15 x 20 watercolor - finished!
"Our task is to become our best selves. One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." - Thomas S. Monson
This painting was a combination of joy and frustration. Joy because it was a portrait of a good friend, and there was some STUNNING light at work here. Frustration because it was a portrait of a good friend and I wanted it to be the best I could paint. I tend to stress myself out about that, needlessly I guess, but so be it. And really are we ever satisfied with the current painting on our easel? Probably not. But that's what makes us strive right?
I can say that I'm happy with where this painting is now, although I think I may be revisiting this theme again. Only because I have learned so much from this painting that next time I'll know what I would like to do differently.
I thought I'd talk a little bit about my process for anyone who was interested. If you have any questions you'd like to ask feel free.
work in progress - stage two
work in progress stage one
Stage one: The beginning washes are used to establish facial proportions and lay the foundation for the rest of the painting. I like to start my paintings by using the lightest value of a color in the darkest areas. I paint the darkest areas first, but with the lightest possible value. This makes what I like to call a road map. It makes for a much more enjoyable painting experience if you know right at the beginning that you have an accurate 'road map' to follow. At this point I'm painting more by feel than anything else, color selection is largely based on warm and cool areas, not too much consideration is given to the actual shade.
Stage two: Now the fun begins. Once I know the painting is accurate I start to use more vibrant colors, focusing mostly on yellows and pinks. I'm careful with each layer of color, only laying it down and letting it blend. I don't go back in and guide it anywhere, I lay it down and then I leave it alone. This lets me build up color and form gradually and gives me a fresh look without as much of a risk of overworking it.
Stage three: Finish work. From here on out I'm much more conscious of how this painting looks as a whole. Does it flow? Is there an obvious center of interest? Where do I need stronger values or softer edges? This stage usually takes the longest amount of time because I step back so frequently to look at it and see what needs to be improved. More time looking, less time painting.
And I see that in my poll for what I should paint next the landscape and the faery girl are neck and neck! I just knew you guys would make me do a landscape. Jeez, why'd I have to put that up there? ;)
And, Kim I believe I will do an architectural something or other, you have intrigued me. :) Great suggestion.