Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yorkie lesson

Here's our project for today. The progress photos are below this reference photo.

We did a water color underpainting in class today to chop away at the sections of hair.

Photo 1: The eyes have been washed with Light Umber and I have placed the pupils. I also impressed little dots to the left of the pupils to indicate the high light. It probably will not show up on these photos.

The nose has been washed in Clay Rose, 20% Cool Grey and Dark Brown. Before I laid in these colors I impressed all those little hairs around the edge of the nose. The nostrils have been burnished black but I saved that little highlight around the bottom edge of the nostril.

Photo 2: The eyes have been colored with 70% Cool Grey then burnished with 10% Cool Grey to indicate the reflected light. The edges of the eyes were darkened with Dark Umber and then deepened more with Black. Before I did that I impressed a line in the white of the paper to save that highlighted eye rim on the right.

The nose has all been covered with 70% Cool Grey then the shadow area was pushed back with Black along the upper left. The front of the nose was blended with Rosey Beige and the nostrils were highlighted around the edges with it as well.

Photo 3: I just had to put the hair in around the eyes. I inscribed tiny lines along the edge of that light area between the eyes. Then I did negative drawing with dark brown around the feathery hairs in that light area to set it off. I filled my left hand with Jasmine, Burnt Ochre, Terra Cotta, Peach, Tuscan Red, Light Umber, Dark Umber and Black and just attacked the area blending the darker colors along the edges of the areas and the lighter colors in the lighter more highlighted areas.

Last I used very sharp French Greys in the area between the eyes and used short directional strokes to put in that fuzzy little area. I left a lot of my under painting showing to indicate the lighter hairs.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nose Demo

This face is coming right along nicely. See the photos below.

It's time to start lifting the nose up off the paper. It is done by shading the sides of the nose and paying attention to the highlights along the bridge and around the nostrils.

As I began the nose I noticed his eyes didn't look quite right. I got out my mylar sheet and sure enough the fold above the eye on the right was turned wrong. You can see the correction by comparing the second photo with the third.

Once the eye was right I used Peach to begin pushing up the side of the nose. I felt like I needed to "anchor" the nose so I started the cheek on the shadow side of the face. I slowly built up the cheek color by using at least one color from each skin tone level working up the value scale all the way to level six which includes Dark Umber and Tuscan red. As I worked the cheek I worked the value level of the nose along with it. To develop the cast shadow on the cheek along the edge of the nose I had to go to black because that side of the face is in such deep shadow. I rarely go that dark in a portrait.

I used my mylar sheet to check the shape of the nostrils. Though they are tiny but they must be the right shape to make the nose look right.

It's important to save the little white highlights on the nose tip by working color around them. Those highlights help move the nose tip forward and give depth to the face. The nose tip generally tends to be shaped like a partial ball and should be shaded like the ones all artists practice when first learning to render a sphere. The nose bridge should be thought of as a cylinder and shaded much like those cylinder lessons we all did when we were learning to draw.

You can see in the last photo how the nose curves and turns as the shading is developed. Apply the lessons you learned in rending curved surfaces when you first learned to draw. The important thing to remember is that color does not matter nearly as much as value. If you have the value level right the color choice is secondary. The secret is to work in light color washes if you need to adjust the color you can easily do it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Mouth

Class moved on to the mouth yesterday. A closed mouth smile is of course the easiest to render. If teeth are showing it's best to not draw the teeth but draw the spaces around them. They tend to look less like Chickletts!! Also if you are rendering teeth really look at their color. They are never stark white. You will often see Cream or a mauve or even some blue but never all white. There may be a tiny white highlight where the light catches here and there.

While rendering the lips shown here I discovered Prismacolor's new colors Chestnut 1081 and Mahogany Red 1029 work really well for the colors I need on this dark face. I used them to map out the shapes in the lips.

Next I used Peach to start mapping out the shapes around the lips. Henna was used to continue rendering the lips and adding the shape of the lips.

In the fourth photo I have used Tuscan read and Dark Umber to fully deepen the shadows between the lips and at the corners. Little spots of black have been added to the darkest most deep set areas. The color of the lips was then blended with Rosey Beige and Pink Rose.

To anchor the lips I have completed the shadows around the mouth moving up the value scale to Dark Umber, blending it all with Beige. See the last photo.

As with the eyes, later I will adjust and deepen all these colors as I complete the rest of the portrait.

The Mouth

Friday, September 19, 2008

Portrait Class Eye Lesson

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My second class has started and the people who attended my class in July have come back to work on portraits of their own using Prismacolor pencils. To teach this class I am working on a portrait of my future son-in-law, Tao, as a demo. The reference photos are all presented below this text.

Yesterday I started his eyes in class. To keep up with the class I spent four hours this afternoon working on Tao's eyes. I realized after starting on it that the eye on the right was not quite the right shape. So I got my mylar sheet out and traced Tao's eyes as you can see in the second photo. The left arrow points to the tracing. The right arrow indicates the edge of the mylar. Laying the mylar over my work I could see the that right lower lid was a little too narrow and too much white of the eye was showing. The mylar overlay is a great tool for helping to correct this sort of thing.

In the third photo you can see I have started to mold the contours around the eye with Peach. I also reshaped the pupil a bit and deepened the Dark Brown and Pumpkin Orange a bit. Then I blended it with light umber and added black to the edge of the iris. I also drew some delicate lines of black into the iris.

In the fourth photo you can see where I lightened the highlight on the lid with sticky stuff and blended the entire area with Jasmine. I have also added in the eyelashes. I have deepened the shaded areas with Burnt Ochre. It's important to get the areas I am going to make dark brown bright first so when the brown goes on it does not look dirty on the skin. I have added Pink and Terra Cotta to the area that will be the darkest. I have also begun to contour the area below the eye with Blush Pink.

In the fifth photo you can see that I have blended the dark areas with Light Umber. You have to be very careful with Light Umber. If you get enough bright colors under it first it is easier to control as you use it to lightly blend and darken that shadow area. As I worked around the eye I added color in the area where the brow would go. The skin can be seen through areas of the brow. Before I laid in the brow I blended the area with Yellow Ochre and Goldenrod.

Photo number six shows more Pink under the eyebrow and over the deep area of the eye socket. Also it is clearly was time to add the eye brow. Scary because it is so black! I have added Dark Brown to the deep shadow of the eye socket and lid. Putting in darks is hard when the rest of the face is not done. They can look too dark! I can use my little value finder on my photo to determine that I need to take the colors this deep. The rest of the face will blend with this later. I will have to adjust the colors a bit more when I have more of the face done. The areas are still too light.

Number seven, I have pretty much finished both eyes. I put skin tones around both eyes and started the forehead so that I could get all the other colors of the eyes right. The eye on the left will be darkened considerably as I work on the rest of the face. I love the drama of the lighting in the reference photo and I want to reproduce it in this painting. Also the right eye looks a little larger because the face is turned to that direction. When the painting is done this perspective will look right. For now it looks like a mistake.

Next class we will start the mouth.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sandlapper Grand Gala Celebrating Creativity in SC 2008

Well today was sure a suprise.

I entered an art competition last spring at a newly reopened gallery in Lexington called the Sandlapper. I met the owner over ten years ago when she had her first gallery in the Old Mill. She and I lost track until I found her again at the Old Mill last spring.

Tonight I won Best of Show at the grand opening of show with this watercolor painting! This was my first Best of Show and a huge shock. There was a ton of great art by many outstanding artists entered. I thought mine would never do anything and I was even a bit embarrassed about having entered it!!

Goes to show you never know what a judge will like. The owner said he chose mine because it best reflected the theme of the show, Carolina Sun Carolina Rain.

This painting will be featured on the website of the hosting gallery the Sandlapper http://www.sandlapperart.com
It will also be on exhibit in the gallery for a couple of months.

This has sure been an amazing year!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mom's Tulip is done!

Mom's Tulip is done and for sale in my Ebay Store. Just click the photo.

The last petal was a bit of a challenge getting the veins just right. I used a lot of neon colors in it and then finished the final detail with Verithin pencils.

I used a colorless blender to soften the edges of the veins on the tips of the last petal.

In the end I didn't feel like the background was dark enough so I lightly went over it with indigo blue and then brushed it to smooth out the grainy appearance.