugly paintings than anyone. i have thick skin.

its not that life drawing/painting and or figurative art is sooooooo hard. it is that we as human beings recognize the human form better than anything on earth. so if an eye is out of place or the proportions are wrong. people will see it instantly.

thats why i believe some of the most famous paintings are of the human form.

again this painting is going great lori.

 

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on 4 Jan 2010 4:37 PM

I"m supposed to be doing laundry right now and off the PC... but just want to thank you Patrick.

I think the human form is hard just for the reasons you've stated. I started taking watercolor classes about 20 years ago, and I did some really awful paintings for a few years.

The reason why I almost gave up on this one is because I lost the likeness of the subject, and since it will be for an article which will show the photo I'm painting from, I at least wanted it to look like her. At one point, it looked like the subject's sister. This morning, I started a second painting just in case, but I scrubbed out the eyes and nose and repainted them. I can't say anymore coz then no one will read the article Wink

Hey Patrick, you hang in there - it takes a long time to get good - took me 6 years of constant painting and drawing. Then I took a workshop with Sondra Freckelton and Jack Beal and everything clicked. Sometimes the right teachers take you to the level you want to be at.

Well, on to miles of laundry before I sleep. Thanks again... I'll post the painting I did of Frank - one I did for a previous article.

 

 

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on 4 Jan 2010 4:40 PM

I can't say a whole lot about the article contents, but I can answer questions anytime. ... after I do the laundry...

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Margo5 wrote
on 4 Jan 2010 8:35 PM

Lori, this one is really nice, also.

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patrickart wrote
on 5 Jan 2010 10:14 AM

lori

Thanks for the vote of confidence. i have been drawing and painting for over 25 years now. i have studied at art students leagues and taken many work shops. these last few years i choose to only work from live models. with the cost of models i dont get to spend much time on a painting.

also, i have not been posting my better works on here. i have a reason for that.

i am at work right now. However tonight i will post 2 of my better portrait paintings, one without blue and one with blue.

Patrick

 

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on 5 Jan 2010 10:26 AM

Uh oh... please forgive me Patrick. I'll check in later - looking forward to seeing some of your better works! Thanks for explaining.

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patrickart wrote
on 5 Jan 2010 2:13 PM

here is one with no blue. this was my wifes 1st trout. i used a photo for reference. lori, just because ive been into art for a long time does not mean i am any good at it.

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patrickart wrote
on 5 Jan 2010 2:18 PM

here is one with some blue for the shadow shapes on the face. this one was done from life. a 3 hour pose. times 25 an hour adds up fast.

working from photos is much cheaper and a photo does not move or take breaks. i just want to push myself to work from life. however in these tough economic times an artist has to do what ever he/she can to keep drawing/painting. in other words i am broke !

these portraits are framed and glassed so there may be some glaze from the camera.

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