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Monday, February 18, 2008

Tricolour Portrait Demo

This is the 2nd of my portrait sketches for Ellie's Life Journal. This one is based on a recent photograph taken of Ellie just last week, aged 7.5 months.

Because I love a challenge and I'm having problems getting motivated since the weekend, I've decided to paint this portrait as a work in progress (WIP), in 3 stages using just 3 colours from my watercolour palette.

I hope to explain my process as I go. I paint largely from the heart so, dependant on subject, my methods alter slightly. However, when it comes to portraits I have noticed a pattern (of sorts) to my 'technique' that I hope to share with you as I go along. The tricolour challenge is something new to me that I have added as an extra, personal challenge. I challenge myself like this often, I believe it pushes my skills, allowing me to try something new. I never make notes or keep records of mixes, I mix as I go rather than large quantities, this means I probably never get the exact same mix twice but I see this as a positive rather than a negative...No two parts of anything are identical in shade or colour. If I had to be that technical about my art I don't believe it would offer me the same freedom and enjoyment it gives me now.

I'm posting as I paint, so this could go well and prove to be an enjoyable and perhaps even helpful reference. It could also go exceptionally badly but hey, I'm ok with that if you are...We learn the most from our mistakes.

STAGE ONE - The Sketch
Above is my preliminary sketch, created using an HB pencil and drawing very lightly until satisfied, then just a little harder on the lead to pull out my main guidelines so I can see where to apply my paint.
I am working on Bockingford watercolour paper...Yes, it is white but I have darkened the scan to allow the pencil marks to be more visible on screen.

Please, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask them by commenting on this post and I'll try to answer them in my next post.


Anonymous said...

what three colors are you using?? and do you erase the pencil later or just leave it???......deni...;)

Robyn said...

Looking forward to this one.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

So glad you decided to do this for your 'public'. You always said demonstrating wouldnt work as you do it differently every time - but thats the glory of your own uniqueness. As with millions of others, look forward to this.

Bet you cant answer the question posed in the first comment, as you dont know yourself yet??!! Am I right???

Anita Davies said...

LOL...Yes Joannie, you are right!

Deni, I'm not sure yet which 3 colours I'll use but I can tell you how I will select them...I'll do a kind of 'eenie, minee, minie mo' and just randomly grab 3 primaries.
I'll explain more about why in my next post.:)

Thanks for coming along for the ride Robyn.

Just finished the school run, so I'm gonna get the washing machine loaded, make an all essential hot cuppa and start stage 2...Be back shortly.

PNH said...

I'll be along for the ride.

Anita Davies said...

Thanks Phyl

bec said...

Thanks for doing this Anita.
I'm along for the ride too!

Anita Davies said...

You're welcome Bec!

Janet Allen said...

Thank You Anita for this. I just love your portraits and am excited to have found this tonight to learn from.
Your work inspires me so much. :-)

Anita Davies said...

That's lovely to hear janet