Saturday, 15 May 2010

Two more for the Portrait Party

As soon as I saw this pose from Marga Perez, I knew I had to paint it. Isn't it funny how when you are in to painting, you can be doing something very ordinary at work, around the house or in the garden and you see something interesting or beautiful, and the thought comes into your mind "I could paint that". It seems this is happening more and more these days.

The original photo of Marga is in black and white, and very contrasty, so not only did I have to guess some of the colours, but I also had to guess a few of the details as well. If you look at the original, I guess it's a fair likeness, but what I wanted to bring across in this painting, was a youthful smooth skinned woman with a hint of elegance and mystery. Hopefully I've achieved this by making sure that any colour changes were subtle and there were no hard edges to the face. I think I failed a little with the nose, as the layers of paint dried before I could smooth the edges out. I also wish I hadn't used the pen line on the bright side of her face, rather letting the deep yellow wash find the outline.

With Cecca (Franny B), I got a fairly accurate likeness and she was fun to do. I maybe got the eyes too large, but I'm happy with the finished work.

Both these paintings took me around one and a half hours from start to finish. This is how I like to work, slow with the sketch and fast with the paint. At the moment I think my big failing is adding too many layers and loosing some of the looseness the medium is best suited to. But no doubt, as I get more experienced, this should come more easily, well, lets hope so anyway!


  1. I really struggle with watercolours but I'm determined to improve. I think you are a natural!

  2. I really love that green dress ! The whole colour combination is very appealing. Fanny B looks great - especially the hair.

  3. Sandra, you can draw so I reckon you should be good with watercolour if you keep at it.
    I remember some years back when I had a few minutes left at the end of an art class, I took a scrap of paper and started to splash some watercolour on it, working it into a rough shape of some flowers in front of me. The way the image started to form and the colours all mingling together and the white highlights left, gave me a real feel for the medium an it helped me in the future.

    Alice, I guess you would like the dress because it was green! LOL!
    My wife said I went a bit mad with the hair when she saw it at the drawing stage.

  4. Frank you're doing really well with these portraits. Both of these are superb and I find your work very inspiring. ;-)

  5. Thanks John, maybe I'll be seeing a portrait from yourself soon?