Monday, March 7, 2011

muddy waters portrait

drawing for muddy waters watercolor sketch
i had a photo of the legendary bluesman muddy waters that i thought would work for the next project as i tried to learn how to paint darker skinned people. the angle is a little difficult on the drawing skills but i think that it will work out okay. i drew the image on the same 10"X14" 140# cold press lanaquarelle paper placing it a bit off to side to avoid too much symmetry. i really don't know why i bothered to be so precise about this since it will just be a sketch, but old habits die hard, i guess.

first washes in the muddy waters sketch
i was determined to keep this painting a bit more lively and fresh than the last one and in pursuit of this goal mixed almost nothing on the palette. all the mixing was done by the paint on the paper.  this meant that the amount of water in the brush was critical so i made sure that i gave it a good shake or two after each rinse. i started at the nose and used ultramarine blue and burnt umber. i think that it is a little too dark and flat looking now at the completed step. i will refrain from trying to fix it now and try to do a little lifting tomorrow after everything had dried. i continued to paint the eyes and surrounding sockets using the same hues plus burnt sienna. for the larger highlights i used cerulean blue rather than leaving the paper altogether bare. i reserved specks of bare paper for the smaller highlights. adding permanent alizarin crimson around the cheek area to warm them up allowed me to get to a spot where i could stop for the night as i need to start dinner preparation. before doing that though i daubed in the hair with ivory black, alizarin crimson, and mineral violet for the darker areas and cerulean for the highlighted areas. lastly, with the management calling, i splashed something or other on the back ground to tie the figure in a little better. tune in tomorrow for the dramatic finish!

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