I’ve been working on monochromatic watercolor portraits from photographic references. It is painful. I much prefer to work from life than to work from a photograph. However, I am focusing on creating solid head form and I need to go back to square one. Photos are the most efficient way to begin again.
I began working from a pile of magazine clippings I found when cleaning out my files. I have moved on to family albums.
I had to work into this one with a bit of white gouache to bring back some of the form I lost on the shadow side of the face.
This is my favorite. I like the simplicity of line and value shapes.
I’m the little one in the snowsuit, staring at the ground. There was a big back hoe behind my dad in the photograph. As much as I love land moving equipment, it would have complicated the shapes if I included it.
After two days of monochromatic painting using ivory black, I had to dip into color. I look a bit cross-eyed in this painting. I was feeling a bit cross-eyed as I painted it.
The inspiration for my focus on improving skills at portraiture came from the trouble I have painting female musicians during the blues jams. Regardless of age, female faces are generally softer, the transitions of planes and forms are more subtle than than male faces. Originally, I didn’t care that much about creating a likeness when I paint in the dark at pubs, I was more concerned about capturing a sense of the musicians movements and energy. When I did capture a likeness, I felt a great sense of satisfaction. I want more of that feeling. So ….. it’s back to the drawing board to refresh and improve my portraiture skills.