i am going to try shifting into a little bit more steady posting as i found, looking back over the last few months, that i have had more voluminous posts less frequently. by posting more frequently, the offerings should be shorter, more easily digested , and in more real time as to how the work is actually progressing.
so, on the couple painting, the only thing done since last time was work on the plaid pattern on his *right* sleeve. of note here is that i tried to make sure about several things as i progressed. the first was to get he paint in the right place and more or less in the correct shape. second, was to get a darker value as the pattern turned into the form shadow of the sleeve. third, i wanted to get some change in hue within each square by charging a bit of either alizarin crimson permanent or raw sienna into random swatches. the last was to lose some of the edges on the squares, usually, on what would be the shadow side.
regarding the portrait on "dan," much more was accomplished. i guess i found that more interesting to pursue. the first thing was to get the *right* eye painted and the steps were the same as its partner on his *left*. i added more of the shadows on his face which are giving the form. so far all was painted using my trusty #16 cosmotop round and some combination of scarlet lake, cadmium yellow-orange (holbein), and cerulean blue (very little of the latter). i felt some of the background needed bringing up to speed and put down the first wash of quinacridone gold from the top and faded it out as we moved down on the paper. this will eventually be quite a dark grayish area, probably darker than his hair so that this background will act as negative shape describing the hair shape. this hopefully will contrast with his shoulders and sweater at the bottom which i am planning on depicting as a positive shape. at this point the *right*eye seems like it may be tilted somewhat inward and i will keep an eye (no pun intended) on this area as we move forward. it may need changing. at some point i drew in the shape of his teeth which i had neglected to do when i did the initial drawing. these shapes are critical as each person's tooth "landscape" is unique. get this off and you will lose some of the likeness. this i learned from ted nuttall. additionally, when painting the teeth i believe one needs to remain subtle, slowly bringing definition to the area. otherwise the whole thing will look "toothy" and "dorky", to use a common currently used vernacular. i'll take credit for this latter notion, just in case it is wrong! in painting the shadow on the far *right* side of his face, i started by adding a stripe of color right in front of the ear that was hooker's green to try to suggest some reflected light from his sweater (which right now i envision as being dark green.) immediately after painting this strip i added the usual flesh colors to finish the shadow. when it dried i added another layer of the flesh color to darken it. this also was an attempt to add some arbitrary color that i find interesting in so many really good watercolor (or oil for that matter) portraits. in the past i overdid this in my zeal. again subtlety is the intent.