So much is in the drawing
There is a certain point in the painting of a portrait when the person you know all of a sudden becomes alive on the paper. It is a little unsettling—it’s a sign that you have a good likeness afterall—and need to slow down, let the paint dry between strokes, and don’t ruin the darn thing by overworking. Of course, my goal is to create a painting that goes beyond just a likeness and holds up as an interesting image with beautiful brushstrokes, colors, light, composition.
I read on one of my fellow watercolorist’s blogs about palettes for skin tones, and I restricted colors, with good results, to alizarin crimson, hansa yellow and ultramarine blue for Sol’s portrait. Other blues were introduced for the shirt and cap, and the background made use of full palette.
I haven’t painted a portrait in decades, and never in watercolor, so this was nerve-wracking and enjoyable at the same time. Can’t hide behind tree leaves and water reflections in a portrait—the drawing becomes crucial. I look forward to creating more portraits. Anybody do commissions? It must be so hard to please…
Watercolor and graphite
Arches rough, 140 lb, 9″ x 12″