Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Watercolor Portraits

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I have signed up for a watercolor portrait workshop with Fealing Lin to be held in Boone, N.C., this fall.  I couldn't wait to get started, so I spent the afternoon experimenting.

There are very brief instructions in her June 2012 Watercolor Artist article, along with lots of examples of her portraits.  Using two of my favorite photographs, I traced the outlines and got started.

This one of my dog, Kasey, with her paw on my lap, is just about finished.

You build up layers of transparent color until you achieve the desired effect.
Here is the sketch, with some masked areas to preserve the white paper, and a light watercolor wash for the background.
Then you start adding your darker backgrounds and the shadows.  Pretty scary-looking at this point.  Can you say Cujo?
You keep building up the background, then remove the mask and start working on the details of the face.
Here it is, maybe finished, maybe needs a little more work.  Charlie says the right ear doesn't look right. It might be too late to fix that!
I found the other project much more difficult.  It is a picture of my granddaughter, Lily, playing in a field of daisies up in the mountains.
I think it's okay, but see some things I would do differently.  This one definitely is not finished.  But I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt.
Both of these are very small in size, about 6" x 9", so maybe they are "studies."
Tomorrow is my day to go to Cary and see the new baby.  I have been going at least once a week.  I always offer to stay and let Emily get out of the house.  So far she has never been gone more than about 45 minutes.  The last time I went, a friend of my son's came over to do some baby photography for her professional portfolio.  This is the only one I have seen so far.
Baby Charlotte, photo by Anna Sledge

What an angel!