Friday, November 20, 2009
Well, possibly. I've been nose-to-the-grindstone for the last few days because I have a deadline (self-imposed) on Jack: tomorrow.
At the moment I'm letting the portrait sit, and I'll check it periodically to see if anything jumps out and says, "Fix me!". If you see anything you think needs attention..... feel free to make suggestions!
I'm posting the wips and the final version. Sorry they are shown all at once... completing the portrait took some long hours at the art table which didn't leave much time for blogging.
What I learned from this portrait:
(I like to do this... take a little time after a project is completed to think over what I did that I want to repeat, and what I did that I don't want to repeat).
1. On the gouache... it worked pretty well, and overall I was pleased with the nice white it gave me on the colored support. What I didn't like was the fact that when I used colored pencil over the gouache the tiny brushstrokes became visible. I did not put a thick layer on, but apparently I need to thin it even more. Next time I'll try two thin coats.
2. Once again, I underpainted parts of the portrait with watercolor. I find this a very useful timesaver (and sanity saver). Colored pencils are notoriously s-l-o-w, and this gives me the ability to get a base layer of color down in just a few minutes. Since it's watercolor, it takes the cp beautifully.
3. Listened to music while I worked. I usually listen to nature sounds while working (ocean waves, etc) but I had read somewhere that some artists work better with actual music. Apparently it's just distracting enough to keep you from endlessly toiling over the details... and it worked for me!
4. This last item was perhaps the most helpful of all.... I kept in mind the wonderful advice of Carl Purcell ("Drawing with Your Artist's Brain", and "Painting with Your Artist's Brain"... two excellent books). That is, to see the subject with your artist's brain (shapes, values, color) and not your intellectual brain (nose, eyes, fur). This simplified matters tremendously. I highly recommend both of these books.