Thursday, March 17, 2011

Watercolor – Red Head III - A Pleasant Surprise

Our local watercolor society (Central Florida Watercolor Society) held its annual juried competition recently. I entered a portrait I painted this year with absolutely no expectation of an award. To my surprise it was awarded first place. My goal in this show was to “participate” and to just show my fellow artists the work I have been doing lately.

The juror was Pat Weaver, an international watercolorist, author and workshop instructor:

Pat Weaver

On the day of the show opening, I walked through the gallery and saw such excellent work, I was just pleased my piece was accepted into the show. As the crowd gathered, and the food and drink flowed, I began to receive complements from the society’s artists on my painting. That in itself was my reward for showing the piece. At this point I was pleased. Then when the juror announced the awards, and my painting came in first, I was just blown away. Words cannot express my excitement.

Here is a better photo of the painting:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Watercolor…Finally an update!

Sorry dear friends…it has been awhile since I have updated this Blog. Life and illness can get in the way of best laid plans, but enough of that.

I believe in this economic downturn it has been and continues to be a good time for me to work on improving my techniques. After all, art is a life long study. I remember reading that an artist’s studio is also a place to study as well as paint.

Though commissions and art sales have been slow, like all of you, I’m waiting for the economy to pick back up. My watercolor portrait workshops have been sucessful and I have received a lot of positive feed back from the students.

I have become determined to be able to draw faster and still maintain a good accurate rendering of what I’m about to paint. I believe this only comes with practice… I now go to weekly open (no instruction) life drawing session where a group of artist will hire a model and we draw and paint from life. More about this in later blogs…

Recent portrait paintings…

Friday, April 17, 2009

Watercolor Videos

I hope you enjoy watching these videos as much as I have in creating them...the next one is a compilation of the guys I have painted.

Some art friends have wondered what I have been up to lately. I have been working on new landscape techniques that can be accomplished quickly to capture the mood and light of the scene. While I feel like I have been able to do that with my watercolor portraits, it has been a challenge for me capturing the morning light, or a sunset, or the noon day sun in my landscapes that makes me feel... like I am really there. It is all about atmosphere which I feel watercolor can capture. Soon I'll post some of my experiments... Meantime, check out my guy portraits video...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Watercolor - Lady Portraits

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Honorable Mention

The Central Florida Watercolor Society had the opening of its Third Annual Juried Show this past Thursday night. 85 paintings were shown, and one of my paintings received one of three honorable mentions. The Juror was Sue Archer, noted National Watercolorist. To be selected was truly an honor...I'm really stoked!

Here is the painting:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Watercolor – 2009 Portraits and Figures

I know it has been awhile since I have up-dated this Blog. A lot has happened over the past few months.

I have been concentrating on improving my life drawing skills. To draw a face or figure accurately in 20 to 40 minutes and place some watercolor washes on it is a challenge. Several times a week I attend a life drawing session. This is not a class but an opportunity for the artist to hone his or her skills at drawing quickly and accurately. You can’t fudge the human face or figure too much! Also, our local Starbucks coffee shop provides interesting faces to draw quickly in stealth.

Faces have always fascinated me. In today’s fast changing world, my portrait clients do not have time to sit for hours while I paint their portrait. To accommodate this fast paced society, I schedule a digital photo shoot on a sunny day. Not only does it give me a chance to get to know the person better, but it provides me the opportunity to observe facial planes that the digital camera may not show well.

This is a recent portrait:

Art friends have asked me different questions on how I approach painting the various features of the portrait in watercolor. The one question that comes up most often is hair. So, I have decided to post a short demonstration of how I paint hair.

As most of you know, white in transparent watercolor is the white of the paper. First, with careful observation of the highlight in a subject’s hair and the underlying scalp and face, we can tone it with a pale representation of those lights. Pale yellows, pinks, and blues and some white can be seen. Most often we paint from light values/tones to dark, this will be the under painting or base of the hair. I let it dry very thoroughly.

Next I use Winsor & Newton art masking Fluid. It is like a liquid rubber cement. Looking at the highlights again in the reference, I mask off the highlights with a synthetic rigger brush, rinsing in water quite often to avoid clogging up the brush. After the mask is dry, strokes of dark hair color is applied following the flow of the hair, changing the color/value/tone as I go quickly. I let it dry very thoroughly and the remove the mask.

Now it is time to paint in the abstract darks, tone some of the highlight areas where I have removed the mask from the paper and scrub with a very small scrub brush to take out some of the hard edges.

More darks abstract shapes are painted in here and there and finer dark hairs are painted with a rigger brush. Lighter hairs are darkened on the shadow side of the hair. I do not paint too many this way, just enough to make it sparkle.

And a detail view:

Recent life drawing with wash:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Watercolor – Portrait

At the recent Winter Springs Festival of the Arts, I was interviewed by a TV news personality, Christine, Fox 35 Entertainment Reporter. She was kind enough to allow me to take a few reference photos so I could paint her portrait. The morning light was shining on her face and I believe I captured the light.