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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Skip Lawrence Painting Workshop


This is one of those weeks I don't want to end. Painting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the entire week! It's been a great learning experience and, in my opinion, Skip is one of the best teachers and painters in the country. I can't believe how much there is to learn about watercolor, design, figures, painting... Here's one I painted yesterday of my mother-in-law. Not finished, but you get the idea.
To see Skip's work, go to www.skiplawrence.com

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Portrait demo: Spike, almost there


Here is the "almost finished" painting of Spike. I say almost finished because overall I'm happy with it. However, I'm not sure about the background. It may too busy. The best thing to do at this point is to put the painting away and look at it in a few days. The time away helps me to see things more clearly. I may decide to change the background, soften it or leave it the way it is.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Portrait demo: Spike, step 3


Here's Spike, a little further along. I added darker values to the shadow areas and roughly started the flaps of the box. I have a lot of details to add to Spike's face (especially the eyes), as well as to the fur.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Portrait demo: Spike, step 2


Now the painting--I started with a light wash of burnt sienna, burnt umber and winsor blue. While the painting was still wet, I added more burnt umber and winsor blue in the darker areas and let the colors mix right on the paper. I'll let it dry before going further.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Portrait demo: Spike the cat, sketch


Back in the studio and ready to start Spike's portrait. I'm working from a photo taken by my friend Sue, Spike's owner. Spike is a tough cat. He torments the family dog, but he is very affectionate with his owners.
Here's the sketch of Spike. I'm ready to start the painting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Portrait demo, finished!


Here's the finished portrait. You can see that there are quite a few changes since step 4. For instance, I noticed that the figure and background were too similar in value so I darkened the background considerably to make the figure stand out more. Stephen's eyes are beautiful, so I spent a good deal of time adding extra detail to them. I kept the shirt and background very loose for contrast.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Portrait demo, step 4


Now we're getting somewhere. I'm glad I didn't start fussing with the face before it dried, or I would've ruined the nice shadows on the left side. I've added more detail to the painting but purposely left the shirt and background looser. The next step should be the final portrait.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Portrait demo, step 3


I jumped right in with strong color. I'm not certain about the left side of the face, some of the fleshtones look muddy to me. The hardest part for me right now is to resist the temptation to fuss and fix. I will let this dry and start modeling the facial features on the next step.

Portrait demo, step 2


I just read a painting book this week by artist Al Stine. I decided to try a technique he demonstrated in the book. I added a yellow ochre wash over the entire sketch to tone the painting. This should add a good color harmony to the painting. I haven't tried this before, so this will be an experiment.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New painting demo-sketch


This is a new painting I've started. The first step is always a small pencil sketch and then a color sketch to work out all the details. Afterwards, a full-sized pencil sketch is transferred to the watercolor paper, which is what you see here. Now I'm ready to start the painting.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Portrait demo, final step


Here is the finished portrait. You can see that I added more definition to the face. I left the shirt and background loose, as well as his hair, so that the focus remains on the face.

Portrait demo, step 2


Here is Stephen's portrait a little further along. Taking a digital photo and viewing it smaller helps me to see areas for improvement. The left side of the face looks too dark near the bottom. The background needs to be worked on, and I can see that his white shirt is too distracting. I'll need to change it in some way. Hopefully the next post will be the finished portrait.