Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Isabella, Finisheo!

Here is the finished portrait of my daughter Isabella (Bella).  I really enjoyed painting her sweet little face.  

 Originally I was intimidated by her dress and the details of it, but once I just relaxed and started filling it in, I started to love it! :)

While this portrait does not imitate the original photograph exactly, I feel like my little girl was captured.  Her sweet beauty!

Have a great night!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's all in the eyes...

Good Morning!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday morning!  I worked quite a bit on Isabella's portrait last night and got pretty far.  I should have her finished this weekend!  

Here is my process from last night.

Okay, it's all in the eyes right?  Here is how I paint eyes in my portraits.

 First I started with a very light wash of Ultramarine Blue.  I added super watered down Payne's Grey mixed with Ultramarine Blue.  I then mixed up a dark blend of the two colors with Payne's Grey as the dominating color.  This is what I used to outline the main part of the iris.  

 Next I added the lashes.. and tiny little pupils..

I started to layer in her lips and add more detail to her nose..

Now I have gone and darkened shadows and color in her face, as well as her neck.  I have also started the hair, using colors and shades of gold tinted with with a hint of violet.  I feel like Violet tones done the golden color a bit.  I also darkened the arms with another layer.

It's amazing how quickly this portrait starts to come together as soon as you add the eyes.  And a mouth and a nose :) :)

Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Isabella's Portrait Update


I hope you all are having a fabulous start to your Friday!  I have had a great morning and I'm all geared up to go full speed ahead with this portrait today!  To see the picture and where I started with this click here.

Here I am just showing my process of layering.. 

First, I start with my cool pinks (a light wash in Crimson Red) in the face and neck.. Then I quickly move onto my yellows (watered down Cadmium Yellow) to bring out the glowing spots and the warmer toned part of the skin.  I let this layer dry, and then proceed to my warm reds, which I love to use (Brilliant Red with a touch of Cadmium Yellow).  After this layer is dry, I darken my shadows with wet washes of blue (Ultramarine Blue with a touch of Crimson Red and Burnt Umber).  You have to be super careful with this step as the blues really tend to stain the paper and there is little grace when trying to lift it.  So be sure that the paper is very wet and workable, and be ready to lift the paint quickly if necessary!

Next I start to layer in the arms.  I figure I may as well, since I'm already working with these same colors for the face and neck.  As you can see, I tend to start with brighter colors.  I do it this way because it is really easy to muddy a watercolor and once it happens, there's not too much you can do to brighten it back up.  So starting with the bright colors will allow me to go back later and soften once I've had time to really look at it.

Here I have started to layer in her dress.. I have to admit.. I'm not too excited about painting the floral design on this dress.. Wish me luck! :)

Here, you will notice that I have done a few things to the background.  I really love a neat textured background but still blurred as you would see in a nice photograph.. So I simply swirl my wet paint brush in a small circular motion to form these glowing blurred dots.  I then can add a brighter yellow, or green to make that background pop again!  Kind of a fun technique :)

I will post some more tips and techniques later today as work on her.

Your comments and questions are ALWAYS welcome!

Thank you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creative Block.. Coming Back!

Hello Friends!

I would love to first off say thank you for friendship and all your lovely comments!  I really enjoy the encouragement you give to me and also any helpful suggestions when needed.  Lately I've found myself in a creative slump to put it nicely.  I just get so down when this happens because it just feels so unnatural.  I believe that I was born to be creative!  Born to draw!  Born to paint!  That's the spirit! :)

So here's to breaking the dam that has kept and contained any creative thoughts, brush strokes, and frankly anything enjoyable locked away in a gloomy lake!  I could knock it down piece by piece, but I think I'm taking some dynamite to it!  Get it all in one sweep! Let the creative river flow and flood my brain to the point of utter exhaustion from too many ideas!!  

LOL!  Okay, you're probably all thinking.. this chic has LOST it!  I haven't.. I promise!  Just got a little carried away there. :)

So here is one piece that has been interfering with my creative flow.  I started out really loving this piece, and don't get me wrong, I still do.  But I've been staring at this unfinished piece for over a year now.  I know what you must be thinking.. "Then just get it done!"  Well, easier said than done.  And all you artists out there know what I'm talking about.  I am so close to being finished with this one, but I'm not making any promises this time, sense that seems to put too much pressure on me.

So to every problem you find a solution right?  So here is my solution.  I LOVE painting portraits, particularly my little girls :)  So I've started a second portrait of my nine year old daughter Isabella.  I took this photograph last spring, and have been dieing to paint it ever since!

I did make a change to this portrait.  There was just something about the way her hand was cut off in the photo, so I laid her arm across her lap instead.

I am expecting to move quickly through this one, so stay tuned! 

Have a wonderful Thursday!