Wednesday, April 10, 2013

dreadlock girl still in limbo and start of a new effort.

after rose and raw sienna glazes and some of the clothing
when we got home i took out the partially finished painting, "the tao of dreadlock maintenance." i decided it wasn't as bad as i feared, but it was somewhat dirty from the flying dust and in places over worked due to the difficulty i had with the rapidly drying paint. i think i will try to bring out the figure by darkening the background with some glazes, paint her clothing,  and then see where we are. here are the steps as they stand after a glaze of rose, ultramarine blue and raw sienna. the clothing was combinations of cerulean blue,ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, mineral violet. i also scrubbed out some of the hard edges around her sunglasses and lifted out some lighter dreads from in front of her face.

after a glaze of ultramarine blue

i decided to start another painting and chose a photo. that i had of our granddaughter sophie as she wandered out into the bright sunshine after her afternoon nap. i liked the shadow pattern, the colors, the facial expression, and the memories.
 started by drawing the face on a sketch pad and then transferring it to a piece of 15"X11", 300#, hot press, arches paper. i did this as lately i had been getting a lot of smudges on the paper with direct drawing and hoped this would avoid did.

so knew that this was going to have to be high key in order to have the feeling that i wanted to convey.
before over all oranger glaze
i also know this would be a challenge for me. i put a light wash of scarlet lake, cadmium orange, cerulean blue over he face and figure along with her clothing.  when this dried i put in a light wash over the area that would be her hair using raw sienna. all this so far with my trusty #16 round cosmotop brush. when this was dry i started modeling her features with a darker version of the light wash colors. when i woke up this morning and looked at the result so far i decided that the color was too "pinkish." i put a light glaze over her face, neck, and arms that was scarlet lake and cadmium orange but more cadmium orange than i usually use. this came closer to the hue i was looking for in her skin that was not in shadow. it looked way too dark before drying but it lightened enough with drying to be about right. i don't think the difference shows up in the photos due to the different lighting between the two.
after oranger glaze

i then did some more features with a desaturated version of this same color using cerulean blue to "brown" it down. the background was painted in a variety of single color glazes, starting from the right, including prussian blue, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, and mineral violet.

that's it for now.


  1. I think you are doing an amazing job with your portraits, the little girl is spot on, and if it were mine, I would be totally scared of spoiling everything and just stop it there . But that is just me :-) Another thing that puzzles me is that even though you do a lot of corrections /washing aways your watercolors seem so fresh and never overworked.

  2. thanks, jane. it seems i am constantly concerned about ruining a painting by overdoing something. ted nuttall told me once that there are usually, on average, three times during any one painting where most artists are sure they've ruined it. he includes himself i that figure. he further says that is usually not the case.

    i think the key to the freshness is to keep a light hand, don't overmix colors on the palette, lifting only in small areas, and using non-staining colors. otherwise i have no idea why they come out fairly decently.

    good to hear from you. love the yupo paintings on your blog, btw.