Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Latest CP work...

Top: Reference image

Bottom: Watercolor and Colored Pencil Portrait

Okay... something I've worked on that I can post!

As you know, I've been working on cards for the WC Vacation Dreams project and those works don't get posted until they reach the recipient. Since I've haven't mailed any yet, none of them have reached their destination (imagine that!) I plan to batch mail when I get a bunch completed.

The work I'm posting today started out as one of those cards, since it's a portrait of a little boy in Basque, Spain (image from the Reference Image Library at WC.... thank you Minoux!) who appears to be dressed in costume. Perhaps he's part of a festival?

When I saw the photo I thought he was just adorable and had to draw him. What started as a Vacation Card turned into a mini course in CP portraiture. I thoroughly enjoyed painting this portrait and feel like I learned a lot. I underpainted the boy's scarf, hat and shirt and the tree and greenery in watercolor as an experiment to see if laying down an application of color in non-critical areas would make the CP process a little faster. I'm happy to report that it did. His face was worked entirely in colored pencil. I left the background/greenery loose because I wanted to focus attention on the boy.

I had some problems with this portrait. A couple of areas I worked, reworked, then reworked some more. I'm surprised I didn't make a hole all the way through the paper (used Stonehenge, BTW... some tough paper, that). I'm really trying to get out of this reworking thing that I do but at least I am beginning to understand my own creative process. I've learned that I need to visualize how I want it to look before even pick up a colored pencil. For me, trying to paint without knowing what I want to achieve is like trying to get somewhere I've never been without a map. Yep, a lot of wrong turns and missed turns (i.e. work and rework). I've also learned that when I'm painting I need to "be there now". Painting takes intense focus- the minute my mind starts straying while I'm painting you can pretty well bet it's going to be an area that will have to be reworked.

Overall, I was fairly pleased with this portrait, although after I scanned it I saw a couple of areas I'd like to touch up (read "rework"!) and areas where I strayed from the reference. It's amazing how scanning the work and placing it alongside the original image on your computer screen seems to highlight the problem areas that were previously hard to spot.

I think for the next few paint sessions I'll be in watercolor and completing more Vacation Cards. Although I do sort of have my next portrait in mind!

As an aside, yesterday I froze 22 quarts of tomato gravy (uncooked that would equal about 30-35 quarts of tomatoes that were prepared). Right now I don't even want to look at a tomato. My hubby calculated that we could have tomato gravy with breakfast almost every other week for the next year! He then proposed that we have another "day in tomatoes" so we could have tomato gravy every week. After a less-than-enthusiastic look from me the idea was abandoned. For those of you who are wondering what the heck tomato gravy is... well, it's a regional Southern specialty. Basically, it's a seasoned tomato sauce that a lot of folks like to spoon over rice, scrambled eggs... whatever. I'm not a fan of tomato gravy.... I'm just the person who makes it and serves it!


Rose Welty said...

Teresa, this is lovely! Well done.

"JeanneG" said...

I really like the portrait. You did such a good job. Can't believe it is your first. I guess I had better get busy with that book.

Lin said...

WOW OH WOW OH WOW!!!! TERESA!!!!!! YOUR PORTRAIT IS SIMPLY AWESOME!!!!! From the colors to the eye sto the flesh to the composition to the clothes -- absolutely, jaw-dropping STUNNING!!!!!!! I AM HERE JUMPING UP AND DOWN APPLAUDING YOUR EXCEPTIONAL WORK!!! BRAVA BRAVA BRAVA!!!!!

And oh my gracious -- all that preserving!!!!!!!!!!! I so know the fatigue that follows such efforts! I so hope you get to rest this w/e!!!!!!!!!

Again, hon -- you did one phenomenal job!

Ann said...

I really like how this turned out with your combination of watercolor and cp. Thanks for sharing your process. I think we all go through that traveling without a map when creating these works. All the fun is in the getting there :) This is a beautiful portrait!

veggy said...

The portrait looks really good, the tree in the back is cooler (in my mind) , well of course because its a tree :)

Ive never heard of tomato gravy. sounds like something I should put on my food lol. I'll look up a recipe for it


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