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Showing posts from March, 2019

Berries mixed media portrait

Still playing with my mixed media and using up some of the poured acrylic canvas that I had done previous.   Wanted to try to put the face in primarily in graphite and then added a little color with gelatos and the berries with acrylics.  
The reference came from Kara Bullock who as part of our course offers us a quarterly magazine full of professional copyright free photos that we can use in our artwork.  However I can't figure out how to get it into my photos and out of the magazine where I can manipulate it a little.
Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look

The Fan mixed media portrait

Well decided I had enough of watercolor and wanted to do something that was mixed media.   I bought quite a few small canvas at the dollar store and thought I would try to put something on them.   I don't often work with canvas but it offers a great excuse to haul out lots of supplies and give them a try.  
For this though I started with an acrylic old pour small canvas for the background and drew the girl's face on with graphite.  I added gelato color to the girls face and wish I didn't, but next time....   Since I was unhappy with the result I ended up overworking it in the end.   Got to remember that at times "less is more"
I added in dabs of acrylics, gelllatos, markers, posca pen, added drips, pastel, etc.   Kind of whatever I could lay my hands on or think of.  I fashioned the fan out of a paper doily (kind of like a stencil) and brush pen.   
While not the end result I thought I'd see I did learn a lot and know some things I will do in a different man…

Kat Fedora Lesson

What I learned form this lesson is that if you don't have a clear vision, you can end up with just about anything and anywhere.  
I originally was going to do an entirely different picture with this girl, but at the last minute I decided to try to apply my lesson to it.  So even though the background is a combo of highlighter marker and acrylic/ with pastel over both, the girl's face was originally watercolor.  This time it is painted going from darkest areas to lightest with some blending in between.  
Well I wasn't happy with where the watercolor hair was going, so decided to change it over to acrylic.   Wasn't thrilled with that result either, but that's another story.  Once I got going with the acrylic I thought I'd touch up the face a bit, actually went over it with some acrylics but very loose, in a watercolor style.  Then I wasn't totally happy with the background and decided to make the bottom triangles look like a potential shirt and added a bit o…

Sketchbook Practice mixed media figure

Trying to get back into sketchbook practice.  This was an idea that I thought I might want to paint.      I picked up a stencil and wanted to incorporate some more graphic design into the composition.  Since I was going to use the sketchbook thought I would start by using markers.  So a black Sharpie completed the honeycomb sections.   Actually this honeycomb was two tone with a dark red being the honeycomb behind the dress, but when the reds were placed over the top it now looks like it was all black.  
Figured it would be markers all the way, but after I put in the dark color behind the dress I didn't think the dress would show up.     So I had to switch it up and went to acrylics for the figure.  I used some transparent white with the transparent red of scarlet and alizarin crimson.  
Jury is out and I am not sure if I will be making this into an actual painting or not.   Got any thoughts guys?
But it sure was fun to play.  
Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

Strolling watercolor figures

Can you say WAY outside my comfort zone.   Not only am I trying to do this in watercolor, doing two techniques where paint blends on the paper, and you see layer edges but there in a little landscape in there.  Ugh!!   Had a bit of a battle also with the angles of the kids faces - still hard to do features, but yet not do features if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I thought these were the cutest kids and am sure it had to be posed as two siblings that age probably don't do this very often.

Ok, got to fess up but I ended up with a blue face on the little boy.  Let me tell you blue is pretty aggressive and nope I probably didn't wait long enough.   So had to fall back and use some acrylic to try to pull this out of the trash bin.  I also added some light acrylics to the little girls hair.   Boy, I tell you that being turned loose to use mixed media, either totally or in spots, really makes it possible to just almost make it work.  I guess I'll never be a purist in any media…

The Red Hat watercolor woman's portrait

Getting around to trying out this week's lesson.   The purpose was to layer watercolor washes.   You were supposed to leave it where there was sediments and edges.  That was really hard for me, not to try to smooth it out.   Well, got to admit I did smooth it out a lot and had to go back in and try to leave edges again.  
This wasn't the instructors model, but I really have been wanting to do this lady for a while.   Not sure what it is about it, but I really liked it.   Might try to again on black paper in pastel as I would like how she would emerge out of the darkness.  I have my pans down so might go ahead and do that just for a change of pace and media.    After all, women can't live with watercolor alone, right?
Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

Mermaid acrylic portrait

Mermaid is probably one of my  most complex paintings.   It primarily is an acrylic piece but does have some touches of color pencil and iridescent pastels for finishing touches.  This was worked on a mixed media board.  It was completed using a number of inspirational photos, again from Pinterest or Unsplash.   Since many of the photos on Pinterest are copyright protected I usually start with a base photo that I know is copyright free.   I utilize, Pixabay, Unsplash, or PMP.

One of my art goals for this year is trying to create more complex compositions without relying on or completely copying just one photo.  In this piece I started with the original reference of the girl, but then adjusted some of her features based on the drawing in the middle of the bottom row.   These are just subtle changes, but I think they give a different dimension to the entire piece.  That is another thing I have learned from my course that has really set me free - you, the artist, are free to change anyth…

Elliotte watercolor portrait

My friend was kind enough to let me try to capture his granddaughter.  Isn't she a cutie?
I really wanted to keep her  looking young and soft.   Still I felt I needed to add color as the photo  as it appears to be kind of washed out to me.  I like the photo and really wanted the emphasis to be on her, so didn't really feel it needed being changed up at all.  But, I really didn't want to age her.    I always have problem with kids and I think it boils down to getting the proportions correct, keeping them rounded and the chin.
She is going to ultimately end up at her parents house, so I am glad that they will enjoy her.  She was a challenge for me and I am pretty happy with the result.
Thanks much for stopping by and taking a look.

Butterflies and Flowers watercolor portrait

This weeks lesson is another watercolor.   Started with a reference photo and changed it up a bit in the hair, makeup and headdress.   Was going to have all butterflies on her headless but ended up adding flowers too.   Used Pinterest to help me find some of the changes.  Am working on another piece of a friend's grandchild that I want to to try to accomplish in watercolor.  But wanted to try different skins tones on this one first.  
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Victoria Woman mixed media drawing

Today ended up being a day of experimentation.  I was able to find this fairly simple border, stitch together, vignette and color edited the photo reference in GIMP.   Then I drew out this portrait of Victorian Woman.   The original reference was shared by deerart67 of PMP.   She spoke to me with her soft beauty.
I first inked the border using brown brush pen and then put in the shading in graphite, primarily 2B pencil and utilized my silicone blenders to soften it.   Then I added color pencil layers her the graphite, using very gingerly first layers so I wouldn't move/disturb the graphic and make the color pencil muddy.   I was going to fix it, but one I tried it I thought I could add the colorization and not made total mud.   The color pencils I was working with were watercolor and I knew I wanted to try to make watercolor over the graphite too, just to see how that would look.
I think I know which one is my favorite - what about you, which is your preference?
Thanks much for s…

Mother Nature watercolor figure

Today I kind of feel like I am channeling Thomas Dewing.  He does a lot of soft, nature women figures, usually featuring his daughters as models.   Both the Freer and American Art museums in DC have a pretty good collection of his work.  
Anyway, I still have all these figures I have access to on Sketch Daily that need backgrounds.   When I first saw this reference I thought she looked like Mother Nature.   I also have a shot of her on a swing that I still have to figure out something for.  So it was off to my art nouveau inspiration board to see what I could come up with.  Unfortunately so much of the art nouveau is pretty complex (well I am not so good at patterns yet either) and I wanted something that wasn't going to compete with the figure.   So back to the galaxies - or might be snow if it is still snowing in Phoenix.  
There is just so much to learn about watercolor.   For instance, how do you keep the paper wet enough to get the background in without hard edges?   I actua…

Stitched watercolor portrait

This weeks lesson dovetailed nicely with one of my 2019 goals, becoming more proficient at combining segments from multiple photos into one.  That resulted in learning GIMP a bit more being one of my goals.  Danielle Mack, who taught one of the other earlier pencil segments, also reminded of the importance of doing both color swatches and thumbnails.  I do know these things, but while I spend a good deal of time on my drawings, I blow right by doing the other things and hurry off to start painting.
Danielle, as well as others I have been watching on YouTube, recommend doing inspiration boards and the perfect place to get inspiration is, of course, Pinterest.   I have to admit I haven't been visiting or using Pinterest all that much as one can really only do so much social media and still have a life.     Yes, one of the concerns is that you can't outrageously copy direct.   However, many folks have said they have had success if you ask, you are granted permission to use photo…

Mannequin acrylic abstract

Just got to say my brain has its own things going on.   A friend posted a picture of a mannequin that really resembled her daughter.   Not sure but it just caught my eye.  So I decided to try something.  Came up with a splendid idea in GIMP, using filters, but unfortunately I just couldn't pull it off.   So abstracted the background covering it up, tried to add in a few building and window reflections and added my own smart mannequin.  Haven't a clue of what it means, but just wanted to paint it.  Hmm, got shots at the dentist this morning - maybe that has something to do with it, ya think?
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Princess Watercolor Portrait

Here is today's experiment in watercolor.   As you know I have been trying to learn GIMP.   The goal is that I then could build my compositions from multiple pictures, have a preview of what it would look like, and then be able to choose color schemes.  Now that is pretty ambitious for a non-techie person, but that is where I would like to go.

So as a pretty simplistic beginning I combined the photos below into the composition above.  I did use ink for the circles, and do see that I really need to work on my ink skills.  I really like the art nouveau/art deco period for design and fashion so would like to be able to get better at reproducing patterns.

I also did just the little tweaking of adding oil to this piece.   That is supposed to help smooth out the face a bit.   I have used oil with acrylics, but never thought, of course not, to combine them with watercolor.   Just the little touches as you don't want to paint over everything that is watercolor and loose it's un…