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Thursday, March 17, 2011
sitting bull portrait: next steps
drawing for sitting bull portrait
here is the drawing that i did of sitting bull. it is not a real good likeness but the idea is there. i am trying to draw off of a computer screen in a b it of sunlight as i do not have the means to print out a hard copy here. it is proving to be a bit difficult. i may be able to amend it during the painting process but i have found that with me that is "hit and miss." so i am going with this at this time as i am sure that i will do a better one in the near future and i want to get started on the painting part of the project.
first wash on sitting bull portrait
i decided to do an initial wash over most of the painting and then add features and shadows after it had dried. i used the largest round brush that i have (#12, kalish) and applied variations of burnt sienna, cobalt blue, permanent alizarin crimson on his face and raw umber and sienna with some cobalt blue for the shirt in his clothing. i took a photo of this while it was still wet and then just before i started repainting after it had dried. i was attempting to show that it dried quite a bit lighter in value, but the photo of the dried version didn't work out well so you will have to judge by the steps where i am putting in the features. there is one glaring error here and one minor one that i am aware of. you may see more! the worst is that i shouldn't have stopped the wash at the line where the hat meets his forehead. i should have continued it up through at least the underside of the brim and perhaps on to the crown. the second more minor point is that i know that the left (his, our right) side of his face will be in shadow and i could have made that i little cooler and or darker at this stage and started the feeling of shadow at this step.
putting in the features
after this first wash was dry (no longer cool to the touch is a good parameter) i started putting in the features. you can see that this is a lighter value than the last when it was wet. using a #4 round i put in the shadow under the upper lid in burnt sienna with a little alizarin crimson. while this was still wet i put on the top of the iris with burnt umber being careful to preserve the highlight and then drew the pigment down over the rest of the iris with a damp, clean brush. this i tied in with the lower lid. the important dark shape in the medial aspect of each eye socket was put in with cobalt blue and burnt sienna (?umber) and carried over the brow with ivory black and burnt sienna. the lateral plane of the socket was painted with the burnt sienna and faded as i went laterally toward the hairline. switching to a #10 brush i made a mistake by not putting the shadow under the hat brim and its cast shadow on this forehead dark enough and all at the same time. i did blend all this in with the hair which was ivory black with some burnt sienna and scraped with the palette knife when it had lost its sheen.
on this next step i realized my mistake and tried to darken the shadows and tie them into the hair a better. i wanted more of a reflected light feeling under the center portion of the brim but i lost that with the over wash to some extent. i started to model the nose with a mid value of alizarin crimson and burnt sienna. i did this in the typical way that i have been doing it by painting the under plane shadow and drawing the paint up and over the top of the nose with a damp, clean brush. lastly at this step i tied this shadow on the nose in with the medial eye socket shadow. i released the under plane wash into the upper lip midline with some cerulean blue. i have made a number of mistakes so far in this painting but each one is an opportunity to learn (or in some of these, re-learn) something. i don't think any of this has been a fatal mistake, however!. i'm going to let this dry and go out to the plein air festival to watch "real" painters do some landscape work. more later.