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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jack..... completed?

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.


victoria said...

Felicidades amiga Teresa,es bellisimo,un trabajo hermoso,además adoro los animalitos,parece que lopuedo tocar..Gracias por compartir.Con cariño Victoria

pencilportraits said...

Jack is beautiful Teresa, I've never used anything under colour pencils so this was a useful read for me.

Laure Ferlita said...


You've done yourself proud! My only comment is that his right nostril looks too light to me. My eye goes to it and gets stuck there! Otherwise, I think you've done an outstanding job!!

Candy said...

Teresa, he's perfect. I wouldn't change a thing.

Jill Berry said...

He turned out great!
Such expression~
and texture~
Enjoyed seeing the progressions.

Thanks for the book tip.

Funny~ weather antics!

NC- Are you in the mtns or peidmont? I lived on the coast.

Simone said...

You have certainly brought Jack to life. Such personality! I am interested in using watercolour painting as a base for pencils. I have never tried this and like the idea of working with mixed media.

Anonymous said...

A lovely portrait. I admire your technique - thanks for describing it.

Lynne said...

That looks lovely Teresa, so realistic.
I like the way you share your reflections of your work with us. I hadn't realised you could use watercolour under coloured pencils.

acornmoon said...

Lovely work, that is a great tip also about the base layer of watercolor. It always helps to get rid of the background first.

Well done, he looks like a great little chap!

Jo Castillo said...

Teresa, this is so wonderful and expressive. Thanks for the WIP as well. I always like seeing how you work. :)

knittingdragonflies said...

He looks great! Looks like he may be up to something, or just chewed up a beloved shoe.

"JeanneG" said...

Great job. Anxious to know how the owner liked it.

Victor Errington said...

What a brilliant painting of this
lovely Dog Teresa. He is certainly
alive. You are definitely an Animal
Painter. Fantastic my friend. All
the best.

Krista Meister said...

Truly lifelike, Teresa! You have a nice touch with the color pencils. Let us know how the owner likes it!

Michelle said...

Oh wow Teresa...Jack looks amazing! I would definitely call that one completed. Beautiful work!

Also...Happy Thanksgiving!

Lynne said...

Happy Thanksgiving Teresa. Have a good one.

Claire M said...

I'm so glad to find the finished image tonight. I think he has a lot of character! Great job!

victoria said...

Mi querida Teresa he pasadoa desearte un feliz fín de semana lleno de luz y cariño,desde EspañaVictoria

Karen said...

You're brilliant!

Jan said...

I'm finally crawling out of my "cave" and what a treat to see this! You've done an amazing job - that kind of brindle coat isn't easy!

We want to see more like this!

Cathy Gatland said...

Jack is wonderful Teresa, really perky and life-like. I like that tip about seeing with your artist's eye, not your mind's eye too - excellent advice!

Connie said...

Hi Terest - Jack is absolutely amazing - so real! Also loved hearing how you worked - very informative.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

It's been very interesting to view Jack unfolding. I admire your practical technique. Music definitely helps!! Lovely painting. Best wishes, Lesley

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