Thursday, June 12, 2014

moving forward....a potter's troubadour

having finished the painting of nalah, i turned my attention to the guitar player that i saw at the pottery studio tour and show north of the twin cities a few weeks ago.

i needed to get on with the drawing which took me about two hours by the time i decided on a size and composition. the drawing is on a piece of 300# fabriano hot press paper ripped to about 11"X14" to simulate the deckle edges that was already along one side from the mold. his shirt just seemed too busy to me, and too tedious to paint, so i think i am going to go with a solid color (and knowing my like for white attire??????), hmmmmm.

drawing of our troubadour
so, with the drawing done, i got busy with an initial light value wash consisting of about 10% mixes of vermillion, raw sienna, and manganese blue. in some areas i came into the face from well outside the boundaries and other times was quite careful to stay within bounds. the former to give the illusion of looseness and the latter to make sure i didn't sully, what i think will be, the white shirt. this was done with a #16 escoda prado brush. this is brush new for me and so far i love it. all the snap of kolinski with good water carrying capabilities, great sharp point, and durability. i can't wait to see what their new versatil  line will be like as it is touted to be superior to the prado.......big shoes to fill imho based on a few hours painting with the prado.

some stunning washes!
when this initial wash was just about dry...only a little cool to the touch. i started in with the features using the same colors in a little more concentrated solution. with the paper a little damp i did't get some of the early hard edges i sometimes have to deal with with this fabriano hot press paper (perhaps more on this later). i made the under brim of the hat and the shadow on his forehead all one large shape at this point and left a hard edge in the center of his forehead to signify the cast shadow from the brim. this wasn't so obvious in the photo but this will give the painting a bit more of a sun-drenched look. in some areas in the shadow i used a bit of arbitrary color which in this instance was hooker's green dark. i will probably use a bit of something warmer on the side of the face out in the sun......mineral violet, alizarin crimson, scarlet lake??????? we'll see. i also used a bit of cerulean blue around the eyes in spots for variety and to help the socket recede. i can see now leaving his mustache and other hair areas as a negative shapes is going take a bit of attention! still using the #16...can't say enough about the point given the full belly of the brush.

i began experimenting with little swatches of color in various places to help define the extent of a feature, (chin, side of face, edge of hat, design on the hat band) with well graded edges so bringing more paint around it will be easy. i'm not sure if this is a bad habit, but it gives me an opportunity to see what things might look while still being able to lift out a small area if i don't like it.


  1. This is going to be great, bob! I love your description of the process. Makes me (almost) want to break out the watercolors! Lol! And a new brush? Absolutely seductive!

    1. thanks for the comment, dena. good to hear from you.