Friday, June 4, 2010

Portrait Demos

These last few weeks have gifted me with a flutter of private students. I've personally noticed that, since I've been practicing portraits in my journal, they have been becoming better and better.

Here, I'll show you one of my earlier (and painful at that) portraits. You can see the people look pinched, with little attention to color in their faces.

These latter two are recent demos for students. Lil' June, a sweet older woman, is not really finished, but shows some beginning techniques, while the baby, is pretty complete. You can see I usually start with a light wash of Aureolin Yellow, or in the case of the Oriental/African American skin tones, more of a Yellow Ochre. Then, I start to fill in the darker shadow areas with a darker value of usually a mix of Thalo Blue and Brown Madder. This mix can take you to cheery cheek shadows all the way to intense warm blues for behind ears. My cheeks usually are intense, pure pigment of Quin Pink, Perrol Orange or Brown Madder and then toned down with shadows. I always try to remember, I can "take back" a brilliant pigment, but can never bring back to "life" a dull color!

With the baby's background, I found I could help define the chubby cheek. It had gotten a bit bulge-y when I painted it and the background moved in the edge some. I also chose an especially pure blue, hard edge against the cheek orange profile edge to help create a focal area.

So who knows "who" will be my next "suspect" to help me develop more those quick, skilled portrait skills? Volunteers anyone? And I just want to encourage you to "b-e-g-i-n" to try portraits, you don't have to show them to anyone and ~ ~ practice does improve ones skills. Take my word for it!!!

1 comment:

Nikole Hahn said...

I'm still impressed by your journaling technique. Wow.